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OPINION

A Quick Bible Study, Vol. 154: ‘Ambassador for Christ’- What It Means For You

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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Author's Note: All previous volumes of this series are here. The first 56 volumes are compiled into the book "Bible Study For Those Who Don't Read The Bible." "Part Two," featuring volumes 57-113, was published in December. 

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Event Alert: My friend, Rabbi Aaron Allsbrook, is hosting a Messianic Jewish Passover Seder on April 6 (the night of the Last Supper) at the Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. The keynote speaker is Dr. Michael Brown – well known to Townhall readers. Buy tickets before this event sells out

Thanks for joining our study, especially if you are a first-time visitor. Is this the day you are supposed to read about the Word of God? 

Loyal “members” of this Bible study know I often mention receiving a “calling” to write about a specific topic or verse. Such happened while I was in church on Ash Wednesday —  causing me to switch topics from St. Paul’s “running the race” to his “ambassador for Christ” passages. Subsequently, I trust that the Lord’s message conveyed through His Word will reach and touch the hearts of His intended recipient(s).

Now, let's talk about “ambassador for Christ,” starting with defining “ambassador.” 

In Paul’s time, the title referred to men (yes, only men!) loyal to Rome, appointed to represent the authority of the Roman emperor. The only difference between “ambassadors” of that day and those of today (besides the fact that many are women) is that the latter reside in foreign countries as the duly appointed representative of their national leader.

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However, in the marketing world, there are “brand ambassadors.” Usually, celebrities hired to promote a product, service, or cause for longer-term representation that is more comprehensive than an ad campaign. Companies or organizations that utilize brand ambassadors choose them carefully to ensure a fruitful, positive association that increases revenue or awareness. 

But what happens when a brand ambassador generates negative press? “You’re fired” occurs in a flash since the celebrity’s behavior could reflect poorly upon the brand. Thus, if you want to be a “brand ambassador” for Jesus Christ, you must act in accordance with what His brand “represents.” Figuring that out is a tough assignment for which St. Paul wrote the guidebook in 2 Corinthians 5:14-21. First, Paul explains the preparation needed to become an “ambassador for Christ,” followed by my verse-by-verse commentary in parentheses:

“For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; ..” (Verse 14). (The love Jesus showed us through his sacrifice on the cross.)

“..and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again” (Verse 15). (His death and Resurrection means those who believe in Him are born again into a life without selfishness, a Christ-centered life.)

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“Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer” (Verse 16). 

(I like the Ignatius Study Bible footnote’s explanation: “Paul is claiming that life in the spirit brings a new perception of things, more penetrating than natural reason. Whereas the crucified Christ appears dead and defeated from a human viewpoint, from a spiritual viewpoint His Cross is a powerful sign of victory and life.”)

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (Verse 17). (Your believing and acting “in Christ” allows Him to forgive your sins so you can start anew.)

“All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation” (Verses 18-19). 

(What is the “message of reconciliation? Answer: A change of heart, through a spiritual “cleansing” brought about by His love and mercy, resulting in an offer of forgiveness. Only then, after one has embraced reconciliation through the love of Christ, are we ready to be His “ambassador.”)

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And that said, we arrive at Paul’s conclusion:

“Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (Verses 20-21). 

(One can’t be or is not ready to be an “ambassador for Christ” unless they have been thoroughly reconciled with Jesus, who took on our sin and died for our sin. I like what the NIV Study Bible footnote says: “Thus by a marvelous exchange, he made it possible for us to receive his righteousness and thereby be reconciled to God. Our standing and our acceptance before God are solely in him. Again, all this is God’s doing; all this is freely available to us because of the initiative of divine grace.”)   

Do you long to be an ambassador for Christ? Do you want to represent his “brand”? To do that, you must be cleansed of your sins. First, clean out your “closet” filled with guilt, anger, hurt and lack of forgiveness. Whatever it takes, only you know what you need to resolve with God and other people in your life, past and present. Second, then, come before God in prayer. Consider reconciliation a process; fortunately, God’s office hours are 24/7. 

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Honestly, I am not ready to be an ambassador for Christ. But writing this study has motivated me to take the steps outlined above. Moreover, I understand why He called me to change topics. Amen to that! 

Myra Kahn Adams is a conservative political and religious writer with numerous national credits. Her book, "Bible Study For Those Who Don't Read The Bible," reprints the first 56 volumes of this popular study. "Part 2,” with the same title, reprints Vols. 57-113. Order it here.  

Myra is also the Executive Director of SignFromGod.org and the National Shroud of Turin Exhibit. Both are donor-supported ministries dedicated to Shroud of Turin education. Contact: MyraAdams01@gmail.com and Twitter @MyraKAdams.

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