The scars in Paul’s body identified him as an apostle of Christ.
From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus. (Galatians 6:17)
Those who belong to the Antichrist will wear a distinguishing mark in their bodies.
And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads (Revelation 13:16)
God desired that His people would not be confused with the ungodly.
Ye shall not round the corners of your heads, neither shalt thou mar the corners of thy beard. (Leviticus 19:27)
God forbid His people to print any mark upon their flesh. Such markings were common among the heathen who did so to identify themselves with a particular spirit.
Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD. (Leviticus 19:28)
The body of the redeemed belongs to God.
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Cor. 6:19,20)
The yielding of our flesh to be branded or imprinted upon is outward evidence of an inward rebellion toward God and an allegiance to the spirit of the world.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:1,2)
God laments when His children corrupt themselves and do not bear those marks that distinguish them as His.
They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation. (Deuteronomy 32:5)
Many who profess to know God, declare through their actions that they don’t know Him.
They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate. (Titus 1:16)
The clear mark and confirming seal that we belong to the Lord is our departure from iniquity.
Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. (2 Timothy 2:19)
Paul went out of his way to avoid every appearance of evil.
Abstain from all appearance of evil. (1 Thessalonians 5:22)
Our ability to minister is destroyed by the appearance of moral or ethical failure.
Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed: (2 Corinthians 6:3)
It doesn’t take much for our good witness to be destroyed.
Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour. (Ecclesiastes 10:1)
God wants no confusion of identity.
The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God. (Deuteronomy 22:5)
The church is not to wear the world’s “garments” any more.
The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof. (Romans 13:12-14)
God’s people are to outwardly identify themselves as His through everything they do and say.
They are to give no “ammunition” to the enemy through compromise.
Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you. (Titus 2:6-8)
pattern > Greek – tupos > the mark of a stroke, print; a figure or image of the gods
God’s children should be clearly recognized and identifiable by their good works.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
Every believer is called to carefully “maintain” a witness of good works.
This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. (Titus 3:8)