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May 9, 2021 | Chris Baselice
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“And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 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. We 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. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”—2 Corinthians 5:15-21 (NIV)
Yesterday we learned how our motivation to pursue our Christian mission stems from the assurance that our God of peace and the Prince of Peace will be with us always! We also discussed what our mission of peace looks like.
Today, we find ourselves in a passage frequently used by Christians to describe the mission. Perhaps you’ve heard it said before that we’re “Christ’s ambassadors,” and although that’s true, it can sometimes be overused to the extent that we forget what it truly means!
Ambassadors in New Testament times are not much different than ambassadors in our modern times. Ambassadors have many responsibilities, most of which can often vary; however, they generally each have the same purpose: to positively represent, consciously promote, and eagerly share true information regarding their country and ruler. These ambassadors are chosen carefully and purposefully and, though they may live in a foreign country for quite some time, their true citizenship rests with their home country meaning they must still obey those laws as well. Additionally, their ultimate allegiance to their home country could easily make them unpopular and bring them hate. Now that we better understand what being an ambassador truly entails, we can easily apply it in the context which Paul is using it!
When we repent and believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ, we become new creations! Our identity goes from sinful and unworthy to holy and redeemed, and part of that new identity includes being an ambassador for Him. We’ve been chosen, commissioned, and entrusted with the ministry of reconciliation which is essentially the ministry of living, sharing, and proclaiming the gospel of peace even when it’s unpopular and uneasy (Ephesians 6:15)!
Yet, what does it mean to be ministers of peace? Within today’s loaded passage, Paul includes some important information regarding our responsibilities as ambassadors. To begin, he reminds us that “from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view.” Once we’ve been made new by the blood of Jesus, we should see others through the lens of His love and grace! Just like Jesus looked upon our wretched state, loved us unconditionally, and forgave us, we are to look upon others who still live in bondage to sin and love them, point them to Jesus, and forgive them. In this way, we will truly be ambassadors for Christ bringing His peace to those around us!
Paul also takes it a step further by saying that an essential part of our ministry of reconciliation is the actual “message of reconciliation.” This message is something that must be both actively lived out and verbally proclaimed! In order to be ministers of peace, we must engage with others peacefully; however, we must know in advance that regardless of our peaceful demeanor in living and speaking the gospel, we will still engage ill-tempered enemies as well. Despite the persecution, we must never shy away from the mission nor eliminate the role peace plays in the mission.
If we look at Jesus’ life, we see the perfect example of what it means to be a minister of peace. From the moment He was born, He brought peace to those around Him. From his own parents, to his aunt Elizabeth, to the shepherds in the field, to the magi, the very presence of Jesus encompassed and exuded peace. As He grew up, He never lost this effect. In fact, the way He lived, the truth He spoke, the love He shared, and the grace He showed brought an overflow of peace into the lives of countless people!
If we model our lives after the life of Christ and seriously take to heart this mission of reconciliation, we will find ourselves not only living in His peace, but also being ministers of His peace. Thanks to our Prince of Peace, we no longer live for ourselves, but we live for Him!
Samy Rodriguez has been serving with the Calvary writing team since 2020 as a senior at Calvary Christian Academy. Before going to study communications, biblical studies, and intercultural studies at Palm Beach Atlantic University, she interned with the Calvary Communications Team and was a student leader in HSM (High School Ministry). She is passionate about communicating God’s Word and looks forward to continuing to serve in ministry after college.