1 Corinthians 2:1–5
What is the mark of the Christian? What marks out some people is that they wear a cross around their neck or as jewellery. Other people wear distinctive clothing that is a mark of their faith. It may be a dog collar or a monk’s habit and cowl. Some people may have a fish symbol on their car or t-shirt. In the past, there were even special hair cuts that were a mark of being a Christian.
The Bible talks about two marks. The most famous mark in the Bible is the mark of the beast in revelation, which signifies that the person on whom it is written belongs to Satan and not God. This is the same mark as the mark of Cain in Genesis. This mark does not appear suddenly in Revelation, it is in the Bible from the very beginning. If you have this mark on your forehead then you are in the wrong army.
For this reason some people think that getting any mark on them is an evil sign, not just the number 666. But the Bible says we should all have a mark. God hands out his mark to signify those people on his side. Revelation 7:3 says – “Don’t harm the land or the sea or the trees until we have placed the seal of God on the foreheads of his servants.”
It is not a matter of whether you have a mark or not, it is a matter of whose mark you have. The mark is on your face. It is on show for all to see.
And it signifies that the real mark of a Christian is the light that shines from them. This light is the light of love. Jesus said that the way people will know we are his disciples, in other words how they will see his mark, is if we love each other.
John 13:33—35 …
“Dear children, I will be with you only a little longer. And as I told the Jewish leaders, you will search for me, but you can’t come where I am going. So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
We can give many reasons and arguments for our faith to persuade those who do not believe. But Francis Schaeffer says the ultimate reason, the bottom line so to speak, is this.
Jesus gave the mark that will arrest the attention of the world. What is it? Love — and the unity it attests to — is the mark Christ gave Christians to wear before the world. Only with this mark may the world know that Christians are indeed Christians and that Jesus was sent by the Father.
This mark is what we all should have on our faces. With this mark we go out into the world and the world can see his mark on us. This is how others will come to faith in the savour of the world.
This morning we have two people who will share with us their stories about this mark and how it has changed their lives. I pray that it will inspire you to wear this mark boldly and go wherever he leads you.
We have with us one woman who feels called to go out from here so the mark is shown in places where few have ever had a chance to see it. And we have one woman who was born and raised in a place that knows almost nothing of God’s mark, and has had her life changed since escaping from North Korea.