Lesson 24 - Royal Ambassadorship

Lesson 24 - Royal Ambassadorship

Lesson for June 10, 2012

Christian Integrity

Royal Ambassadorship

Every Christian is an ambassador for Jesus Christ.  The Greek word for ambassador is “presbeuo” and means “eldership, aged or rank.”  This makes perfect sense for Christians, since you cannot properly represent Jesus Christ on earth if you are not advancing in the Christian Way of Life. (II Corinthians 5:20; Ephesians 6:20)

The Royal Ambassadorship of the believer is your visible relationship with others and is the result of (not the means of) your spiritual life (your invisible relationship with God).  Just like secular ambassadors, there are effective ambassadors and non-effective ambassadors. 

As believers, we take our precedence from Jesus Christ.  Christ was God’s ambassador on earth.  Since Christ has ascended to Heaven, believers are now God’s representatives on earth.  With Christ as our standard, a believer, controlled by the Holy Spirit, is to strive to become an effective ambassador for God. (Hebrews 1:1-9)

The effective ambassador is a blessing to others.  God blesses a believer when they have developed capacity to receive blessing.  Capacity is developed by a believer-priest as they build their relationship with God.  God never blesses a believer because of their production as an ambassador.  This means that the primary responsibility of the royal ambassador is the application of Bible doctrine.  (As a priest, a believer is responsible for the perception of Bible doctrine).  Divine production is always the result of a right relationship with God, never the means.  Before a believer can be an effective ambassador for Christ, they must have a developing spiritual life.  If they get the “cart before the horse” by attempting to produce divine good without the proper relationship with God, their ambassadorship becomes legalism or Christian activism (trying to reform the devil’s world). (Matthew 6:33)

It must be pointed out that the priesthood and the ambassadorship of the believer are to work in harmony in order to bring honor to God.  If we are going to execute the Christian Way of Life effectively, we must do things God’s way.  This does not mean that we will always do things the right way 100% of the time.  It does however mean that we are utilizing the resources outlined in God’s Word.

 

Divine Production

Commonly called “Christian service,” true divine production is radically different from what most people think.  Divine production is the function of the royal ambassador motivated by their relationship with God. (Romans 12:11)

All blessings from God are on the basis of grace and therefore have nothing to do with human works.  God does not bless you because you’re good, because you help others, because you give money, because you witness, because you come to church or any other overt activity.  God blesses you because you possess His righteousness.  It is your eternal relationship with God that brings you blessing, not your personality or ability. (Ephesians 1:3)

Divine production can be visible or invisible.  For example, prayer is invisible divine production.  Sharing the Gospel is visible divine production.  Both are rewardable when done from the proper motivation of love for God and impersonal love for others.  Certain categories of divine production are common to all believers and some are fulfilled through the function of our spiritual gifts.  For example, all believers are commanded to exhibit the character of Christ, but not all believers have the gift of pastor-teacher. (Romans 12:6-8)

Ministry of Reconciliation

As ambassadors for Christ, we have been given the responsibility and the privilege of sharing the good news of the Gospel with others.  Often extreme pressure is placed upon believers using false doctrine in order to force them into a certain routine of witnessing.  One false doctrine says that a person will go to Hell if you fail to share the Gospel with them.  This is not true.  God will not let a person go to Hell who wants to know the truth if you fail to speak to that person about salvation.  God will find another way or another person to get truth to them. (II Corinthians 5:18-20)

Sharing the Gospel of Christ should be natural and easy without pressure from any source.  Your love for God should be all the motivation necessary.  God does not want religious nuts running around getting in people’s faces and talking about “Jesus.”  More harm than good has been done, in the name of Christ, by misguided and misinformed Christians.  If you want to be an effective witness for Christ (and you should), you need to learn how to share the Gospel clearly and effectively.

 

Being an effective witness for Christ begins with being an effective Christian.  Since you are the best Christian that someone knows, it should behoove you to set an example of a Christ-like attitude and Christ-like actions.  Failure to do so will limit your effectiveness as a witness for Christ.  However, no one ever accepted Christ as Savior by observation.  It is therefore our responsibility to verbally share the Gospel when the opportunity presents itself.  The Bible says that we are to be ready always to give a reason for the hope that is in us. (Romans 14:21; I Corinthians 6:12, 8:13; Galatians 5:13; I Thessalonians 5:22; Titus 3:8)

The Apostle Paul was a great example of a witness for Christ.  In I Thessalonians 2 the Scriptures mention the qualities of an effective witness: (1) bold in his witness (2) used no deceit or trickery (3) fulfilled the trust God had placed with him (4) he was honest (5) he didn’t seek the praise of men (6) he was gentle (7) he had great love and concern (8) he labored diligently (9) he carried a good testimony (10) he taught them the Christian Way of Life.  The Apostle Paul was a servant.

How to Share the Gospel Effectively

The clarity of the message must be foremost in our minds as we prepare to share the Gospel.  Any message that is unclear will only confuse the hearer and make it difficult for that person to trust Christ as his Savior.  Please remember that it is NOT our responsibility to make a person believe.

If it is your desire to be an effective witness for Christ, you must learn the correct Gospel message and use terms which communicate clearly.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is very simple and can be stated by the use of any of a number of Scriptures.  There are over 150 passages in the New Testament which state that salvation is by faith and faith alone in Jesus Christ.

Passages that are extremely clear in any translation of the Bible are John 3:16, 3:18, 3:36, 6:47; Ephesians 2:8-9; I John 5:13.  All of these passages state the fact that salvation (eternal life) is appropriated by faith and faith alone.  Faith, trust and belief are synonymous terms. 

We begin by pointing out the fact that sin has separated us from God and the result is spiritual death, which is separation from God. 

Since Christ has paid the penalty for our sin, the issue in salvation is not our sinfulness but our faith. (I John 2:2)  Because Christ paid the penalty for sin, this means that we now have the opportunity to have eternal life in Heaven.  However, since God has given us all free will, we must make the decision to accept this payment.  Accepting Christ’s payment for our sin is done by a non-meritorious method called faith.  Faith eliminates all human merit or good works.  Therefore, regardless of how hard a person tries to work their way to Heaven, they will not succeed. 

Using Ephesians 2:8-9 is an excellent way to make the issue of grace verses works clear.  We can break the passage down as follows:

            “For by grace…” – Grace is underserved mercy from God and is all that God is able to do for us on the basis of what Christ accomplished on the Cross.

“are you saved” – Being saved means to be delivered.  Spiritually speaking a person is delivered from eternity in Hell and delivered to eternal life in Heaven.

“through faith” – Once again we are speaking of believing or trusting in Christ’s payment for our sin and faith eliminates works.

“and that not of yourselves” – We do not have the ability to save or deliver ourselves.  The payment for sin had to be accomplished by a sinless human being (Jesus Christ).

“it is the gift of God” – There are only two things that a person can do with a gift – accept it or reject it – and neither is based on human merit.

“not of works” – It should be obvious that grace and works are mutually exclusive.  Church membership, baptism, giving money and doing good deeds are all forms of works and will not get you to Heaven.

“lest any man should boast” – If a person could work their way to Heaven they would have something to brag about, but this is not the case.  Jesus Christ has done all the work.

Being a Royal Ambassador for Christ means that we are His only representatives to the world.  Fulfilling our ambassadorship means exhibiting the character of Christ in our lives and sharing the Gospel when we are given the opportunity.