[This sermon is adapted from sermon by Craig Groeschel, LifeChurch.TV in the series Who Do You Think You Are?]
Who do you think you are? I am an ambassador for Christ.
• If you are taking notes, you need to write this down: When you know WHO you are, you’ll know WHAT to do.
• You can say I'm a student, I'm a Christian, or I'm a Pastor. When you know you are a student, it affects the way you behave.
• I am a pastor; I know what I had to do. Not always, not everything, but at least the most fundamental or important responsibilities of a pastor.
• When you know WHO you are, you’ll know WHAT to do. But that is not always true for many of us.
Who Do You Think You Are is the name of this message series.
• The problem for many Christians is this - they don't know who they really are in Christ.
• They are not sure, or they are not convinced of it, and hence, because they don’t know who they are, they are unable to act like one.
• Because if you do not know who you are, you’ll not know how to behave or what to do.
This comes out in the little actions we have – like getting someone to lead in prayer.
• For example, at Christmas dinner or some big events, almost every time when someone says, “Let’s say grace for the food”, everyone eyes will to the pastor.
• And if I turn around and say, “I’ll be happy to, but why don’t you do it?”
• You’d probably be shocked. “I’m just an ordinary member, or ‘normal’ Christian, you’re the pastor!”
• What goes on in the mind usually is: “You’re the pastor, I am just a worker, or a housewife, or just a student. You are the pastor; I am just a _________.”
“I am just a _______”. Reckon that there is a difference in roles and responsibilities, yet this train of thought does reveal something that is not true.
• I’ve heard people say, “I’m just an ordinary member, or normal Christian.”
• This phrase is an oxymoron, because the fact that you are a Christian, there is nothing ordinary about you.
• We are all equally precious and special in the eyes of God. We are saved by Christ, and filled with the same Holy Spirit that raised Christ from the grave. Every one of us has the same power when we pray in the Name of Jesus.
If you have access to the very throne of God, anytime, then you are not ordinary.
• If you have the authority to use the Name of Jesus, and move mountains, then you are not ordinary.
• If you are a Christian, there is nothing ordinary about you actually, according to the Scriptures.
When you know who you are, you'll know what to do.
• So in this series, we want to know who we are in Christ, so we will know what to do.
• Today, we are going to remind ourselves – we are ambassadors for Christ!
• 2 weeks later (next Sun: DVD session on WHEN GOD’S PEOPLE PRAY), we are going to see ourselves as the Masterpiece of God, created in Christ Jesus to do good works.
• In June, you are going to talk about being an OVERCOMER in Christ
• In July, you are the SALT of the earth and the LIGHT of the world.
• And finally we are going to end with being a DISCIPLE of Christ.
2 Cor 5:16-21 16So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 18All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Paul says if anyone is IN CHRIST, then what is he? He is a NEW CREATION.
• The old - what happened to it? It has GONE, the NEW has come!
• Therefore Paul says we regard no one from a worldly point of view.
• Don’t bring anything old with you, because in Christ, we are all new creation.
Therefore HOW you see yourself must change, because of Christ.
• You have been a sinner, weak and poor, but now you are righteous, strong and rich.
• The old has gone; your sins are forgiven. The butterfly that you have become can never return back to being a caterpillar.
• You got to believe this, and understand WHO you have become in Christ.
• Right believing leads to right living. Right believing will bring about the right actions.
And Paul tells us in verse 19 – God has done what? God has committed to us the message of reconciliation.
• If you are a Christian, you are in the ‘US’ in this statement.
• It is your calling; it is your ministry. You did not choose to take it up; it was given to you. You are on a special assignment, every one of us!
• Your life will take on a new level of happiness and fulfilment, when you are engaged in doing what you are called to do.
What does RECONCILIATION mean? It means helping people get right with God.
• It is to take that which is broken (separated from God by sin) and helps people mend it by bringing them to Christ.
• Verse 20: We are therefore Christ's ambassadors. As though God were (doing what?) … making His appeal through us.
• This is both a privilege and an honour that we all share, all of us.
God is going to make His appeal to your classmates, colleagues, and friends, through you.
• God is going to make His appeal to the Thai friends in June, through the 9 of us (in the mission team).
• We have heard this many time – we are Christ’s ambassadors, but let us INTERNALISE this today.
You ARE an AMBASSADOR for Christ, every one of us. You are an ambassador SENT by God!
• As ambassador of a country, you are the highest-ranking diplomat sent by a country, to represent them in a foreign land.
• So you are the highest-ranking believer, sent by God to represent Him, in the place where God has placed you. See yourself in that light.
• When you know who you are, you'll know what to do.
Jesus said in John 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit - fruit that will last.” 15:19 “As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world.”
