The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the activities of the New Apostolic Church led to a restriction of confirmations in some parts of the country last year. Thus, it was a moment of joy to experience a confirmation service in 2021. Apostle Timothy Akubia conducted the 2021 confirmation service at Hohoe and Jasikan congregations on June 20, 2021. Fifteen (15) young persons received the confirmation blessing; Seven (7) from Hohoe and eight (8) from Jasikan.
The divine services were based on a bible word from Luke 6:45, “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”
A day of joy and appreciation
In his opening remarks, the Apostle expressed profound gratitude to the parents of the confirmands, the Confirmation Class teachers and the Confirmands. “We are grateful to you parents for laying a godly foundation for these children. You groomed them from their infancy, imbibing in them the fear of God and righteousness. For this we are much grateful” remarked the Apostle. “To the children, I congratulate you today on your humility and obedience. This has enabled you to absorb and live by the tenets of our faith as taught you by your parents and teachers. Today, you have taken the bold step to build on this foundation, a house that would stand the test of time”, continued the Apostle.
He further appreciated the teachers for their sacrifices in ensuring the Apostles’ doctrine sinks deep into the spirit, soul and body of the confirmation candidates. “The combination of the relentless efforts of the parents, teachers and these children have ignited a joy in the household of faith; let us rejoice in this day which the Lord has made. The blessings of this day shall produce great works even among the generations to come” emphasized the Apostle.
From the heart, the tongue brings forth
In his exposition of the bible word, Apostle Akubia highlighted the important role of the heart as a source of evil and good. He stated that the heart is a depository of our true nature. The Apostle admonished members to guard their hearts with all diligence through the activity of the Holy Spirit. “We want to ensure evil does not settle in our hearts. We want to bear good fruits; pleasing to the Lord. This way we shall be a blessing unto our neighbour. Let us overcome evil with good.” Apostle Akubia stressed.
“Then also our tongue”, he continued, “we need to tame it! Watch over your tongue; for it speaks what lies in your heart.” The same tongue with which we bless, the same we curse with. It praises in one moment and disgraces in another, it encourages on one hand, discourages on the other. We shall be held accountable for every corrupt or evil word that comes out of our mouth, and by this we shall be known; for that is the fruit we bear! And you shall know them by their fruits!
Good and evil
By human standards, one can but fall short of distinguishing between evil and good. What one man may consider good, another considers evil. One man’s meat is another man’s poison, says an old cliché. However, the will of God is the best measure of what is good or evil. We have been provided with the Holy Spirit to help us in this regard. It creates in us the right conscience to decipher evil and good; to know that which is the will of God or otherwise.
...a matter of choice
Apostle Akubia further stated that, to bear fruits of good or evil is a matter of choice. “Today the confirmands make a vow, which says in part, ‘I renounce Satan, and all his ways’. What does this mean? This means to decide to do good. It means to make a choice for God; to do His will. This choice gives peace and security. We want to give our heart fully to the Lord. Let us renew our vows today to the Lord.”
Addressing the confirmands, the Apostle entreated them to hold fast their confirmation vow by allowing the Holy Spirit to strengthen them to bear good fruits and become a blessing unto the congregation, their families and their neighbours.