We read the following in 2 Corinthians 5:20:
“Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.”
The word “ambassadors” here means, “act as a representative;” hence the believer is a representative of Christ. A good question to ask then is, what does representative mean? According to Webster’s, it means the following, “Exhibiting similitude; bearing the character or power of another; one that exhibits the likeness of another.” Paul wasn’t messing around when he used the word ambassador to describe the responsibility the believer has to Christ in this present world.
A while ago my representation of someone was brought into question and I have thought upon it much since. It really bothered me that the person thought I was misrepresenting them in some dishonorable manner, the details of which are of no importance. That being said, it is an experience that has spawned my writing tonight.
As believers, we represent Christ, the Son of God, as a collective body. This we call, “the church.” However, our representation does not cease there, as we also represent fellow believers, not only in the church we attend, but other bible believing churches. Being an ambassador for Christ has great benefits, as well as a great responsibility. It means we are not allowed to act upon our own power. The believer must bear in mind that even though they may disagree with something, they still must act as Christ’s ambassador. Do professing believers disagree with Christ??? All the time…another time maybe, anyway…
Let’s use an illustration to better make our point. In other countries, the United States has many ambassadors. These ambassadors act in the place of the president of the United States of America. He or she, has a duty, not only to the president, but also the citizens of America to act only in how they are permitted to act. They are not allowed to live or decide by their own volition or else they risk harming the relationship between America and that country. In the process of being an ambassador, they will make mistakes and it will be imperative that they have made connections that will overshadow those mistakes and smooth over any ill gotten actions with the citizens of that foreign country.
The same is exactly true with the believer in Christ. From time to time, you and I “WILL” misrepresent Christ, Heaven & other believers. I’m sorry, it is inevitable. What we now hope is that there have been connections made that will help overshadow (NOT condone) the mistakes made. Here’s the issue at hand…I have noticed that many times when an ambassador has made a mistake, it’s not the foreigners (in this case, unbelievers) that refuse to forgive, but rather it is other ambassadors. Furthermore, we have each heard “two wrongs don’t make a right,” correct? So, if you make a mistake, it isn’t gonna fix anything, nor impress Christ if someone makes another mistake, like holding a grudge. In this case, yes the first ambassador was wrong and probably has acknowledged it, but what about the second ambassador now? Are they not now just as wrong? “How,” you may ask? Simple. They are BOTH ambassadors for Christ. Sometimes we must represent Christ to another believer, that has strayed. Not doing so brings shame to Christ, just as well as anything else, possibly even more shame.
In conclusion. We should represent one another properly and should take it seriously. Believe me, as a preacher/pastor, there are many that have misrepresented the call and the office, however to get on a soap box and cast stones will not help them, nor the collective body of Christ. When one of the brethren have misrepresented us, our first emotion may be hurt, then anger, but being a true Christian, love should overcome. The true ambassador will find a way to work through those fleshly emotions and act in Christ’s stead. How? Reconciliation, of course!
I submit unto you Galatians 5:15 for your reading.
In His service,
2 Corinthians 12:9