Summary: So far in this series we’ve learned that we are a child of God, we are a temple of the Holy Spirit, we are a slave of God, we are a part of the body of Christ, and we are God’s workmanship. Today we will see that we are ambassadors of Christ.
WHAT AM I? (part five)
INTRODUCTION: So far in this series we’ve learned that we are a child of God, we are a temple of the Holy Spirit, we are a slave of God, we are a part of the body of Christ, and we are God’s workmanship. Today we will see that we are ambassadors of Christ.
1) It’s about reconciliation. 2nd Cor. 5:17-19. Those of us who are in Christ are new creations. We who were once separated from God because of our sin have now been reconciled, brought back together with God, through Christ. Now we have an obligation-to pay it forward. Since we have benefited from someone sharing the message of reconciliation with us now it’s our turn to do it for someone else.
We should want others to experience the same love, mercy and grace we have received. We should want others to experience the same joy and peace we have found. It’s selfish to want to keep it to ourselves. It’s wrong to think, “I’m saved and that’s all that matters”. It’s wrong when my attitude is, “let someone else do it”.
I have to remember that someone cared enough about me to share the gospel with me so that my soul wouldn’t end up in hell. They cared enough about me that they wanted me to experience the freedom from sin and bondage that they had. Now I need to get outside of myself and care about someone else.
Interesting-in vs. 18-the ministry of reconciliation and then in vs. 19-the message of reconciliation. The message of reconciliation is the gospel. But the ministry of reconciliation has to do with serving as a whole. So, we are given the responsibility of spreading the gospel as well as serving others and being an example of Christ. It’s not just the gospel message that will win people over it’s also the conduct of the messenger. Showing people the character of Christ will help to win them over to accept the gospel of Christ.
2) We are Christ’s ambassadors. 2nd Cor. 5:20. Therefore: since we are new creations, since we have this ministry, since we have this message of how people can be reconciled to God (like we were) that makes us Christ’s ambassadors. What’s an ambassador? Webster’s defines it as “an authorized representative or messenger”.
If I am an ambassador of the United States that means when I go to another country I am there to represent the USA. When they see me and hear me they are getting a picture of what an American citizen is. They might not get the chance to meet another American; I might be it. Therefore, their impression of Americans is going to be built on my behavior. If I go over there an act a fool, being rude or obnoxious then Americans as a whole will gain the reputation of being rude and obnoxious.
Being an ambassador is an important position. “President William McKinley had to decide who to appoint as an ambassador to a foreign country. Two candidates were equally qualified, so McKinley searched his mind for some "yardstick" by which he might measure the true character of the men. Later he revealed that the unkindness of one of them was the determining factor in his decision. Many years earlier, when McKinley was still a Congressman, he had observed an inconsiderate action by one of the men. He recalled boarding a streetcar at the rush hour and getting the last vacant seat. Soon an elderly woman got on, carrying a heavy clothesbasket. No one got up to offer her a seat, so she walked the length of the car and stood in the aisle, hardly able to keep her balance as the vehicle swayed from side to side. One of the men McKinley was later to consider for ambassador was sitting next to where the woman was standing. Instead of getting up and helping her, he deliberately shifted his newspaper so it would look like he hadn't seen her. When McKinley noticed this, he walked down the aisle, graciously took her basket, and offered her his seat. The man was unaware that anyone was watching, but that one little act of selfishness would later deprive him of perhaps the crowning honor of his lifetime.”
Being an ambassador is no small thing. It’s a great honor and privilege. Jesus isn’t here anymore. He’s gone back to heaven until he returns to claim his own. In his absence, we who are his followers are called on to be his representatives. We need to show Christ to the world. We need to share his message; we are his voice.
It’s like the prophets of the OT. They were God’s representatives to the people. They spoke as God led them. They did as God commanded them. Now it’s our turn. We are the ones who are called upon to be God’s voice to the people. We are like John the Baptist-the voice of one calling out into the desert-we are the ones telling thirsty people where they can find water.