Watch the most recent sermon on 1.16.2022 Go Now!
January 16, 2022 | Doug Sauder
Watch our most recent mid-week message here.
In this study guide, Calvary Youth leaders Javan Shashaty and Sean Fryer examine 2 Corinthians 5:16–21 and clearly show us how the gospel changes everything!
Below, you’ll find some key discussion point questions to reflect on and consider on your own, in your small group, with your family, or in your circle of friends, as well as some action points for the week and a look ahead.
Memory Verse of the Week: 2 Corinthians 5:20 (NIV)“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.”
Icebreaker: What’s the most important thing you’ve ever done?
Getting the Conversation Going: You’re a missionary! It’s true . . . Often, our idea of a missionary is limited to someone who leaves America and moves to somewhere across the globe. But this way of thinking is, at best, lacking and narrow, and at worst, an excuse to avoid our God-given responsibility. What responsibility? In Matthew 28:19–20 (NIV), Jesus says, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” It’s called the Great Commission. It’s a mission given by God to all believers, not just a select few super spiritual among us. It’s literally for every believer. Thus, we are all MISSIONARIES because we’ve all been sent on this MISSION by Jesus Himself. The apostle Paul reiterates Jesus’ mission in 2 Corinthians 5:16–21 (NIV), telling us that God “gave us the ministry of reconciliation,” “has committed to us the message of reconciliation,” and called us “Christ’s ambassadors.”
Am·bas·sa·dor (presbeúō)-to act as an established statesman or diplomat-a trusted, respected representative who is authorized to speak as an emissary-someone respected as trustworthy (loyal, knowledgeable)-to be on embassy (mission) on behalf of another
Discussion Question 1: What are the responsibilities of an ambassador?
Christ’s Ambassadors: Have you ever been a representative for your company, family, team, or country? Maybe you’re a lawyer, an HOA board member, or sit on a parent school board. Maybe you’ve been sent to a conference or job fair on behalf of your company. Maybe you took part in a model U.N. at school. Or maybe you’ve been given the opportunity to speak on behalf of a person or group of people. Whatever the case may be, chances are you have at some point acted as a representative for something or someone.
As believers and heirs of Christ’s kingdom, we’re called to represent Christ to the people around us the same way He represented Himself when He walked among us. We’re on a mission with a message of hope, salvation, and reconciliation to our friends, neighbors, teachers, classmates, the server at the restaurant, the customer service rep when we call about our internet service, the homeless person asking for money, the person who is mean to us, the LGBTQ+ person who may resent Christians, the atheist who thinks believers are ignorant fools, the self-righteous religious person, and the marginalized person who has been crushed.
This is our platform; this is YOUR platform! You’ve been called to represent Jesus to the people around you with love, compassion, grace, peace, forgiveness, kindness, gentleness, and truth as you walk in, live out, and share the gospel, the good news of Jesus!
Discussion Question 2: How are you living in light of your calling as Christ’s ambassador?
Your Mission, Your Platform, His Message: As we established in 2 Corinthians 5:16–21 NIV), God has given us all this amazing mission as “Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.” That mission is to share His message: “that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them;” that “God made him who had no sin to be sinfor us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
He has also given us a platform—a voice amongst our sphere of influence—to share this message. And guess what? He’s not only given us the mission, message, and platform, but He also equipped and empowered us through the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit in us to make an impact and be agents of transformation in a world that desperately needs reconciliation!
Discussion Question 3: What is your platform? How has God set you up to live on mission for Him?
Discussion Question 4: What gifts and passions has God given you? How has God called you to represent Him through these gifts and passions?
Discussion Question 5: In what ways can you grow in your representation of Christ to the world?
This Week: God has called you to be His ambassador as though He Himself were making His appeal to the world. That means you are His mouthpiece—His megaphone—to the people around you. But there’s an amazing promise in that calling which says, “And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20 NLT). Rest in His promises this week. Know that you’re not out there alone in this work as an ambassador.
Does the future make you anxious? Do you ever wonder about the end of the world? Our culture seems to be fascinated with the end times, with books, shows, and movies about dystopian futures and post-apocalyptic societies, but the question is why? Why are people so fascinated with the end of the world?
In our next study, we’ll continue working our way through the Gospel of Mark with a discussion of Mark 13:1–37 as Jesus tackles the end times. In this study, we’ll learn the realities of what’s to come, but also the comfort and eternal security of knowing Jesus both today and in the future!
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.