Elements of Faith – The Brands of Christ
“From now on, let no one cause me any trouble,
for I bear the marks* of the Lord Jesus branded on my body”
Galatians 6:17 (WEB)
Faith, which is alive, active, and genuine, will bring persecution and alienation from others. The Faith that pleases God produces an expression of its Author and will inevitably know in some proportion its wounds and contradictions.
“for I bear the marks* of the Lord Jesus
branded on my body”
Worthy faith is costly faith. Too many compromise their faith for acceptance and in so doing relegate their testimony and bring His glorious Name to reproach. They confess their allegiance to Him but shun and ostracize those whose light brings conviction.
Faith will leave the Mark of Christ impressed upon His Own. The indomitable persuasion of Him upon those who have received the “brands” of His Lordship will result in wounds, slander, loneliness, and abandonment by friends, family, and even those who call themselves by His Name.
Vincent in his definition of the Greek word translated “marks” states:
*Marks (στίγματα) “The wounds, scars, and other outward signs of persecutions and sufferings in the service of Christ. Comp. 2Co 11:23 ff. The metaphor is the brands applied to slaves in order to mark their owners. Hence Rev., I bear branded…”
– Vincent’s Word Studies
One of the enduring elements of those in whom faith resides will be the evident marks of His Ownership.
“For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too”
2 Corinthians 1:5 (ESV)
There is a deep fellowship shared by those in whom faith has been a means of suffering. The camaraderie of afflictions and loneliness creates bonds of love and brotherhood/sisterhood that are deeper and purer than anything in this world.
“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings…”
The depth of our fellowship with one another will correspond to the depth of our fellowship with Him in this journey of faith.
“But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light,
we have fellowship one with another”
1 John 1:7
Links to the other writings in this series: