The Marks of a Christian
“For we are the true circumcision, who worship in the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.” Philippians 3:3 (NAS)
Growing up in
, I often encountered people
with scars on their faces – marks which had been purposefully carved into their
faces when they were babies. This may sound like a barbaric practice but it
actually had an intelligent purpose. The marks served to identify the child’s tribe
and family. I have heard different reasons for the practice and am honestly not
certain which one is accurate. But one report claims that it began many years
ago during the slave trade. Nigeria
was one of the African nations hit hardest by the trade. In those days, ships
came to the west cost of Nigeria Africa with men who invaded
villages, and captured the people to sell as slaves. The Africans were stripped
of all possessions including anything that might identify them. When babies and
children became separated from their families, they grew up with no knowledge
of who they were. By placing a mark on the child which distinguished which
tribe and family that child belonged to, if he or she ever found his way back
to his homeland, he could be identified immediately.
The book of Revelation tells of another mark - “the mark of the Beast”. Like the facial marks in
The 3rd chapter of Philippians gives a very good description of what a believer should look like. Philippians 3:3 says we will “worship in the Spirit, glory in Christ, and put no confidence in the flesh.” There it is – the marks of a Christian. But what do these words mean?
Thankfully, the apostle Paul continues to explain what he meant in the rest of Philippians 3. Paul explains in great detail what it means to worship in the Spirit, glory in Christ, and put no confidence in the flesh. He says it well in verses 7-8, “But whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ. More than that, I count all things to be loss in the view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ.”
What about you and me? Are we worshipping in the Spirit? Are we glorying in Jesus? And the hardest question of all – are we putting any (even the smallest amount) of confidence in the flesh?