As believers, we are ambassadors for Christ. Now that we have been reconciled to God, we invite others to do the same.
And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:18-21).
Those that choose to follow Jesus Christ are taking on a lifelong calling of surrendering to and walking in Christ daily. We spend time in the abiding disciplines to grow more connected to Him, for apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:5).
As Christ and as His followers disciple us in the faith, we will be strengthened to share the same gospel message to which we responded. Christ’s last command to us was to go into the world and make disciples through sharing the gospel.
This is an expectation of every believer, as we are ambassadors for Christ. We are His representatives in the world. Just as Jesus proclaimed that it is time to repent and turn to God (Matthew 4:17), so He expects us to repeat that message on His behalf.
Today’s passage provides an explanation of how we are ambassadors of Christ and our mission.
The Task of Christ’s Ambassadors
Since we are ambassadors for Christ, we have a specific assignment. We are to be about the work of “reconciling people to Him”. So what does that mean?
Reconciliation is the work of Christ alone. Only God has the power to forgive sins. Recall the story of the paralyzed man healed by Jesus. The religious leaders were shocked and offended when Jesus told the man his sins were forgiven (Matthew 9:1-8).
When Jesus Christ walked the earth, He could make a direct appeal to those He came in contact with. He could personally invite people to be reconciled to Him. But now, Christ is ascended to Heaven and is seated at God’s right hand (Luke 22:69).
Since we are ambassadors for Christ, we are now the ones that offer the invitation on Christ’s behalf. It is now God working through us by way of His indwelling Holy Spirit to inform others of the path to reconciliation with God through Christ. As Christ’s ambassadors, we are privileged to announce His reconciliation to the world.
The last command Christ gave before leaving this world was for His disciples to share this message of reconciliation with the world. His expectation is for His followers to go out into the world and spread this good news everywhere.
The Favor Towards Christ’s Ambassadors
The reason we can even say that we are ambassadors for Christ is that we have been reconciled to God ourselves.
Just as we invite others to be reconciled through Christ, God had to first call us back into reconciliation with Him through Christ’s sacrificial work on the cross. Wonderfully, God called us before we were even ready to be reconciled to Him. God loved us enough that made our path of salvation possible while we were still in our sinful state (Romans 5:8).
God reconciles us to Himself by “no longer counting people’s sins against them”. This is good – great – news! We are not capable of being reconciled to God through our own good works or merit. And neither is anyone else.
The Message of Christ’s Ambassadors
It is unfortunate that there are many who profess the name of Christ who are not sharing this message of reconciliation. We are ambassadors for Christ; therefore, we need to overcome the obstacles keeping us from sharing this reconciliation message with the world.
There are many “ways” to share the gospel, some better than others. But what if we simply take our message at face value, just as it is described in today’s passage? Our plea according to it is “come back to God”!
And then, the passage explains what’s behind that: “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.”
Since repentance is the linchpin of the gospel message, we don’t need to build anything around that. If God is wooing them, they will become convicted that they are sinful, adrift and hopeless. The message of reconciliation we represent is that Christ has paid the penalty for sin. And it is in that hope that we can come back to God.
The simple message of the gospel is just that: simple. But we are afraid to declare a salvation of repentance because it’s offensive to those who reject it. Yet, for those who accept it, it is the power of God (1 Corinthians 1:18).
We are ambassadors for Christ. And just as God instills His power in His call to reconciliation, we can trust He will also grant us power to share with others the message to come back to God.
More Bible verses about being ambassadors for Christ: