"Brands, Trademarks & Knockoffs"
Are you wearing or using something right now that has a "Brand or Trademark" attached to it? We all know what Brands and Trademarks are. We are faced with them all the time. We also know what "Knockoffs" are, counterfeits. Did you know that you are God's "Brand?", You are God's, "Trademark" in this generation? Watch the video message here or you can download the audio for later.
In today's world, the concept of 'brand' is far-reaching and pervasive, touching virtually every aspect of our lives—from the sneakers we wear to the faith systems we adhere to. A brand is much more than a logo or a catchy jingle; it is an emotional and psychological experience that evokes certain feelings and perceptions in the mind of the consumer.
1. The Pervasive Influence of Brands
Brands are everywhere you look. Companies like Nike, Apple, and Tesla are no longer just seen as producers of sneakers, smartphones, or electric cars. They have become emblematic of particular lifestyles and ideologies.
The concept of branding has deep historical roots, going back to ancient civilizations. Artisans from the Roman era to the Medieval times used to put their marks on their creations, ranging from pottery to weaponry, to signify their origin and quality. Over time, this practice has evolved and taken on new meanings, infiltrating all aspects of modern life.
Branding is especially powerful among younger generations who often associate brands with status, identity, and social belonging. A well-crafted brand can not only evoke emotions but also catalyze a sense of community among its followers.
2. We are Christians
Acts 11:25 ESV, "In Antioch the disciples were first called Christians." Why were they called, CHRISTIANS? Before this they were called, The Way, or Sect of the Nazarene. Christian means, Christ like, or followers of Christ. There were things about these people, this sect = notable, qualities, lifestyle, relationships that marked them as, Christ like.
Christian became the "Brand", the "Trademark" of people who strived to live like Christ and to follow His teachings.
Imitating Jesus is the definition of discipleship.
2 Timothy 2:19 ESV, "But God's firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: 'The Lord knows those who are his,' and, 'Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.'”
2 Timothy 2:18 NET, "God’s solid foundation remains standing, bearing this seal: 'The Lord knows those who are his,' and 'Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from evil.'”
He is saying: You are HIS!
1 Corinthians 6:20 ESV, “For you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”
Ephesians 4:22-24 ESV, "Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness". (QUALITY of HIS BRAND)
1 Thessalonians 4:3-4 ESV, "For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor."
Why does God deal with this so much in Bible? Because we live in a fallen world that is filled with immorality. It destroys homes, families, cultures and society. the Bible is filled with examples ie: David, Solomon, Abraham, do we need anymore?
Hebrews 12:14, "Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord."
CHRISTIANS should be observable as the, Brand, Trademark for the IMAGE of CHRIST.
1 Peter 1:15-16 ESV, "He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, 'Be holy, for I am holy.'”
I not talking about being weird. I'm talking about living out common sense holiness in this generation.
3. The Impact of "Knockoffs" in the Realm of Christianity
Exodus 20:7 NKJV, “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.”
Don’t go out and live as though you don’t belong to me. Don’t “misuse”; NRSV “make wrongful use of.”
Counterfeit or "knockoff" products are a significant concern for commercial brands, but what happens when we apply this notion to Christianity? Just as imitations can tarnish the reputation of a commercial brand, so-called "knockoff Christians" can damage the perception and credibility of the Christian faith.
Knockoff Christians are individuals who may identify with Christian values in name but do not reflect those values in their actions. The result is not just a personal failure to live a Christ-like life but a broader damaging impact on the perception of what it means to be a Christian.
4. Being a True "Brand Ambassador" for Christian Values
Brands often employ ambassadors—celebrities or influencers—to endorse their products and enhance their image. Similarly, each Christian is an ambassador for the Christian brand, entrusted with the responsibility of upholding and promoting its values.
Being a true brand ambassador for Christianity means living a life consistent with the teachings of Jesus Christ, even when it's inconvenient or challenges societal norms. While the ultimate reward for living such a life may be spiritual and heavenly, the immediate implications can be deeply impactful, both personally and for the Christian community at large.
5. There is always a Cost.
Luke 9:23 ESV, "And he said to all, 'If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.'"
1 Peter 4:15 NLT, "But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name."
The First Church was changing the world through evangelism and church planting. The Apostle Paul wrote that, "We’re treated like garbage, the leftovers that nobody wants. And it’s not getting any better" (1 Corinthians 4:13, MSG).
Pauls is saying, if you want to be popular with the world, don't be a Christian.
There is even more to why we want to be faithful Trademark of Christianity. Why? There is an accounting coming.
1 Corinthians 3:13 -15 NLT, "On the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. 14 If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. 15 But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames."
2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 MSG, "Because we know that this extraordinary day is just ahead, we pray for you all the time—pray that our God will make you fit for what he’s called you to be, pray that he’ll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy so that it all amounts to something. If your life honors the name of Jesus, he will honor you. Grace is behind and through all of this, our God giving himself freely, the Master, Jesus Christ, giving himself freely."
Branding is a complex and multifaceted phenomenon that extends far beyond the world of commerce. It touches on the essence of human interaction, identity, and even spirituality. Whether it's a global corporation or an individual, a sneaker or a belief system, the foundational principles of branding remain the same—consistency, authenticity, and a commitment to delivering on promises made.