Summary: Spiritual marks every Christian should bear: 1. The mark of God’s story (1:27-30). 2. The mark of charity (2:1-2). 3. The mark of humility (2:5-8). 4. The mark of giving glory to God (2:8-11). 5. The mark of loyalty (2:12-13)
The Marks of a Believer
Sermon by Rick Crandall
Grayson Baptist Church - Aug. 12, 2012
*In Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he said: “From now on let no one trouble me, for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.” (Galatians 6:17)
*Can you imagine that? -- In 2 Cor 11:23-28, Paul gives a brief summary of the things he went through:
23. Are they ministers of Christ? -- I speak as a fool -- I am more: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often.
24. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one.
25. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep;
26. in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;
27. in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness—
28. besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches.
*Paul had amazing dedication to the Lord. And we may never bear marks like that. But there are spiritual marks that every Christian should bear. And the Holy Spirit points them out in these verses.
1. Christians, we surely bear the mark of God’s story.
*This is the mark of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and Paul centered on the gospel in vs. 27, where he challenged believers with these words: “Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.”
*Christians, our faith is in the gospel or good news about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
-The good news that God loves us and sent His Son to die on the cross for us.
-The good news that Jesus rose from the dead!
-The good news that Jesus offers forgiveness and eternal life to everyone who will trust in Him.
*Here in vs. 27, Paul stresses that the gospel we believe in is worthy.
 The gospel is worth our best conduct: “Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ.”
 The gospel is worth our standing together: “So that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit.”
 And the gospel is worth our striving together: “With one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.”
*The original word for “striving” there is “ath-leh’-o.” That’s where we get our word “athletics.” And the idea is that we are wrestling together on the same team, “striving together for the faith of the gospel.”
 In vs. 28-30, the gospel is even worth our suffering.
*There Paul told the Philippians that as they strived together for the gospel, they should not be:
28. . . in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God.
29. For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,
30. having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me.
*Yes, there is great opposition to the gospel. And many people in the world would hurt us today, if they could. But even if they hurt us, we still have something to say!
*I love the way Paul puts is in Romans 1:16, where he said: “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.”
*And in 2 Timothy 1:12, he says: “For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.”
*We are never giving up on the gospel of Jesus Christ! -- No matter what.
-This is the mark of God’s story in our lives.
2. But God also wants us to have the mark of charity.
*This is the mark of our love for one another, and we see this mark in Phil 2:1-2, where Paul said:
1. Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy,