The marks of Jesus

Piney Church of Christ

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 Living a Christian life leaves its marks on people. Gal. 6:17 Paul says as many as walk according to this rule (a new creature in Christ) peace be on them and mercy, and upon the Israel of God.  From henceforth let no man trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of Jesus Christ. At this point in the life of Paul he was old and marked by life as a Christian. On him were the wounds of his conflicts and the furrows of his years. These wounds had come to him since he had given his life to the Lord, and he speaks of them as the “marks of Jesus.” He had a figure in mind the way in which a master brands his slaves.  The mark which the slave bore on his body not only identified him as belonging to his master, but it also indicated that he was free from all other masters, including himself and sin. So it was with Paul and Christ. Since he was responsible to Christ, he owed allegiance to no one else.

Every Christian ought to bear in his body, in a plain and literal sense, the tokens which show that he belongs to Christ. Matt. 5:29,30. If thy right eye offends the pluck it out and cast it from the. It is profitable if one member should perish then thy whole body be cast into hell. If thy right hand offends thee cut it off and cast it from thee so that thy whole body be not cast into hell. There are things in our physical nature that we have to suppress, regulate, or cast away entirely if we are to belong to Christ. Read Col 3:5-10. If a person has a lofty indifference a contemptuous disregard for others, and an unquestioning appropriation of the best of everything, tell the story of a life filled with pride and greed. The face of a Christian should testify to the grace of God within him. It is a matter of constant observation that strong ruling emotions of the heart do come, in time, to stamp themselves upon the countenance. For example, kindness, peace, joy, love, tenderhearted and humble. What God wants is that his character should be so stamped upon the lives of all his children that every observer of their daily conduct should recognize that they live with Jesus.

There are also inward spiritual marks of Jesus within Christians. Paul, doubtless, as already observed, had primary reference to the scars he bore as a result of his persecution for Christ’s sake, yet they were not the only “marks of Jesus” that he bore. The true marks of Jesus, after all, are not outward, but inward, not physical, but spiritual. Remember Gods word does return to him void. Rom. 8:9 But ye not of the flesh but in the spirit of God that dwells in you. Now if any man has not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

The brand of Christ may be upon the mind and heart as truly as upon the body. Rom. 12:2 Be not conformed to this world. But be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. James 1:7 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction and to keep himself unspotted from the world. Phil. 2:5. Look on the things of others and not on his own. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. For too many today rely on their outward appearance. I do this and I do this just to be seen of men. They have not the true spirit of God. The fruits of the spirit are: love, joy, concern, gentleness, long-suffering, meekness, faith, forgiveness, and peace. Also, a deep desire to learn and tell others of Jesus and save their soul that they might go to heaven. 2 Cor. 5:17, If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed away behold all things are become new. Read Ephesians 4: 25-32. 

Many people today own things. We will now discuss the ownership of Jesus Christ. The ownership of Christ is one of the great realities of the Christian life. We speak of him as our Savior, Friend, Example, and Teacher, but how seldom do we speak of him as our Owner! 1 Cor. 6:19-20. What! Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore, glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. Our time, talents, money, business, homes, yea all we have belong to him.  Where, then, is there room in our lives for self-will, self-indulgence, murmuring or reluctance, assertion of our rights as against his, etc.?  Matt 6: 33. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his rightness and all these things (the necessity of life) shall be added unto you.  The Lord Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. He came to claim as his own everyone who will bow to the authority. He compels no one to serve him, but if one chooses to become his servant, he must obey him. But if one chooses to become his servant, he must obey him. If he remains in his favor he must be marked as his own. Read Deut. 15:12-18; John 13: 35. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.    

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