We Are Ambassadors For Christ – Part III
Greetings, fellow Ambassadors for Christ Jesus! Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ!
In Part II of this blog topic we learned about what it takes to become an ambassador in the United States, and what the job is like. The reason that I gave all that detail is to show the similarities and the differences between a U.S. ambassador and an ambassador for Christ.
The first difference that comes to mind is that the U.S. ambassador represents the United States of America, while Christ’s ambassador represents the Kingdom of God.
The Greek translation for ambassador means an elder or a teacher. The Hebrew word from which ambassador is translated is tsiyr (tseer). Tsiyr also means a messenger or an angel. The primary root of the word tsiyr means a hinge.
The hinge represents the turning point or apparatus that allows a door to properly fit as a gate or doorway permitting entry or accessibility toward a fixed or established direction.
One of Webster’s definitions for hinge is “to be dependent or contingent on, or as if on, a hinge: i.e., everything hinges on her decision.” An effective ambassador for Christ serves as the hinge that allows and encourages others to pass through and enter into the Kingdom of God through knowledge.
An U.S. ambassador must know and be able to articulate the position of the government on a particular subject, while maintaining the honor and respect due the country he represents. Christ’s ambassador must know His word, the scriptures, and be committed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Romans 1:16 says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” We have God's message, are his authorized messengers, and speak for God. We have God’s full powers – the Spirit of God, the word, the faith.
Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible says: “Ambassador is a person sent from one sovereign power to another; and is supposed to represent the person of the sovereign by whom he is deputed. Christ while on earth represented the person of the Sovereign of the world; his apostles and their successors represent the person of Christ. Christ declared the will of the Father to mankind; apostles, etc., declare the will of Christ to the world. We are ambassadors for Christ.”
Barnes’ Notes on the Bible says about the ambassador for Christ: “He is sent to do what the sovereign would himself do were he present. They are sent to make known the will of the sovereign, and to negotiate matters of commerce, of war, or of peace, and in general everything affecting the interests of the sovereign among the people to whom they are sent.”
Barnes continues: “At all times, and in all countries, an ambassador is a sacred character, and his person is regarded as inviolable. He is bound implicitly to obey the instructions of his sovereign, and as far as possible to do only what the sovereign would do were he himself present. Ministers are ambassadors for Christ, as they are sent to do what he would do were he personally present. They are to make known, and to explain, and enforce the terms on which God is willing to be reconciled to people. They are not to negotiate on any new terms, nor to change those which God has proposed, nor to follow their own plans or devices, but they are simply to urge, explain, state, and enforce the terms on which God is willing to be reconciled. Of course they are to seek the honor of the sovereign who has sent them forth, and to seek to do only his will. They go not to promote their own welfare; not to seek honor, dignity, or emolument; but they go to transact the business which the Son of God would engage in were he again personally on the earth. It follows that their office is one of great dignity, and great responsibility, and that respect should be showed them as the ambassadors of the King of kings.”
We live in a country on earth and are considered citizens of that country – I live in and am considered a citizen of the United States of America – but we are ambassadors, and citizens, of the Kingdom of God. We are here to represent HIS kingdom, not this one… This is not our home… It is easy to forget that, isn’t it? And hard to remember it when we are so immersed in this place. Philippians 3:20-21 (NIV) says, “But our citizenship is in heaven.” In 1 Peter 2:11, it says: “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims.” The NIV translates it as “aliens and strangers.” The point is that this land is not our own.
Remember the words of the apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:19-20 (NIV): “Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.” Paul recognized that he was to speak forth and make known the gospel -- the good news that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. At the time Paul was acknowledging his position as an ambassador of Christ, he was chained to a Roman soldier night and day, and this had been done to him because he refused to back down in his proclamation of who Jesus was and what He did.
There is much more to be said about our being an ambassador for Christ. It is so important for us to remember whose we are – God’s own – and who we are – Christians, ambassadors for Christ. Grace be with you all.
2 Corinthians 5:20 Commentaries on Ambassadors for Christ