October 2016

Ambassadors for Christ is our theme for 2016. See 2 Corinthians 5:20 (ESV) “20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”

A dictionary defines an ambassador as: “an accredited diplomat sent by a country as its official representative to a foreign country:” Let us work backwards through the definition.

Here has been our journey, January introduction to theme, February “a foreign country” March “its official representative.” April “sent by a country” May “an accredited diplomat” and June “the possibility that God has sent you on an errand?” July led us into a further exploration of the meaning of an “official representative” culminating in the assertion that love is the official mark of God’s Kingdom. In August we explored how it is possible to love in a fallen, faithless, and futile existence. We followed in September with a return to the “accredited diplomat” discussion begun in May.

This month I want to think about why God might choose to use us as ambassadors to make His appeal for reconciliation to fallen humanity. I cannot point to a specific text that answers this question exactly. We must therefore search for an analogy to see if there is any help. My analogy is one of the most amazing actions of all time. John 1:14 (ESV) “14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” The theological term for this is incarnation, “became flesh.” God’s ultimate demonstration of love, to accomplish reconciliation of a rebellious and disobedient humanity was to become human. The Apostle Paul puts it this way in Philippians 2:5–8 (ESV) Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Jesus, the Son, the second person of the Godhead became like us (human) that he might fulfill the Father’s purpose of redemption.

I believe He did this to take away all our excuses. Listen t the author of Hebrews, Hebrews 4:14–15 (ESV) 14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. We have an advocate, or high priest who in every respect is like us except sin. He knows our life. He experienced our struggles, failures and victories. He was tempted as we are yet overcame. In short He is someone we can truly identify with. Jesus is not simply a lofty idea or a set of principles. He is our savior, our friend our elder brother. He is like us in every way save disobedience. Therefore we can’t truly have an objection to His accomplishment.

God entrusts ambassadorship to us for the same reason. We are just like them, the unsaved. We know their struggles, fears, trials, accomplishments, victories, hopes and  desires. We can speak to them with authority and accuracy because we have been there ourselves. In us they ought to see the potential for their victory. Someone just like them, who has by grace become a new creation in Christ. “If you can make it, so can I” they should say.

God’s desire is that fallen, rebellious, disobedient humanity be restored to loving intimacy with Him. That is why He appeals for reconciliation through His ambassadors. We are the best example of misery transformed by grace into glory.

He chose us to be ambassadors because we can be the finest examples of His love and redeeming grace. The only weak spot in this plan is me and you. Will I, and will you become the fullness of Christ for a lost, dying world? Expressed another way, will I and will you accept the privilege and responsibility of being Ambassadors for Christ?