Now then we are ambassadors for Christ.
What is an ambassador?
An ambassador is an official representative of his own king or country - often sent with a message. As a Christian, I am a representative of the King of Kings, the Lord Jesus Christ, who has saved me by His grace. Not only do I represent my King, He has also given me a message to declare to others.
Five Reasons Why I Am An Ambassador:
1) Because of my home in Heaven.
I am assured of and know of this country and how to get there (ie. how to have peaceful relations with it, and one day dwell permanently there).
2 Corinthians 5:1-4, 6-9 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
My current body is a tabernacle (tent), a temporary dwelling. It is getting old and decaying - but my permanent home is in Heaven. I know the way there and can show others how to get there. How? Because I walk by faith - I trust the Word of Another, who has given assurance that those who believe in Him will have this eternal home. The moment they place their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, they are made citizens of that same Heavenly country. Though our temporary bodies (tabernacles) are decaying, all true believers have an eternal home in Heaven - that is the first reason I am an ambassador for Christ, sharing the hope that is laid up for me.
1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
2) Because of future judgment.
2 Corinthians 5:10-11 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.
One day I will have to give account for my service to my King. Have I represented Him faithfully? Have I told others how they can have peace with my Lord? Have I carried this message of salvation to those around me, or have I neglected this area of service? One day all my work will be judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ (where only believers will be judged) - not my salvation, that has already been determined the moment I received the Lord Jesus Christ, trusting in His finished work upon the cross of Calvary. Will I receive rewards or lose them based upon my faithfulness of lack thereof? Out of fear and reverence toward my Heavenly Father, I am an ambassador for Him, representing Him to others. Because I love Him, I don't want to sin against Him - and when I do, it grieves me afterwards. That is one type of the fear of the Lord, having utmost respect for my Lord and wanting to serve Him faithfully. This fear will keep me from sin and clinging close to Him, will keep me in His Word and in His will. This is the fear that our Heavenly Father desires that all His children have.
There is another type of fear. That is the fear or terror the lost person has of one day being judged by God for their sins, being judged by the Saviour they rejected. In Revelation 20, the Bible talks about the Great White Throne Judgment (where only unbelievers will appear and be judged) - where all the lost will be judged for their evil deeds and rejection of the Saviour and His gift of salvation. That is the terror of the Lord. The only way to avoid this terror and learn the proper fear of the Lord, is to repent of your sins and to trust the Saviour to save you from them. He already bore your penalty and died in your place - now it is up to you to turn to Jesus and receive Him as your Saviour.
That is the second reason I am an ambassador for Christ - I do not want to have to give account for neglecting my service to my Lord; nor do I want other believers to have to give account for their lack of faithfulness to Him, or if they are unsaved, for rejection of the Saviour.
3) Because love compels me to.
2 Corinthians 5:14-15 For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
Because of the love of Christ, I am an ambassador. God's love constrains me, compels me, convicts me to go out and speak to others about Him. Because of the fact that my Saviour died and rose for me, I should die to myself and live for Him. Because of all that Jesus has done for me in saving me and providing for all my needs, I should present my body as a living sacrifice, and in love serve Him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. When my love for others wanes, I need to be quickened and revived at the thought of my Saviour's love for me, and then I am constrained once again to be an ambassador to others.
4) Because I am a new creature.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
I am an ambassador for Christ because when I placed my faith in Him, He saved me forever, gave me eternal life, and made me a new creature in His sight. I no longer have the same desires, I have new ones - everything has been changed, my sin has been forgiven and cleansed, washed away in Christ's blood. Now I have the Holy Spirit indwelling me, teaching me from His Word, giving me grace and power to live acceptable to Him, filling me with His love to reach out to others.
I know the difference salvation makes in my own life, and I am an ambassador because I know the Lord desires to save others and make them new creatures in His sight. If you have never turned to the Lord Jesus Christ, you can turn from your sins and receive Him today - then He will cleanse you, make you new, give you a new beginning and a new purpose in Him.
5) Because God gave me this ministry of reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 5:18-21 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
I am an ambassador because the Lord gave me His message of salvation to carry to others. I don't carry my own message, but one which He has given me in His Word - the ministry of reconciliation, telling others how to be reconciled to God.
Reconciliation carries this idea: through sin man has turned his back upon God, and out of holiness and righteousness, God had to turn His back upon man. But out of love for fallen man, the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. When Jesus died upon the cross, the Father was in the Son reconciling the world unto Himself - because of Jesus' sacrifice for our sins, because of His shed blood, the Lord turned back to man and compels man to turn back to Him. My ministry as an ambassador is to tell you how to be reconciled to the Saviour, how to turn to Him - so that you and God may be face to face, reconciled and at peace with one another. (By the way, it is only through Jesus that you can have this peace with God - that is the only way the Lord has provided and will accept.)
When God looks at fallen man, He sees our unrighteousness - apart from Him, all our righteousness are as filthy rags in His sight (see Isaiah 64:6), compared to His perfect righteousness and holiness, any "good" that we do is corrupt and unworthy. That is why we could never earn salvation - we could never be good enough. We have already failed and broken God's laws, we have already missed the mark. The wages of our sin is death and eternity in Hell, separated from God forever. But the Lord Jesus Christ paid that penalty for our sins, He took our judgment when He died in our place. If we are willing to receive Him as our own personal Saviour, we will be clothed in His righteousness, and be reconciled to God. Jesus Christ bore our sin, and we can have His righteousness through faith - we can be clothed in God's sight, we don't need to be found naked when judgment day comes.
This is my message, my ministry of reconciliation, the authority I have been given by God to be His ambassador and represent Him to others. I am to tell others of my home country (Heaven) and how to get there; warn them of the dangers of Hell and its reality, as well as warn that we must all give account to the Lord someday; His love constrains me, and as a new creature I have the desire to win others to Him; and lastly, I have been given this wonderful ministry and message of reconciliation.
Are you reconciled to God? You can come to Him today.
2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
Written March 5th/06
(Preached March 4th/06)
This study was partly based on several points my pastor brought forth in a sermon on Sunday, February 27th/06.