2 Cor. 5:9-21 (text v. 20)

Salvation is a grand doctrine that is made up of several other doctrines:

  1. Propitiation (God’s wrath is appeased by Christ’s sacrifice).
  2. Redemption (the ransom is paid to buy back the lost sinner).
  3. Imputation (our sins are charged to Christ / His righteousness is
    credited to us).

    1. Imputation is a banking term that means “to put to one’s
      account.” All our sins were imputed to Christ on the cross as though
      Jesus had actually committed all my sins. Christ was counted wrong that
      we might be counted right!
    2. When I trust Christ’s work on the cross, God imputes
      righteousness to my account. It is more than forgiveness: Forgiveness is
      the CANCELLING of my sin debt. Imputation is the CREDITING of Christ’s
      righteousness!
  4. Regeneration (those dead in sin is given new life)
  5. Justification (declared “just as if I’d never sinned”)
  6. Adoption (placed as an adult son in God’s family)
  7. Reconciliation (brought back into fellowship with God).
    1. Reconciliation- “to bring into agreement.” (Reconciling
      your check-book – You bring your balance in your check book into
      “agreement” with the bank statement of your balance.
    2. Bringing two parties who are at odds with each other
      together as friends. MENDING BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS (1 Cor. 7:10-11; Mt.
      5:23-24).

Before Christ’s atoning death on the cross, there was enmity between God and
man. Christ’s death accomplished everything necessary for man to enter into a
friendly relationship with God (vs. 19-21 cf. Rom. 5:10–…when we were enemies,
we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son…)

A father had a disagreement with his son. The conflict became so bad that
neither one would talk to the other, and finally the son left home.

One day the son received a telegram that his mother lay dying, and if he ever
wanted to see her alive again, he needed to return home right away. So the son
came to the bedside of his dying mother, and on the other side of the bed stood
his father. Still neither of them would speak to the other. The wife pleaded
with them to make things right, and though she begged them with tears. Both of
them stood beside the bed and said nothing.

Finally, with her dying breath, she took the hand of her husband on one side
and the hand of her son on the other and brought them both to her bosom and
died. The two stood there a moment with their hands clutched to the breast of
the dead woman. Then they burst into tears and got right with each other.

That is a picture of what Christ did for us. On the cross, He reached out to
God with one hand and to us with the other, and He brought them together in
Himself at His death.

Jesus left the job of telling the world how to be reconciled to God to His
ambassadors– You and I. Our job as “ambassadors” is NOT to reconcile God to men,
but to reconcile men to God! God is not reconciled to man, as though God were
partly to blame for the enmity. Rather, man is reconciled to God, for it is man
who moved away from God!

Verse 20–Notice, it is not man pleading with God, but God pleading with man.

The fact that we are to “pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to
God,” shows reconciliation has been accomplished, but it is NOT automatic.

TWO REFERENCES TO BELIEVERS CALLED “AMBASSADORS:”
• 1 Cor. 5:20
• In Ephesians 6:19-20, Paul requests prayer “that utterance may be given unto
me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I
ought to speak.”

  1. The MEANING of an ambassador (His worth as representative).
    1. An official agent of one country on a mission in another
      country. They represent their country in a foreign country.

      1. As an agent / deputy he acts on the behalf of another.
        When our ambassador goes to a foreign country he or she can act with
        the full authority of our government in areas where our leader has
        given them permission. They can only act or speak as they have been
        authorized.
      2. An ambassador is not there to represent himself or his
        own views. He simply says what he has been commissioned to say.
      3. An ambassador does not speak to please his audience,
        but the King who sent him.
      4. An ambassador does not take rejection personally – he
        is accepted or rejected not on his own merit but because of who he
        represents.
    2. A representative. He stands in the place of his sovereign.
      The honor and reputation of his country are in his hands. Everything he
      does and says reflects on the one who sent him.We are representatives of THE KING OF KINGS.
    3. An ambassador is not elected, but appointed. We are
      appointed by Christ (2 Cor. 5:18-20).
    4. A foreigner. An ambassador is not a citizen of the country
      where he is sent. His loyalties is to where his citizenship resides. We
      are citizens of heaven (Phil. 3:20).George Shultz, when Secretary of State during the Reagan
      administration, kept a large globe in his office. When newly appointed
      ambassadors had an interview with him Shultz would test them. He would
      say, “You have to go over the globe and prove to me that you can
      identify your country.” Most of the time they would go over, spin the
      globe, and put their finger on the country to which they are being sent.

      When Shultz’s old friend and former Senate majority leader Mike
      Mansfield was appointed ambassador to Japan, even he was put to the
      test. This time, however, Ambassador Mansfield spun the globe and put
      his hand on the United States. He said: “That’s my country.”

      On June 27, 1993, Shultz related this to Brian Lamb on C-Span’s
      “Booknotes.” Shultz said, “I’ve told that story, subsequently, to all
      the ambassadors going out. ‘Never forget when you’re over there in that
      country, that your country is the United States. You’re there to
      represent us. Take care of our interests and never forget it, and you’re
      representing the best country in the world.'”

      If you’re a foreigner in the world you should dress differently &
      talk differently.

      You should have different customs (1 Pet. 4: 3, 4).

    5. He is a diplomat. He is on a diplomatic mission.
    6. An ambassador is given written instructions– the Bible (2
      Tim. 3:16).
    7. He is a temporary resident – he has no real investments
      where he lives.
  2. The MINISTRY of an ambassador (His work of reunion). The
    MINISTRY of reconciliation is committed to every believer (vs. 18-19).What does an ambassador do?

    1. Lives in an embassy. Our English word “embassy” comes from
      the same root word as ambassador.The Church is the Embassy of Heaven on planet earth.

      1. The Embassy is a bit of America on foreign soil. A home away
        from home.
      2. Headquarters with others from his homeland.
      3. At the embassy they work out strategies to carry out the
        objectives of the King they represent.
      4. At the embassy they send back messages to the King regarding
        their needs and help.
      5. At the embassy they gain encouragement from their co-workers.
      6. He assists his fellow countrymen who are visiting in that
        foreign land.
      7. Help those who wish to EMIGATE to his country.
        1. Shows the candidate what the requirements are.
        2. How to apply
  3. The MESSAGE of an ambassador (His word of reconciliation)
    1. Their APPROACH- “we beseech (pray)”
    2. Their APPEAL – “be ye reconciled to God.”
      1. The Way of peace- God in Christ reconciling
      2. The Work of Christ- (v. 21)
      3. The Word of reconciliation (v. 20)

CONCLUSION: Paul saw himself as an full time ambassador, not just on Sunday or
when he felt like it.

An ambassador is recalled when war is declared. The recall of all believers
at the Rapture of the church will announce the beginning of the end for Satan (2
Thess. 2:1-12).

Are you living up to your name as an AMBASSADOR for Christ???

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