We are ambassadors for Christ
2 Corinthians 5:11-21 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest to God; and I hope that we are made manifest also in your consciences.12 We are not again commending ourselves to you but are giving you an occasion to be proud of us, so that you will have an answer for those who take pride in appearance and not in heart. 13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are of sound mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; 15 and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.
16 Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. 17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 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.
20 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. 21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
Paul closes today’s text saying: 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. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. To be an ambassador was and is a high honor; both a great privilege and a great responsibility. In the governmental sense an ambassador is one who lives in a foreign land, representing the nation and the king or leader who appointed them. An ambassador makes no effort to hide what country he is from. His home and his car display the flag of his home nation. An ambassador is exempt from many of the laws which regulate other citizens and non-citizens of the host country. As ambassadors for Christ, we should recognize the honor, the privilege and the great responsibility we have in being appointed by the King of Kings to represent the kingdom of heaven here on earth. We should not make any effort to hide the kingdom we represent. Even an ambassador from a nation that is not well liked proudly displays the flag of his nation. We too, even if the world may not like us, should never stop proudly representing the kingdom of God and heaven. Far too many Christians today act more like secret agents than ambassadors. Rather than proudly representing the kingdom of heaven, they instead blend in with the world. So as not to offend those who oppose God, they embrace the culture and the regulations of the world. Becoming aligned with the world, they are not only no longer ambassadors of Christ, they are not secret agents working under cover for Christ, but as it says in James 4:4: Do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. In Luke 9:26 Jesus says: Whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. In Matthew 12:30 He says: He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me scatters.
Paul says: We beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. He says: If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. In John 3:3-7 Jesus says: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God… Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’” We were born naturally as citizens of the world, but when we receive Christ, we are reborn. We become citizens of the kingdom of heaven. Being reconciled to God, our old nature and our old loyalties to the culture of the world should be gone. Rather than unrighteousness, we become the righteousness of God in Christ. Paul says: For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf. In 1 Corinthians 6:13-20 it says: The body is not for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power. Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For “the two,” He says, “shall become one flesh.” But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. Even more than being appointed by Christ as an ambassabor, we have been bought with a price. Jesus paid the price for our sin by sacrificing His life on the cross. We now who have received the grace of redemption, reconciliation and restoration can no longer live for ourselves; we are His. We cannot choose to continue in the very things He paid for with His life, otherwise we make void the price of the cross.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit; I am humbled at the honor and privilege of being Your ambassador in and to the world. I an thankful for the cross; for the price that You paid for my redemption. Even more than an ambassador, I am wholly Your. By the power of the Holy Spirit I live for You. May I live as one who answers the prayer You tought us to pray. In and through my life, may Your kingdom come, may Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.