Ambassadors for Christ
Written by: Mario Carranza
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. ”(2 Corinthians 5:17-20, emphasis added)
The scriptures have much to say about our identity in Christ and the various responsibilities associated with that identity. This is a very well-known passage of scripture in which God assigns to us an extremely high and holy position in His kingdom.
An ambassador is someone who has been appointed and authorized to act as a legal representative or stand-in for the one who is sending them. The one who is sending us is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ, to whom belongs all authority in heaven and on earth. This is why it is critical that, as we work through this passage, we see our ambassadorship less as something that we must do and more as something given to us because of what Christ has done.
The first thing we see in this passage is that we have been made new. Paul writes that “the old things passed away” meaning that we bring nothing of the old self into our new life in Christ. The “new things” which have been given to us come from God and are not the result of our strength and efforts. We have been reconciled to God through the finished work of Jesus Christ. This is not only the means of our salvation; it is the manner in which we walk in our salvation and serve the One who saved us. Our ambassadorship begins with understanding this principle. We are ambassadors of Christ not because we are qualified for the position, but because He has qualified us through the work of the cross. He has “crucified and buried our old self with Him so that we might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4,6, emphasis added). Who we are in Christ is not of this realm. We are not enhanced, upgraded, or deluxe versions of our old selves; we are something totally new! It is this new creature who Christ has appointed as His ambassador to all the nations.
The second thing we see in this passage is that God “gave us the ministry of reconciliation.” He describes this ministry saying, “that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them.” The Bible teaches that, through His blood on the cross, Jesus Christ has legally purchased the whole earth and, with it, people from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation.
And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.” (Revelation 5:9, emphasis added)
Jesus legally owns the whole earth and all the nations! The ministry of reconciliation is God’s mission to take possession of that which He already owns. God has equipped us with a complete and specific authority to join Him in His work of reconciling the world to Himself.
This means that when we step into an unreached community or village, we are stepping in with the highest authority in the universe and with the legal right to reclaim that place for the Kingdom of God. This is not an authority to do with our lives and ministries whatever we want; no matter how good it may be. If you wish to walk in the fullness of your authority as an ambassador of Christ you must fully embrace the mission of Christ.
The third thing we see is that God has “committed to us the word of reconciliation.” The manner in which we carry out our ambassadorship is by proclaiming the word of reconciliation. This, too, is not of ourselves. God has given us a complete and specific message to bring to the world. This message is the Gospel of the Kingdom!
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” (Romans 1:16, emphasis added)
The power of God for the salvation of all people from every nation is in the message of the Gospel of the Kingdom! This message is the good news of God’s mercy and forgiveness. Paul writes that God is “not counting their trespasses against them.” Christ has paid the full penalty for the sins of the whole world opening the doors of the Kingdom of God to all. The word of reconciliation is the good news that it is finished!
And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. (1 John 2:2)
Why, then, are they not saved? Because they do not know.
“How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard?” (Romans 10:14, emphasis added)
My dear Brothers and Sisters, it is getting late, and it is getting serious. The remaining unreached people groups of the world are plummeting into the darkness of the abyss. God has chosen you as His ambassador. You may not think much of your life. Perhaps you think you are too poor and uneducated, or you think your sins are too great. None of that changes the fact that you have been called and chosen by a God who makes no mistakes. He has chosen to make His appeal to the world through your life. He has made you to be a new creature. He has given you the authority. He has given you the message. What, then, will you do? May you run into the nations and beg them on behalf of Christ, “be reconciled to God.”
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
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