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The Brand of Christ is the Word

Organizations use logos to help identify themselves to the world.

Brands stick with people. They see a familiar mark and immediately associate it with a product, service, or mission.

A chosen image can declare to the world a person’s identity and beliefs.

Take a walk around your neighborhood and you will get to know people by observing their personal brands. An American flag denotes patriotism. A house may have a flag from another nation that identifies their heritage.  Another homeowner has a flag of an NFL or college football team to claim their allegiance. Yard signs will identify political beliefs. Even bumper stickers on cars parked on the driveway will have a myriad of endorsements, humor, or social commentary.

Personal brands, corporate images – even tattoos – communicate to the world their identity and purpose.

Churches also use powerful images to help communicate their beliefs.

The cross is a Christian symbol tells what God has done for the world.

It is a symbol of God’s wrath on sin that required a perfect sacrifice on behalf of all people. Jesus Christ – God’s son – took our place as a willing substitute. Faith receives the full benefits of his righteousness and everlasting life in heaven.

The cross can be a symbol that identifies believers as redeemed children of God and separates them from the world.

But the image of the cross may no longer transmit a clear message of what Christ has done. It has become a symbol that is often misused in pop culture or associated with clerical abuse, judgementalism, and hypocrisy. It can be worn as a type of cultural good luck charm that may point to a higher power but not necessarily a new life in Christ.

Besides the cross exists a stronger banner, an established identity, an internal tattoo that divides, conquers, separates, and redeems.

It is God’s Word.

It is Christ’s identity because he is the Word.

It is Christ’s banner because through the Word he draws people to himself.

It is Christ’s mission because in the power of his Word he converts, baptizes, gives of himself, and sanctifies.

It is Christ’s brand that gathers those who believe in his Name.

Then you will know that I am the LORD, those who hope in me will not be disappointed.

Isaiah 49:23

A Christian’s identity is not found in symbols, but in their purpose.

A believer’s identity does not mean showing up at church on Sunday morning for an hour of worship, but waking up each morning basking in his grace. It means a willingness to live a sacrificial life devoted to bringing as many people as possible to heaven.

A believer’s identity does not rest with being a light for Christ, but communicating the message of the Light.

Those who trust in Christ’s promises can no longer assume that people already know or understand the message of the cross. Symbols alone no longer adequately communicate what God has done for the world.

The Word is our banner.

Through the power of the Word, believers can confidently and courageously lift up its message and communicate it to the world.

The Word is a believer’s heritage, purpose… and their brand.

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