From now on, therefore, we regard no one from a human point of view; even though we once knew Christ from a human point of view, we know him no longer in that way. So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. So, we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. [NRSA: 2Cor. 5.16-21]
A New Creation: No longer limited by our human point of view. Reconciliation: 4 times in 5 verses. Must be important.
Ambassador: on behalf of Christ, God is making an appeal, to be reconciled to God
- God making God’s appeal through me.
- What does it look like when I am doing my own thing
- What does it sound like when I am singing my own praises
Singing someone else’s tune
- What does it feel like when I am pleasing my own desires
- God making God’s appeal through me.
- What does it look like when I am doing the things of God
- What does it sound like when I am singing God’s praises
- What happens when I’m not singing the world’s praise?
- What does it feel like when I am pleasure God’s call and heart?
When am I on-duty for the kingdom? When am I off-duty?
Some things to try as on-duty, ambassadors, chamber of commerce advocates:
First, making disciples is a task for the long game. It’s about building relationships in Christ… but sometimes we know people well but never talk about our faith in some circles:
Everywhere we travel, we are representing the Kingdom of God.
I have heard from many of you that you don’t typically find yourself around non-Christians.
Remember we may often be around folks who know Christ, but are
- struggling to trust Christ,
- stumbling to follow Christ,
- searching to know Christ.
We need Christ Conversation Starters:
By Far the best is the offer to pray: May I pray for you?
“Dear God, I pray for John, help him find strength to do all that he needs to do today and help him know your saving grace, that he is of value to you and you desire to make him whole. We thank you that your son has died that we might live and know you personally. Amen.”
For those who don’t want to use the maybe over popular John 3:16, try Romans 3:23-24 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace in Jesus Christ.” Do you know that freedom in Jesus Christ?
You know the Billy Graham Method has been tested:
God’s plan is for us to know peace and life through Jesus Christ
Our problem is that we are separated from God, free will we choose what does not please God and we become divided.
God’s Remedy– The cross, Jesus scarified himself to pay the penalty for our sin and separation. Jesus bridges the gap between us and God
Our Response – to Receive Christ, We trust Jesus as our Lord and Savior. John 1:12
There is not a singular method… we must find something that is genuinely ours, even if we learn it from someone else to start.
The calling we share is to serve as AMBASSADORS for the Kingdom.
To that end I have a card, so you can be a card-carrying ambassador
I had a great visit with the Chamber of Commerce this past week, attending one of their events for those new to town or new to the chamber.
If the Chamber of Commerce can be an advocate for those living and those visiting, then certainly the church can be ready to serve
- The regular,
- The seekers,
- The Visitors,
- The strangers.
Asking Questions / Answering Questions – Honestly and directly.
Last week I invited us to being looking for someone to reach out and invite to church.
This week, I’m inviting us to begin some homework in preparation of those persons God will send to cross our paths.
For those who are not yet Christians, or even struggling Christians.
I offer a top ten list of questions we need to be ready to help people answer.
Paul reminds us: because we are made new in Christ
Because we are reconciled through Christ,
We are to be living examples of the body of Christ… Ambassadors for the kingdom.