AN ENSIGN

For 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.

Romans 1:16


As the son of a “signalman” at Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, Bermuda, I became quite familiar with the flags and their code to communicate. I must admit that much of what I learned as a child has long departed. However, a few tid-bits out of my past return on occasion.

One of the first things that I learned was, as a vessel approached, to identify its flags. What flag or flags a ship is flying identifies its registration. In our current era, because owners want to save money, which love of it is a “root of all evil”,

(1 Timothy 6:10) there is justified concern of this registration. Money is not the only issue, but safety inspections and requirements can vary considerably. My wife and I traveled on a cruise liner a few years ago and a safety issue arose. It took more than thirty minutes for an announcement to be verbalized on the speaker system. It was finally made by the Cruise Director whom we saw running about giving two differing reports. On the P.A. system it was impossible to understand the English of the captain. We will be more cautious with whom we travel in the future.

Close to our home was the home of a wealthy family. It was a habit of mine to look to see if his flags were fluttering in the breeze. Whenever he was in his home, he flew the Union Jack at masthead, (because he was in Bermuda), the flag of his homeland below that and his own flag on the yardarm. He wanted people to observe his ensigns and their order of priority for his home in Bermuda.

In the 74th Psalm, after an appeal to God concerning the devastation that the enemy had inflicted upon His people and Jerusalem upon Mount Zion, along with the Sanctuary, the Psalmist adds: “they have set up their own standards for signs”. (verse 4) There was a bold indication of victory by the enemy in this gesture. The same was true when our servicemen raised the Stars and Stripes, our ensign, on Iwo Jima. It is ever a badge of victory and a badge of defeat, depending on which side you are aligned.

Perhaps, we as Christians feel that our ensign is a cross. It spelled victory and defeat. It ever spells boldly that Christ conquered sin. It should be our ensign to a darkened, sin-cursed world that Jesus said: “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” (John 12:32) One might consider this a law of double reference… to His death on Calvary, and to His resurrection into glory as our guarantee of resurrection.

The early believers were called Christians. It was done in a derogatory fashion by the world of unbelievers. But to the believers then and today it should be merely an ensign. We joy in being identified as being “in Christ” and Christ being “in” us.

The Apostle said: “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for Salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16) To wear His Ensign, you must exercise your faith and trust in Jesus the Christ as your sin bearer. At such time you qualify to wear His colors boldly; to be called by His name; to be a part of His family.

Place your ensign in a conspicuous place.

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