“We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.” -2 Corinthians 5:20 (1)
Paul used the idea of an ambassador, to remind the early church that God works through each of us as an extension of Himself to others. Therefore, it’s important that we recognize this vital role in our relationship with God and with those around us.
An ambassador in today’s world is a diplomat sent by a country as its official representative to another country. An ambassador will take up residence in a host country, and while there, they must be conscience of how they conduct themselves at all times. What they say, and how they respond to various situations are all reflections of their home country. In all they do, they seek to represent their country to the highest standards possible.
To follow Paul’s analogy, that we as believers are Christ’s ambassadors, simply means that we as believers, are in a way extensions of God’s ministry here on Earth. In simple terms, what we say and do in everyday life matters. Why? Because our actions might be the only positive testimony about how much God loves us, that other people see. Not everyone will step foot in a church to learn of God’s love and grace. In a way, you are the church to the world around us.
Being an ambassador is a tough job. As believers we are not called to take the easy path, but to take the sure path of Truth.(2) The gate that opens to the path of Truth is a narrow one, and it’s not always an easy one. Yet the Lord calls us to a life that reflects His character and nature.
All of this raises a question: As ambassadors, what type of traits should we be living out each day that best represents our Heavenly Father?
Fortunately, the Bible provides many examples. In one example; the Apostle Paul identified a number of these Godly character traits in a letter he penned to the early churches in the region of Galatia.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” (3)
Paul wanted the early church to be known for these qualities, to live them out in their everyday lives.
On a personal life application level, the implications for me is that when someone wrongs me, or slights me, or even puts my character in question, I no longer have the liberty to respond in like manner. Rather, I need to consider how Jesus would respond and take the higher road. In such cases, He would no doubt trust his Heavenly Father for the outcome; and He would extend love and grace towards the one who offended me.
In fact, more often than not, I should be praying for those that have offended me and at the same time praying for myself, allowing the Lord to humble me and bring compassion and forgiveness to my heart, instead of coldness and blame. I need to seek His ways to love the very person that’s wronged me.
In this way, we become “Christ’s ambassadors.”
Copyright FullLifeWord 2016
(1)The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), 2 Co 5:20.
(2)The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Ga 5:22–23.
(3)The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Mt 7:13–14.
Currently the U.S. has 180 Ambassadors in service, only the president with approval of the senate can nominate an ambassador, six have died due to acts of terror, most recently Chris Stevens Libya Benghazi, Libya September 12, 2012. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ambassador)
Defined: an accredited diplomat sent by a country as its official representative to a foreign country. (https://www.google.com/?gws_rd=ssl#q=ambassador)
For God has chosen to extend his work in Christ through “Christ’s ambassadors,” making his appeal through them to those who do not yet participate in the new creation to be reconciled to God (v. 20).
Walter A. Elwell, Evangelical Commentary on the Bible, vol. 3, Baker Reference Library (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1995), 2 Co 5:11.