• Regarding Paul, “The Lord said to Ananias, "Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel.” (Acts 9:15)
• As Christ's ambassador, you were not elected by people, but you are chosen and appointed by God.
• It doesn't matter what people thinks. We are called by God, given this mandate by Him.
When you know who you are, you'll know what to do.
• When you internalize it and let it runs through your mind again and again, everything changes.
• The way you speak, the way you act, the way you behave, changes if you KNOW who you are. Let’s say this together: “I am an ambassador for Christ!”
See yourself as an ambassador, and everything changes.
• If you got a job as an executive, you would likely go to work in a long-sleeved shirt.
• If you are prefect at school, you dress differently. Some things will change.
• I have to think about my attire all the time. If I am going to a funeral service, I may not want to wear T-shirt and a Bermuda. You can, because you are going there as a friend, or as his or her neighbour.
When you know who you are, you will know what to do.
• When you believe that, it will change the way you do life.
• You were not elected by people, but chosen and appointed by God.
• As Christ's ambassador you never represent yourself, you always represent CHRIST.
Very often we struggle in a lot of things we do because we think too much about ourselves.
• We think our performance, our ability to speak well, to present ourselves well; we are concern about how we look; how people see us, our reputation, our image…
• But as an ambassador, you are representing SOMEONE else. We are going under someone’s Name. We go under His mandate and with His authority.
• It’s never about you. It’s about Christ and the great work that He has already done!
It is like the policeman who can stop all traffic simply by his raised hand, because he carries with him (in that uniform and with that badge), the authority of the government.
• He is not standing alone in the middle of the road. He has the backing of the whole government behind him.
It’s like this special pass you are given, to go into restricted areas.
• Others do not have this access. You are privileged to be given this pass. You are chosen and appointed for this. You have God’s mandate.
• So you walk into the restricted area feeling very honoured and privileged.
So as a Christian, chosen and appointed by God, we have this authority from Christ to be His ambassador. What we have is a glamorous job!
I may not be the best, I may not be a Bible scholar, I may be a new Christian, but I am CHOSEN and APPOINTED, and so I speak on Christ’s behalf.
• My confidence is not in myself, but in the One who has called me.
• I always have to remind myself that. I do not like to speak in public. I prefer to serve behind the scene, all my life if that is possible. Speaking in public takes a lot out of me. I have to tell myself often, it’s not about you. You are just a mouthpiece. He is speaking through you.
• A pastor has this similar struggle and he said one day God spoke this to him: "Now remember, it's what I do with the Word between your lips and their hearts that matters."
• This was what the Lord said to Moses in Exo 4:12 “Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.” Of course, it’s easy to say. Moses needs faith.
We just need to trust God. We do our part, and God will do the rest.
• You are God's chosen instrument. Whether in big or small ways, you are going to speak as God’s ambassadors.
• You may feel that you do not have the courage (like Gideon, hiding), or cannot speak properly (like Moses), or even not having the heart to do it (like Jonah), the fact remains – you are God’s chosen instrument for this generation!
• You might as well take it at face value and just trust God. Since He has chosen you and appointed you, He will fulfil His part and do the rest.
• We don’t need to question His wisdom.
When you internalize that, it goes from a head knowledge to a heart truth, you will soon see yourself as a representative of God and you’ll act like one! Let us drop from the head to the heart (12 inches). [1 Cor 8:1 Knowledge puffs up… useless]
• You speak some simple words and you’ll realize that God uses them to encourage someone in ways you did not expect.
• You can be at a particular place, at a particular time, and your presence becomes an inspiration to someone who is sad, and it makes the difference in his life.
• That's what an ambassador does, that's what Christ’s ambassador does.
God leads us - to places where He can - through us - deposit His message of salvation, of love and of comfort.
• And when you believe that's who you are, you'll know what to do.
• And I promise you, you'll see opportunities like that again and again, and again.
• When you know who you are, you will know what to do.
• There is nothing ordinary about you; you are a new creation in Christ.
• You are an ambassador sent by God. Not elected by the people, but chosen and appointed by God.
• You never represent yourself; you always represent Him. You are Christ’s ambassadors!
This is not your home, you belong to another world.
• You represent the King from the Kingdom that sent you, and that makes your role on earth very important.
• You have a message the world needs. So let’s do that. Be ambassadors for Christ!
LET US PRAY. (1) Believe that God can use you today. (2) Think about people you can connect with, people you work with, study with, or your friends on Facebook. (3) And tell God this, you are going to drop them a message from God. God will lead, He will do the rest. Ask God to make you a better ambassador!
Lord, empower us to reach out to these people. Give us the words to say, the message to type. Use us, so that the world can see Christ through us. Use us to glorify Your Name. AMEN.