Today many competing flags are asking us for our allegiance. I am not speaking of the national flag of the state. The flags I am referring to are those which are flown in both pride and protest. They are flown to proclaim a cause or to express one’s pride or anger. I want to talk about another flag and another attitude.
The Christian flag is something relatively new. It is only about 100 years old. Today it is displayed in Christian churches and schools throughout the world. It is not a flag of pride or protest. It is a flag of humility. It speaks of the great sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ and reminds us of our call as believers. I want to reflect on the meaning of this flag.
The Christian flag is not to be worshipped. As believers, we are never to worship any type of artifact. Yet, there is nothing wrong with having a symbol that reminds us of our heritage and call. This is what the Christian flag is.
It begins with the red cross centered in a field of blue.
The cross is the most recognized symbol of Christianity. It reminds us of the great sacrifice of Jesus Christ when He bore the sins of the world upon Himself as He was nailed to a cross. The cross is the supreme reminder of our call to humility. Jesus made this supreme sacrifice while we were yet sinners. Each of us was living according to our own truth. We were in open rebellion against God’s truth. Yet, Jesus died for us when we were living as His enemies!
- “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. And since we have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ, he will certainly save us from God’s condemnation. For since our friendship with God was restored by the death of his Son while we were still his enemies, we will certainly be saved through the life of his Son. So now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God because our Lord Jesus Christ has made us friends of God. Romans 5:8-11 NLT
When we look at the Christian flag we are humbled. We are humbled that someone would love us so much that they would die in our place. We are humbled that through His shed blood, Jesus Christ has made a way for us to become children of God. We have been transformed from enemies to friends! The cross reminds us that we no longer are to live for ourselves, but for Him who loved us and gave Himself for us!
- “He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.” 2 Corinthians 5:15 NLT
The red cross is placed in a field of blue.
The blue represents both baptism and the Holy Spirit. When we humble ourselves before the Lord, when we lay down our truth for His truth, when we place our faith in Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour and Lord, we are baptized (immersed, placed in) into the Body of Christ, the church!
- “Some of us are Jews, some are Gentiles, some are slaves, and some are free. But we have all been baptized into one body by one Spirit, and we all share the same Spirit.” 1 Corinthians 12:13 NLT
This baptism into the Body of Christ is expressed when we enter into the baptismal waters and publicly proclaim our faith in Jesus Christ. We announce to the world that we are indeed dead to our old way of living. We reject pride and every sin. We rise to live in the newness of life and the power of the Holy Spirit! We follow Jesus’ example as He too was baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit. As Jesus submitted to the will of the Father, so we too live a life surrendered to His will. Our lives are now marked by humility!
- “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty, is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.” James 4:7-10 NLT
- “Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.” Romans 6:1-4 NLT
The remainder of the Christian flag is white.
This signifies the righteousness and purity of our Lord Jesus Christ. He came to this world, fully God and fully man. He lived a life of complete humility, surrender, and obedience to the Father. He never sinned but completed all the righteous requirements of God as a faithful servant. And, as the perfect lamb of God, He became the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Through faith, we are now clothed in His righteousness. We live in the promise and hope of eternal life. We know that as He is – so He is making us!
- “See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are! But the people who belong to this world don’t recognize that we are God’s children because they don’t know him. Dear friends, we are already God’s children, but he has not yet shown us what we will be like when Christ appears. But we do know that we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. And all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure.” 1 John 3:1-3 NLT
This awesome truth and reality is not a call to arms. It is not a place of superiority. It is a call to humility and service. It is the call to lay down our lives for others. It is a call to speak the truth in love, no matter what the cost. It is a call to take up our cross and follow Jesus. As Jesus lived, so we too should live. While the world is waving its flags in pride and anger, may we raise our flag in true humility, service, and love.
Some may see the Christian flag as a flag of intolerance. Others may see it as a flag of hate. It is neither of these things. It is a flag of hope and humility. It is a flag of transformation. It is a flag of redemption. It is a flag that reminds us that all of us were sinners, lost and destined for hell. Yet, in His great love, He came and died for us. He bore our sin so that we could be clothed in His righteousness. And, He is calling us to proclaim His truth and love to a world bound in pride and hatred.
- “But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. “Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people. Once you received no mercy; now you have received God’s mercy.” Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.” 1 Peter 2:9-12 NLT
The wonderful thing about the Christian flag is that we do not need to wave it for people to see it. They see the reality of this flag as we walk as His children in true humility. As we live as children of the light the flag flies in our hearts and lives for all to see.
Lord, grant us the grace to live a life that gives You glory. Grant us the grace to live in humility and surrender as we love and serve, proclaiming Your truth until You return!
In Jesus Name!