Note: Today’s post (“Ambassadors For Christ”) can be used as the basis of a teen Bible lesson.
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 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.
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. He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
– 2 Corinthians 5:17 – 21 (New American Standard Bible)
Did you notice how many times the word “reconciliation” (or its variation) was used in this passage? Our sin and infidelity with the world has caused separation between God and us. However, God offers to forgive our sins when they are atoned for by the death of Christ (verse 21).
But remember, God has done us no wrong. He has no faults that we need to overlook and forgive. This is why Scripture never speaks of God being reconciled to us. It only speaks of us being reconciled to God (Ephesians 2:12 – 16).
Here’s another key idea about “reconciliation”: the heart of the word in Greek is “change” or “exchange”. When we are reconciled to God, we are not just forgiven and accepted as is. There is a metamorphosis on our part. We begin growing from a stance of resisting God to honoring and obeying Him. The creation of a new heart is the result.
So when we “evangelize” or “share our faith”, we are to act as His representatives; helping others come to peace with their Creator. But the concept or activity of “evangelism” or “sharing our faith” are not the totality of our “ministry of reconciliation”. And the goals are not just getting people to clean up their lifestyle, adopt a certain set of doctrines (rules) or to attend worship services.
The solemn responsibility (and result) is encouraging a rebellious soul and heart to be re-united to God.
And if we take our commission to serve as God’s ambassadors seriously, it will lead us into contact with people who are still enemies of God. Many will not be sympathetic to our faith or our commitment to Jesus as Lord and Savior. With open hostility, callousness, indifference and antagonism, they will challenge our position and motivations.
It is with these thoughts I direct your attention to the following exercise.
Each Scripture text below tells us something important about being an ambassador for Christ.
- Study each reference.
- Identify a description of how an ambassador uses his life and God’s power to influence others
- Write (verbally explain, draw, etc.) a brief summary of each quality.
HINT: Some of the verses may refer to more than one quality. Focus on attitudes and actions.
Matthew 5:5, 6
Matthew 28:19, 20
Acts 8:35, 38
Acts 21:10 – 13
1 Thessalonians 2:8
1 Thessalonians 5:17
1 Peter 1:13
1 Peter 3:15, 16