Monday, March 12, 2007

Ambassadors of Christ

Thursday a team of missionaries will leave from Mayfair Baptist Church for Colon Panama to work a week of ministry in a local church there and in the community around that particular church. I’m excited about the way God has provided for this trip and the way our church has supported this mission effort. I’ve often said that I wanted this trip to not just be a group of people from Mayfair going to Panama but rather Mayfair sending out a group of missionaries. However, with that said we have to understand that even though we are coming from Mayfair Baptist Church we are Ambassadors of Jesus Christ.

Webster defines an ambassador as an authorized representative or messenger.

We talked last week about the Great Commission. In that study we were sure to emphasize the authority of Christ. It’s His command that gives us the initiative to go but it is His authority that empowers, or authorizes us, to go. But here’s what we have to understand. We aren’t Ambassadors of Christ because we are going to Panama. We are going to Panama because we are Ambassadors of Christ. Paul reinforces this fact in 2 Corinthians 5:20.

20We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.

Everyone who has entered into a relationship with Jesus is an ambassador for Him. You represent Christ in every aspect of your life. You attitude towards worship reflects Jesus Christ. You faithfulness in your tithe represents Jesus Christ. The way you treat your family literally everything you do in every aspect of your life represents your relationship with Jesus Christ, but as it is with any type of ambassador when it comes to representing Christ there are good ones and bad ones. Some of us are guilty of grossly misrepresenting what it means to have the attitude and heart of Jesus Christ and the tragic part is that some of you know you are guilty and yet you don’t care because it’s easier for you to stay the way you are than to change to the way you need to be. Which begs the question, are you pretending to be someone you are not when it comes to being a Christian?

So, here’s the question. This is what we are looking at today. Who are you and what do you represent? An Ambassador of Christ…

Represents Christ to the world.

Galatians 2:20
20I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Despite the fact that many people actually feel this way we are not here on earth represent ourselves. There is a much higher calling in life.

Paul makes sure to point out that he had been crucified with Christ and that he no longer lives for himself but that Christ now lives through him. This is a concept that we often pay lip service to but fail to actually live out.

When we commitment our lives to Christ, it should be Christ in us directing our lives.

Is an Example

Luke 3:10-11
10"What should we do then?" the crowd asked.
11John answered, "The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same."

John is simply just stating that true followers of Christ set examples of how people are supposed to live and not follow other examples that may be out there.

You are to be the example of generosity, love, peace, kindness and most of all what a person who has had a life changing experience with Jesus Christ is supposed to look like.

Instead we respond to hatred with hate and are more than willing to match wrong for wrong in a society that has no sense of morality at all. Whose example is that?
Preaches the Word

There are two schools of thought out there. One, Jesus radically changes your life is such a way that all things change to reflect the attitude of Christ and the word of God becomes your standard for living.

Two, you tell everyone that Christ has radically changed you life when in reality nothing has changed but you keep living the lie.

Now, there are many people out there who set out after number one but end up living number two. The difference?

The Word of God! An Ambassador of Christ will preach Christ at all times and stand firm in the Word of God. The world recognizes a phony when it sees one and only those who are truly reading and living the word can preach it.

Those who don’t take the truths of who Jesus is to heart will give into the pressures and voices of the crowd. The desire to please their own sense of self value and find favor among people rather than God will continue to be their driving force.

You read the story of Pilate in Mark 15. He had Jesus in his charge all night. He asked Jesus point blank who he was (recorded in John 18:35-37) and yet still armed with the knowledge of the reality of Christ he still gave into the voice of the crowd.

Mark 15:15
15Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.

I’ll end with a statement about serving Christ and being an ambassador for him made by biblical scholar G. Campbell Morgan, he says we should “Make the must of His life, the must of our life” If a political ambassador represents his or her own country and uses every possible means to promote that countries interests. How much more should those who represent God to a lost and dying world represent God’s interests? We are called to be ambassadors to this world for the cause of Christ. In all situations we are called to be ambassadors…. Let us be diligent in that task!

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