Posted by: missionventureministries | March 16, 2015

HOW TO BE AN EFFECTIVE AMBASSADOR FOR JESUS CHRIST – 2 Corinthians 5:20

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“Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us.” (2 Corinthians 5:20)

The job of an ambassador is to represent someone or something. Therefore the job of an ambassador for Christ is to represent the King himself in everything that we say and do.

The Apostle Paul was a great model for all those who desire to be an effective ambassador for Jesus Christ. He served with humility and compassion. He faithfully served God despite the persecution and trials he endured as a result of the relentless opposition from hypocrites and religious leaders.

Paul taught publicly from house to house, declaring that all must turn to God in repentance and have faith in the Lord Jesus (Acts 20:20-21). He took the message of Christ to everyone where he went. As he was going from place to place, he would testify to the Gospel of God’s grace (Acts 20:24). He faithfully proclaimed the whole counsel and purpose of God (Acts 20:27).

Another important part of Paul’s ministry was warning Christians about hypocrites and false teachers who were distorting the truth for the purpose of drawing away disciples (Acts 20:30). Paul had already confronted “professing Christians” who had taught and embraced a distortion of God’s Gospel. He condemned with anathema anyone who would dare pervert the Gospel of God. This included even himself or any apostle who would distort God’s only means of saving sinners (Galatians 1:6-9).

Paul confronted the Judaizers and hypocrites who superficially taught about Jesus, but perverted the Gospel by adding works of the law as another requirement for salvation. Any human effort that is added to the Gospel nullifies God’s grace, which is the only means sinners can be saved. For this reason Paul proclaimed what the Gospel is, as well as what it is not. This method is so important when witnessing to “professing Christians” who have been led astray by a perversion of the true Gospel.

Paul’s teaching declares salvation is by grace and not of works (Ephesians 2:8-9) and by God’s mercy and not righteous deeds (Titus 3:5). If we follow Paul’s example we will warn that:

  • Sinners are justified by faith in Jesus, not by water baptism, or by taking communion, nor by church attendance, giving money or performing religious rituals and other religious works.
  • Sinners are purified by the precious blood of Jesus, ONLY and not by other means; and
  • Sinners have their sins expiated ONLY by the redemptive work of Jesus and not by human efforts as many false religions teach.

To follow Paul’s example is to reach out to and teach misguided “professing Christians” the truth, to get them off the broad road that leads to destruction while pointing them to the narrow road that leads to eternal life.

Paul also urged believers not to be partakers or partners with deceivers (Ephesians 5:6-7). Unfortunately, this vital element of contending for the faith and exposing deception is not practiced by many in the body of Christ today. In fact there are many believers that embrace false religions as a valid Christian denomination. As a result, the church has given the enemy free reign to sow tares among the wheat (Matthew 13:25). Many churches have more tares than wheat and thus reflect a picture of the world rather than a sanctified sanctuary of believers.

Paul being aware of the many counterfeit believers, who had believed in vain and continued in sin, urged them: “Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves” (2 Corinthians 13:5). Those who believed in vain are those who departed from the Gospel Paul delivered: Christ died to save sinners, Christ was raised from the dead and Christ appeared to many witnesses (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). Paul proclaimed the word of God in all its power. He did not speak with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power (1 Corinthians 1:17).

Paul’s focus and commitment to evangelism is reflected in his writings: “I have become all things to all men, that I may by all means save some. And I do all things for the sake of the Gospel, that I may become a fellow partaker of it” (1 Corinthians 9:22-23). He said, “Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel” (1 Corinthians 9:16). Paul was not ashamed of the Gospel and its extraordinary approach to God.

By divine revelation Paul knew there was only one message of hope, only one Gospel, for in the Gospel we observe the greatest exchange in human history, man’s sin for God’s righteousness. Paul summed up this gracious and merciful substitution in one verse: “He [God] made Him [Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

As we follow Paul’s example let us seek to “know Christ and Him crucified” and proclaim this powerful message to those who have embraced another gospel (1 Corinthians 2:2). Paul urged his disciples to hold firmly to the Gospel he preached. Those who did had the assurance of eternal life. Those who embraced other gospels had no assurance, and thus believed in vain (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

Since all true Christians have been entrusted with the Gospel, let us be exhorted by the words of Paul: “We are to speak, not as pleasing men but God who examines our hearts” (1 Thessalonians 2:4).

The true Gospel will disturb those who hear it, for it speaks of both heaven and hell. It informs sinners of the righteousness of God and His demand for the payment of an infinite debt caused by sin. With this in mind, our primary motivation must always be to glorify God by accurately reflecting the heart of His revelation to mankind.

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