The last few weeks I have been sharing some thoughts with you from the 5th chapter of Paul’s 2nd letter to the Corinthians. Two weeks ago we saw that if any person is in Christ, he is a new creation. Last week we looked at 2 important biblical concepts, the concept of reconciliation and the concept of imputation. All of this is leading us to the challenge that Paul lays out for us as he wraps up the 5th chapter with these words: “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating 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, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him”, (v.20-21 NASB). The word “therefore” in this verse connects us to what we were talking about last week, the fact that God has given us a ministry of reconciliation. As a result of the fact that we have been given a ministry of reconciliation (v.18) and the word of reconciliation has been committed to us (v.19), “therefore” we are ambassadors for Christ.
Think what an ambassador does. An ambassador goes to another country to represent his government or his king. As ambassadors we are representatives of a heavenly government. Our King, the Lord Jesus has sent all of us (not just pastors and leaders) with a message of peace. As I said last week, God has not declared war on the world but rather at the cross God declared peace. An ambassador doesn’t speak in his own name, or go forth with his own plan or his own authority. Ambassadors don’t communicate their own opinions or their own demands. They represent and speak for a higher authority.
An ambassador in the spiritual sense makes known the message of God’s glorious and saving grace. It is a high and noble privilege we have and it carries with it a very grave responsibility. On Sept. 11th, 2012 our country’s ambassador to Libya was murdered in a terrorist attack. It is becoming clear as the truth is revealed that our government failed to send Ambassador Stevens the protection he had requested before the tragedy and that when the terrorist attack was occurring, our government failed to send military aid to rescue him. But God has sent us as His ambassadors with His resources. We have the indwelling Holy Spirit who will guide us and direct us as we continue to pursue God’s leading. God wants us to know His will and His plan but we won’t find it on TV talk shows or surfing the web. It will only be found as we spend time with our King in prayer and spent time in His instruction manual (the Holy Bible) seeking His will.
The 21st verse in the passage again reinforces the imputation of our own sins on Christ’s account and Christ’s righteousness on our account as we saw last week. Jesus was qualified to be our sin offering because he had no personal sin of His own. Isn’t it amazing to consider that God sees us through the righteousness of His own Son, the Lord Jesus Christ?
Paul was overwhelmed with the sense of the greatness of the ambassadorship that had been entrusted to him. He ministered with a deep sense of urgency. Notice again these words in the second part of v. 20, “we beg you behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God”. Are we begging God today for the salvation of our loved ones and friends without Jesus? Are we begging our loved ones and friends to be reconciled to God through Christ? These are 2 serious searching questions, even in my own life! But that’s what it means to be ambassadors for Christ. All hands on deck!
All for Christ,
Pastor Rich Sivo