In 2 Corinthians chapter 5, the apostle Paul declares that “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (verse 17). In verse 18, he continues that Christ has committed to these new creatures the ministry of reconciliation. In verse 20, he affirms, “we are ambassadors for Christ.” Let us summarize:
1. Being born again, we become new creatures in Christ;
2. Being new creatures in Christ, we become ministers of reconciliation between humanity and God and between people and their neighbors;
3. As new creatures and therefore ministers, we are ambassadors for Christ.
Can we see high privilege of being ambassadors for Christ?
An ambassador is the highest government official representing his or her country to another nation. Therefore an ambassador must be one who is highly respected both by the home government and in the hosting nation. Whenever there is a serious crisis between the two nations, the ambassador is immediately consulted and in many cases actuates as a minister of reconciliation between the two countries.
The Bible refers to all true Christians as ambassadors for Christ, representing the heavenly government before the world. They recognize the language of heaven and translate it into the language of earth. They are ministers of reconciliation, representing Christ’s character before the world; calling attention to Christ and interceding with Christ in behalf of sinners. In brief, they are high officers before the world, in the name of Christ.
The Christian doesn’t need to proclaim himself/herself as an ambassador; but by their behavior: their words and actions, they reveal that such a one is representing the Lord’s character. Not all will serve in the same capacity or manner. But every child of God must be faithful to their responsibility.
When Peter and John were taken into the presence of the Sanhedrin, their boldness and fearless behavior before the highest authorities of the nation, caused that the listeners “took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus” ().
Being an ambassador involves great privilege and responsibility. Representing the heavenly kingdom is not a minor position. What about the behavior of an ambassador? All that is said or done must reflect the kingdom being represented.
“Since His ascension Christ has carried forward His work on the earth by chosen ambassadors, through whom He speaks to the children of men and ministers to their needs. The great Head of the church superintends His work through the instrumentality of men ordained by God to act as His representatives.
“The position of those who have been called of God to labor in word and doctrine for the upbuilding of His church, is one of grave responsibility. In Christ’s stead they are to beseech men and women to be reconciled to God, and they can fulfill their mission only as they receive wisdom and power from above.”1
Ambassadors must keep constant communication with the government they represent. They must work in perfect harmony with their superior in their country.
The same must happen with Christ’s ambassadors. They need to have permanent communication with their King, Jesus Christ.
“He who teaches the word must himself live in conscious, hourly communion with God through prayer and a study of His word, for here is the source of strength. . . . With an earnestness that cannot be denied, he must plead with God to strengthen and fortify him for duty and trial, and to touch his lips with living fire. All too slight is the hold that Christ’s ambassadors often have upon eternal realities. If men will walk with God, He will hide them in the cleft of the Rock. Thus hidden, they can see God, even as Moses saw Him. By the power and light that He imparts they can comprehend more and accomplish more than their finite judgment had deemed possible.”2
Are we conscious of our position in this world as ambassadors for Christ?