Ambassadors for Christ!
These chapters have much to say about Paul’s ministry and our ministry or service. I will describe those various elements in a moment but let me set the stage and tell you why I chose the picture above. As followers of Christ, our citizenship is in heaven and we await our Savior and King, the Lord Jesus! Yet, “while in the body” we are ambassadors for the Kingdom of God wherever we live on this planet. In other words, our ultimate allegiance is to Jesus and he has done some amazing things for the nations that they need to hear about!
I chose that photo of a meeting of the United Nations because you get to see a room full of ambassadors making various appeals on behalf of their nation. As you can see, it demands communicating with others. The Kingdom of Jesus doesn’t have a seat at this table mainly because his Kingdom is not of this world nor would it be united with any nation. It’s message demands a renouncement of ALL other allegiances with King Jesus as Lord. The church is like an embassy and all of us are ambassadors for Christ. We represent the Kingdom of God and promote the worship of our King by way of the proclaiming the gospel! Take note of the basic definition of ambassador below.
Definition of ambassador
1: an official envoy especially: a diplomatic agent of the highest rank accredited to a foreign government or sovereign as the resident representative of his or her own government or sovereign or appointed for a special and often temporary diplomatic assignment.
Can you believe that we get to participate in such an endeavor? God has reconciled us to Himself in the gospel. We are then given the ministry of reconciliation: “that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:19). Now what does that mean for us who have been reconciled? “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God” (2 Cor. 5:20).
How on earth can man be reconciled to the Holy God of the universe? Justice demands perfection and justice demands satisfactory payment. Verse 21 tells us: “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21). Paul moves directly from this amazing truth to active participants as ambassadors! “Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain” (2 Cor. 6:1). Because of the grace of God, we can move from enemy combatant to active participant!
From chapters 4-7, I’m going to try and list some of what is now true of those who have repented and believe in King Jesus.
*God turned the light on by His grace so that we could see Jesus our hope!
* We are still clay pots but now we have this amazing treasure within!
*The One who raised Jesus from the dead will also raise us from the dead!
*Our temporary tent (our body) is wasting away so that we long for our permanent house (a resurrected body)!
*The love of Christ now controls us not the love of ourselves because Jesus saved us so that we who live might no longer live for ourselves but for Christ who died and rose again on our behalf!
*We not only have a new start but rather our old self is dead and we are a new creation!
*God has reconciled Himself to us. He is the primary initiator in salvation! He is the One who pursues us and saves us!
*Therefore, we are now servants of God! We were His enemy but now we are His ambassadors!
*We are the temple (or dwelling place) of God! The Holy Spirit is in us! It’s as though we are walking with God in the Garden again! He is our God and we are His people! We are adopted children with the most amazing Father!
*And if I may, I will summarize ch. 7 like this: we no longer have to hide our mistakes nor lie about who we REALLY are. We are repentant people! We walk in the light! Nothing is hidden anyway!
This is really good news for us! Let us live for Christ in the small amount of time we have here. For eternity awaits us! We are ambassadors controlled by the love of Christ. Let us represent our King well and attempt to persuade others to join his Kingdom by faith in Jesus!