Summary: The Apostle Paul lived in the body as an ambassador. Every Christian should feel that way. We anxiously await the coming of the Lord but, in the meantime, we have a message, "be reconciled to God," a mission to the entire world, and the motivating love of
Ambassadors For Christ
Text: II Corinthians 5:18-21
Bible scholar and author William Barclay wrote of an ambassador in Roman times and noted two things about the office. 1. He was an administrator sent by the Emperor to a conquered land. His commission was from the Emperor and he reported directly to him, and 2. He was the one responsible for establishing rules and boundaries, etc. when it was decided a conquered people should become part of the empire. Essentially, for bringing people into the family of the empire what a beautiful picture of the Christian’s role and the church’s role in God’s scheme of things.
Consider the Christian as an ambassador:
I. The ambassador of Christ has a mandate:
A. Given by the King
1. The great commission
a. Matthew 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit
b. Mark 16:16 And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.
c. Acts 8:4 “Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word.”
2. We are also in this world to fulfill God’s purpose.
A. Our task is to persuade others. 20
1. Our goal is to please God. 9
2. We are "in the body" with a task to perform. To share God’s urgent message.
3. Our mission is to all people. The mission of the apostles is now the church’s mission. Acts 1:8 (witnesses to all the world.)
II. The ambassador of Christ has a message:
A. "Be reconciled to God."
1. As the Roman ambassador brought people into the empire.
2. Includes pardon for sin.
3. Jesus bore our sins so we could share His righteousness. 21
B. A powerful message: Romans 1:16 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.
1. Only message with power to destroy sin, give life.
2. It turned the world of its day upside down and penetrated the Roman empire.
3. A compelling message. The Christian ambassador must share it. (a lamp is not lit and placed under a basket, Matthew 5:15)
III. He has a special motive: the love of Christ.
A. Jesus expressed love in many ways:
1. He loved the lost. Mark 10:21
2. He wept over the lost: Matthew 23:37
3. He loved the outcast
4. Lack of love angered Him. Mark 3:5
5. Proved His love for all on Calvary.
B. He died for us, so we live for Him. (read vs14-15)
1. Because He loved us, we must love Him and others.
2. Love is a compelling motive. We will do almost anything for love.
IV. The Christian ambassador has a Kingdom:
A. Paul, an example. Lived in the Jewish nation.
1. He viewed Jesus as a man and enemy.
2. Like most Jews, he was seeking a worldly Messiah.
3. When he met Jesus on the Damascus Road, his entire outlook changed. Philippians 3:8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ,