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Ambassadors For Christ

Summary: We are Christ's ambassadors to a lost world. Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:18


2 Corinthians 5:18 This morning I want to speak to you about a very important subject for us who profess and desire to be fo owers of !esus Christ" The waters are muddy this morning concerning what it means to be a fo ower of !esus" There are theorems# ideas# and proposa s concerning our re ationship to !esus that are impeding the cause of Christ around the wor d and in our own community" There is the idea that being a fo ower of !esus is nothing more than a se f$ improvement program" If you want to be hea ed# gain deeper insights# %uit smoking# or repair your re ationships then you shou d get connected to !esus" To minimi&e !esus to simp y another se f$he p guru ike 'eepak Chopra# (ichard )immons# *prah +infrey# or Tony (obbins is one of the most insane decisions that we cou d ever make" I wi guarantee you that if you surrender your ife and wi to !esus then your ife wi change# but it may not change in the way you wanted $ it wi be far better# far more cha enging# than you cou d ever dream" There are others in our society who understand being a fo ower of !esus as nothing more than attending church" ,ttending worship is a good thing# but !esus is too big to be bo-ed in to a one$hour activity to be endured once a week"

There are so many ideas of what it means to be a fo ower of !esus" .ost of them are based on some e ement of truth found in /od0s +ord# but the vast majority fa far short of what the 1ib e describes as being a fo ower of !esus"

If you want to find the essence of what it means to be a fo ower of !esus# the core of what it means to be a fo ower of !esus# then we must consu t the +ord of /od to find our answer" 2et0s take a ook at 3au 0s etter to the Church in Corinth as he describes for them what it means to be a fo ower of !esus" ,fter we gain a good understanding# then we wi work to see how this understanding can change and shape each of our ives"

14+hatever we do# it is because Christ0s ove contro s us" )ince we be ieve that Christ died for everyone# we a so be ieve that we have a died to the o d ife we used to ive" 155e died for

everyone so that those who receive his new ife wi no onger ive to p ease themse ves" Instead# they wi ive to p ease Christ# who died and was raised for them" 16)o we have stopped eva uating others by what the wor d thinks about them" *nce I mistaken y thought of Christ that way# as though he were mere y a human being" 5ow different y I think about him now7 18+hat this means is that those who become Christians become new persons" They are not the same anymore# for the o d ife is gone" , new ife has begun7 18, this newness of ife is from /od# who brought us back to himse f through what Christ did" ,nd /od has given us the task of reconci ing peop e to him" 19:or /od was in Christ# reconci ing the wor d to himse f# no onger counting peop e0s sins against them" This is the wonderfu message he has given us to te others" 2;+e are Christ0s ambassadors# and /od is using us to speak to you" +e urge you# as though Christ himse f were here p eading with you# <1e reconci ed to /od7< 21:or /od made Christ# who never sinned# to be the offering for our sin# so that we cou d be made right with /od through Christ" 6 1,s /od0s partners# we beg you not to reject this marve ous message of /od0s great kindness" 2:or God says, "At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you." Indeed, God is ready to help you right now. Today is the day of salvation. (2 orinthians !"#$%&"2' This is su(h a powerful se(tion of God)s *ord for us who are going into the last year of this millenium. As Greg +haw shared with you last +unday, many in our world ,elieve that we are fa(ing all -inds of un(ertainty as #... ,egins. As the year rolls on you are going to hear more and more predi(tions and propositions of impending doom and destru(tion. There will ,e all -inds of /uestions that will arise and people will ,e sear(hing for answers as to what is "True" and what is "0alse." The time is ripe for the people of God to rise up to the times and ma-e ourselves availa,le to those around us. The time is ripe for us to spea- the *ord of God with ,oldness, without (ompromise, and offer the gra(e, hope, and mer(y of God to those around us. The time is ripe1 0or us to ,e prepared to sei2e the moment and ma-e the most of our opportunities in this year we must do two things" 0irst, we need tounderstand God)s nature and the desire 3e has for 3is people to trust, love, and serve 3im a,ove all others. +e(ond, we need to understand the role that God has for us in 3is divine plan to ,ring people to 3imself. *e (an gain ,oth of those insights right here in 2 orinthians !. To everything there is always a ,eginning and in our de(ision to ,e(ome a follower of 4esus there is a ,eginning as well. The ,eginning starts with 5aul)s (omment in verse #$ where he says, #$*hatever we do, it is ,e(ause hrist)s love (ontrols us. (2 orinthians !"#$' 6verything that 5aul did was ,ased upon 4esus) love for him. 6very de(ision that was rendered (ame from

4esus, the One who (ontrolled 5aul. 6very word that was spo-en was spo-en as a result of 4esus) (ontrol of 5aul. 5aul only went where 4esus dire(ted him to go. 3e only did what 4esus dire(ted him to do. The word that 5aul used to let the orinthians -now a,out the degree of (ontrol 4esus had on

his life was (arefully (hosen % it is the only time that the word is used in the 7ew Testament. 5aul used the word, "sune,(ei" (sone(hei or "(ontrol"'. The word means, "to surround, hem in, en(ir(le8 (ontrol, rule (2 :u-e prea(hing, testifying to the 4ews that 4esus was the hrist. (A(ts or !.#$'. Another form of the same word is used in A(ts #9"! where says, #9"!'

!*hen +ilas and Timothy (ame from ;a(edonia, 5aul devoted himself e<(lusively to 3ere the word means "to ,e o((upied with or a,sor,ed in8 ,e sei2ed." I am sure you get the idea that the word used ,y 5aul means to ,e sold%out to 4esus and the power to ma-e every de(ision hrist. To allow 3im full (ontrol, my life and yours. (on(erning

This (ommitment of 5aul to turn over (omplete (ontrol of his life to 4esus flies in the fa(e of everything that we modern%day people -now to ,e good for us. *e must ma-e our own de(isions, (hart our own (ourse, and set our own sights on what is important to us. 6very reasona,le person -nows that you and I just simply (an)t turn over (ontrol of our life to another person. If we were to do that then we might not get what we want out of life, right= :et me asyou this, "3ow is it going=" 3ave your de(isions paid off in pea(e= Is the (ourse you have set for your life ,ringing (ontentment= Is your plan maintaining the passion that it on(e had for you= Is your road ,ringing you a harvest of solid, God%honoring relationships= 0or most people that I -now they (an)t answer ">es" to those /uestions. ;ost people that I -now are struggling to find pea(e, (ontentment seems to ,e evading them, and some relationships are always teetering on the ,rin- of the a,yss. There is a very simple answer to why this is so % my plans, apart from 4esus, only in(lude me and mine. *hat is ,est for me, that is what I want. *hat will ,enefit my loved ones % that is my desire. This game plan is a total (ontradi(tion to the plan that 5aul -new for me. #!3e (4esus' died for everyone so that those who re(eive his new life will no longer live to please themselves. Instead, they will live to please hrist, who died and was raised for them. ?e(ause 5aul had a good grip on what 4esus had done for him, he was willing to lay down his life for 4esus and a((ept 4esus) agenda for his life. I have to as- you this morning, "@o you have a good grip on what 4esus has done for you=" @o you have more than head -nowledge of his life. 5aul)s fo(us is ,etter understood ,y his own words that we read in verse #! Ta-e a loo- with

4esus) sa(rifi(ial death for the payment of your sins= @o you really -now that every ,reath you ,reathe is gift from 3is hand= Is (oming to worship more than a formal a(tivity for you= If not, then in just a few minutes I want to offer you an invitation to a((ept 4esus as :ord of life so that 3e (an give you a heavenly understanding of your life and purpose for living. *hen we value our opinions, dreams, and ,eliefs more than the Truth of God)s heart then we end up missing God)s ,est for us. *e only hang out with those who we deem worthy of our friendship. *e will go out of our way to help those that we thin- will appre(iate our e<pressions of love. *hen we are (alling the shots for our life then we ma-e de(isions a,out people ,ased on how we feel a,out those around us. Those that I feel have value are those that I am willing to (are for and serve. Those that I thin- are worthy of God)s love are the people that I (an envision as good hristians, an asset to the Aingdom of God. There are some that I (an)t imagine God ever forgiving and therefore I am not willing to e<tend God)s love to them. There are others that I feel would ,e an em,arrassment to God and therefore I refrain from sharing God)s love with them. 5lain and simple, every one of us apart from 4esus is prejudi(ed. Apart from 4esus every one of us is prejudi(ed. I don)t -now what your parti(ular prejudi(es are, ,ut I -now that unless 4esus is (alling the plays in your huddle that you are prejudi(ed. >ou may ,e li-e the parents of the young woman that I spo-e with her friend last wee-. +he is pregnant with a mi<ed ra(e ,a,y and she is afraid that her parents will disown her if she has the ,a,y. *hat she is saying is this %% her parents are prejudi(ed against people of other ra(es. >ou may ,e prejudi(ed against those who are wealthier than you or more impoverished than you are. >ou (ould ,e prejudi(ed against the -ind of musi( that is played in (hur(h. >ou may ,e prejudi(ed against that don)t have the "right" loo-. There are all -inds of things that lead us to loo-ing down on other people, ,ut the fa(t of the matter is that all people matter to God. In spite of your prejudi(e % all people matter to God. All people mattered to 5aul ,e(ause all people mattered :isten to what 5aul to says in verse God1 #&.

#&+o we have stopped evaluating others ,y what the world thin-s a,out them. On(e I mista-enly thought of I hrist that way, as though he were merely a human ,eing. 3ow differently a,out him now1 thin-

The drug addi(t matters to God1 The *all +treet investment ,ro-er matters to God1 The prostitute on 2Brd street matters to God1 The IC+ agent matters to God1 The (lassroom tea(her matters to God1 The homema-er matters to God1 The 5resident of the Dnited +tates matters to God1 +addam 3ussein matters to God1 >es, even the prea(her matters to God1 6very person has worth and infinite value in the eyes of God and that is why 3e allowed 4esus to die for us1

That is good news my friend1 5aul)s (ommitment to 4esus that led him to give 4esus total and (omplete (ontrol, his willingness to see other through the eyes of God, and 3is willingness to let 4esus spea- for 3imself rather than have 5aul define who 3e is a result of 5aul ,e(oming a new man. 5aul e<plains it for himself in verses #E%#9 when he says, #E*hat this means is that those who ,e(ome hristians ,e(ome new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has ,egun1 #9All this newness of life is from God, who ,rought us ,a(to himself through what hrist did. Those who ,e(ome new hristians ,e(ome new persons. The old is gone and everything has

,e(ome new. *hat is there that is "old" in your life that you would li-e to ,e freed from, ,ut (an)t seem to sha-e it= Is it your reputation= 6very,ody -nows you ,y what you)ve ,een even though you don)t want to ,e that way anymore. 7o matter what you do or what you say % they simply won)t let your old life go. God will let it go and will never remind you of your old life again. Is it a failed marriage where you a(ted less than godly to your e<= >our words (ut li-e a -nife the man or woman that you pledged to honor for the rest of your life. >our guilt (onsumes you day after day and you (an)t sha-e it. God (an sha-e it from you, relieve you of your sin, and (leanse you as you ,egin a new life. There are so many things that plague us, ,ut God (an grant us pea(e through 3is +on. 7o person (an do this my friend. 7o (ounselor, no prea(her, no psy(hologist, no medi(al do(tor, no one at all e<(ept for God)s +on who has (ome to ,ring us ,a(- to God. All of this is what God has done for you and me. 3e has sought us out while we were far, far from 3im. 3e has given 3is +on to pay a de,t that we owed, ,ut (ould never pay. God has done this ,e(ause of 3is great love for you and me, ,ut this is only part of the good news. God has saved us, (leansed us, given us a new vision, a new dire(tion, and a new love for all of humanity ,e(ause of 3is saving gra(e. :et me share with you God)s (ommission to those of us who have a((epted 4esus as :ord of our lives. :isten to verses #9%2F. hrist, And God has given us the tas- of re(on(iling people to him. #.0or God was in wonderful message he has given us to tell others. 2F*e are using us to spea- to you. *e urge you, as though "?e re(on(iled

re(on(iling the world to himself, no longer (ounting people)s sins against them. This is the hrist)s am,assadors, and God is to God1" hrist himself were here pleading with you,

God has given us the tas- of re(on(iling people to 3im. That is our (hallenge. That is our privilege. That must ,e our passion1 5aul says that we are hrist)s am,assadors. I did a little wor- this past wee- and found out what it means to ,e an am,assador. *e,ster)s definition of the word, "am,assador" is #. an offi(ial envoy8 espe(ially" a

diplomati( agent of the highest ran- a((redited to a foreign government or sovereign as the resident representative of his own government or sovereign or appointed for a spe(ial and often temporary diplomati( assignment. 2. an authori2ed representative or messenger. An am,assador has to ,e a spe(ial person, not just any old person will do. :et me give you an e<ample of how seriously our (ountry ta-es the (hoosing of our am,assadors. *hen *illiam ;(Ainley was 5resident of the Dnited +tates, he had to ma-e a de(ision a,out the appointment of an am,assador to a foreign (ountry. Two (andidates were e/ually /ualified, so ;(Ainley sear(hed his mind for some "yardsti(-" ,y whi(h he might measure the true (hara(ter of the men. :ater he revealed that the un-indness of one of them was the determining fa(tor in his de(ision. ;any years earlier, when ;(Ainley was still a ongressman, he had o,served an in(onsiderate a(tion ,y one of the men. 3e re(alled ,oarding a street(ar at the rush hour and getting the last va(ant seat. +oon an elderly woman got on, (arrying a heavy (lothes,as-et. 7o one got up to offer her a seat, so she wal-ed the length of the (ar and stood in the aisle, hardly a,le to -eep her ,alan(e as the vehi(le swayed from side to side. One of the men ;(Ainley was later to (onsider for am,assador was sitting ne<t to where the woman was standing. Instead of getting up and helping her, he deli,erately shifted his newspaper so it would loo- li-e he hadn)t seen her. *hen ;(Ainley noti(ed this, he wal-ed down the aisle, gra(iously too- her ,as-et, and offered her his seat. The man was unaware that anyone was wat(hing, ,ut that one little a(t of selfishness would later deprive him of perhaps the (rowning honor of his lifetime. An am,assador has to ,e a spe(ial person ,e(ause you (an only imagine the trou,le our (ountry (ould get in if we had a ,un(h of renegade am,assadors running around and spouting off things that did not (orre(tly represent the sentiments of our leaders. Am,assadors need to ,e (ontrolled ,y those in authority over them. This is no more true for our governmental am,assadors as it is for you and me who are am,assadors of the Aingdom of God. *hen an am,assador of the Dnited +tates goes to a foreign (ountry he or she (an a(t with the full authority of our government in areas where our leader has given them permission. 3e or she (an only spea- what they have ,een given permission to spea-. They (an only a(t as they have ,een instru(ted to a(t. They (an say nothing more or less than our government allows them to say. An am,assador to hina or Cussia or any other (ountry is the representative of our (ountry to that land. 5aul saw himself as an am,assador at all times. 3e wasn)t just an am,assador on +unday morning when he went to (hur(h. 3e wasn)t just an am,assador when he felt li-e it. 5aul was always a(ting as a representative of 4esus. 5ray for me, he wrote from prison, "that utteran(e

may ,e given me in opening my mouth ,oldly to pro(laim the mystery of the gospel, for whi(h I am an am,assador in (hains8 that I may de(lare it ,oldly, as I ought to spea-" (6ph. &"#9%2F'. >ou and I are (alled to ,e am,assadors to this world for the (ause of /uestion1 :et me share with you what 5aul wrote to the wonderful message he has given hrist. At all times and in hrist, others. all situations we are am,assadors. *hat is our message= *hat (an we say or do= Great orinthians, #.0or God was in us to tell re(on(iling the world to himself, no longer (ounting people)s sins against them. This is the This is our message. God was in hrist re(on(iling the world to 3imself and forgiving our sins

through 4esus. *hat a message1 *hat a (harge1 5eople all over the world are hungry for that message my friend. Their hunger is growing ,y the day while the (hur(h sits ,a(- and (arries on with our little get togethers on(e a wee-. *e need to (ome together on +unday to (ele,rate what God has done throughout the wee-1 There is whole world out there that is dying to -now the good news that God has (ome to us in 4esus to forgive us, ta-e us in 3is arms, (leanse us from our sin, guilt, and shame, and set us ,a(- in the world as am,assadors for the Aingdom. That is the message that you and I have ,een given to offer to our world. This past wee- I have had the privilege of renewing an old friendship. *hen I was in high s(hool one of my friends and teammates was a guy named @onnie *illiams. @onnie was one of the ,est athletes that I have ever ,een around. *e played in the same ,a(-field on our foot,all team. *e won two state (hampionships my junior and senior years, ,ut @onnie *illiams was the driving for(e ,ehind our offense. @onnie was given a s(holarship to go on and play (ollege foot,all, ,ut he dropped out ,efore he hardly got started. *hen we were in high s(hool @onnie partied pretty heavy, ,ut not any heavier than the rest of us who hung out together. After high s(hool @onnie went deeper and deeper into drug use, women, se<, al(ohol, and other things trying to find happiness until he finally ended up in jail. @onnie has ,een in jail for some time sin(e those younger years for (rimes that he did. I spo-e with @onnie for the first time in years last *ednesday night. I had gotten an e%mail from my sister saying that she had heard that @onnie was out of prison and that he had given his life to 4esus. I (alled @onnie on *ednesday and we tal-ed and tal-ed. @onnie said, ";i-e, I was in prison long ,efore I was ever in(ar(erated. I tried all -inds of things to try and ,ring me happiness, ,ut all of them only made me more a prisoner." 3e said, "On 4une E, #..& my mother (ame to see me and I had a little 7ew Testament in my hand. +he said, )+on, why don)t you read that ,oo-=" @onnie said, "I made the (ommitment to read the ?i,le just so I (ould tell my mother that I had done it, ,ut I didn)t reali2e what would happen to me. As I read I ,egan to underline the things that I (ould understand until finally I said, ):ord, I will ma-e a one year

(ommitment to following >ou.)" 3ow many of us have done the same thing, put limitations on our serving God= @onnie said, ";i-e, I tried everything to satisfy my thirst ,ut none of them wor-ed until Aing 4esus let loose rivers of living waters that are still flowing through my soul." 3e said, "I praise God for those years that I was in prison ,e(ause they were the ,est years of my life. Those were the years that God ,rought me ,a(- to 3imself and prepared,oldly, as I ought to spea-" (6ph. >ou and I are (alled to ,e am,assadors to this world for the (ause of /uestion1 :et me share with you what 5aul wrote to the wonderful message he has given &"#9%2F'. hrist. At all times and in hrist, others.

all situations we are am,assadors. *hat is our message= *hat (an we say or do= Great orinthians, #.0or God was in us to tell re(on(iling the world to himself, no longer (ounting people)s sins against them. This is the This is our message. God was in hrist re(on(iling the world to 3imself and forgiving our sins

through 4esus. *hat a message1 *hat a (harge1 5eople all over the world are hungry for that message my friend. Their hunger is growing ,y the day while the (hur(h sits ,a(- and (arries on with our little get togethers on(e a wee-. *e need to (ome together on +unday to (ele,rate what God has done throughout the wee-1 There is whole world out there that is dying to -now the good news that God has (ome to us in 4esus to forgive us, ta-e us in 3is arms, (leanse us from our sin, guilt, and shame, and set us ,a(- in the world as am,assadors for the Aingdom. That is the message that you and I have ,een given to offer to our world. This past wee- I have had the privilege of renewing an old friendship. *hen I was in high s(hool one of my friends and teammates was a guy named @onnie *illiams. @onnie was one of the ,est athletes that I have ever ,een around. *e played in the same ,a(-field on our foot,all team. *e won two state (hampionships my junior and senior years, ,ut @onnie *illiams was the driving for(e ,ehind our offense. @onnie was given a s(holarship to go on and play (ollege foot,all, ,ut he dropped out ,efore he hardly got started. *hen we were in high s(hool @onnie partied pretty heavy, ,ut not any heavier than the rest of us who hung out together. After high s(hool @onnie went deeper and deeper into drug use, women, se<, al(ohol, and other things trying to find happiness until he finally ended up in jail. @onnie has ,een in jail for some time sin(e those younger years for (rimes that he did. I spo-e with @onnie for the first time in years last *ednesday night. I had gotten an e%mail from my sister saying that she had heard that @onnie was out of prison and that he had given his life to 4esus. I (alled @onnie on *ednesday and we tal-ed and tal-ed. @onnie said, ";i-e, I was in prison long ,efore I was ever in(ar(erated. I tried all -inds of things to try and ,ring me

happiness, ,ut all of them only made me more a prisoner." 3e said, "On 4une E, #..& my mother (ame to see me and I had a little 7ew Testament in my hand. +he said, )+on, why don)t you read that ,oo-=" @onnie said, "I made the (ommitment to read the ?i,le just so I (ould tell my mother that I had done it, ,ut I didn)t reali2e what would happen to me. As I read I ,egan to underline the things that I (ould understand until finally I said, ):ord, I will ma-e a one year (ommitment to following >ou.)" 3ow many of us have done the same thing, put limitations on our serving God= @onnie said, ";i-e, I tried everything to satisfy my thirst ,ut none of them wor-ed until Aing 4esus let loose rivers of living waters that are still flowing through my soul." 3e said, "I praise God for those years that I was in prison ,e(ause they were the ,est years of my life. Those were the years that God ,rought me ,a(- to 3imself and prepared me to do what I am doing now %telling others a,out 4esus everywhere I go." orinthians If my friend @onnie were here this morning he would e(ho 5aul)s words to you in 2 !"2#%&"2. 2#0or God made

hrist, who never sinned, to ,e the offering for our in, so that we

(ould ,e made right with God through hrist. & #As God)s partners, we ,eg you not to reje(t this marvelous message of God)s great -indness. 20or God says, "At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you." Indeed, God is ready to help you right now. Today is the day of salvation. I pray that you will a(-nowledge that today is the day of salvation and that you will a((ept 4esus into your heart. 3e will (leanse you and (ause rivers of living water to flow in your soul. 3e will (harge you with ,eing an am,assador of Aingdom everywhere you go.

Summary: By Christs call we are made ambassadors or !im. "n the act o bein# an ambassador there are certain principles that we need to adhere to$ %ualities that we must possess to be e ecti&e in our role that we ha&e been called to Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:2'
Introduction: .y 3assport= +hat I ho d in my hand is a fair y common document" It>s my passport# it a ows me right to trave around the wor d# it shows not on y where I come from but a so who I am" It shows that I am a citi&en of ?imbabwe= therefore I am a so a representative of my country to the rest of the wor d" The way that peop e abroad view me wi have an impact on how they view my county"

1ackground: 3au as he is writing here in the 5th chapter of 2nd Corinthians is discussing the difference between the tempora things and the eterna things" In discussing the concept of things eterna 3au reminds us that if we are in Christ we are a new creation# the o d has passed away and the new has come" The tempora things of ife have been rejected for those of an eterna nature" ,nd he reminds us that these things of an eterna nature come to us through our reconci iation with /od# and that /od has committed us as Christians to this word of reconci iation" ,nd since we carry this commitment we are to be ambassadors for Christ# carrying this word of reconci iation to the wor d"

3roposition: 1y Christ>s ca possess to be

we are made ambassadors for 5im" In the act of being an in our ro e that we have been ca ed to

ambassador there are certain princip es that we need to adhere to# %ua ities that we must effective Transition: In this ro e that we have been ca ed to there is I be ieve a key word that p ays a part in the attributes of an ambassador# that word being @.A)TB so we begin ooking at our ro e we see that we mustC

I" .A)T (D3(D)DET C5(I)T T* T5D +*(2'

a"

+e

are

not

here

on

this

earth

to

represent

ourse ves

$ I stand here this morning not to represent 3" 'ube# but as a representative of /od

$ I am not here to promote my own ideas# or persona ideo ogy $ I am not here to foist my opinions about ife and /od $ I am here on y to represent Christ $ ,s 3au wrote to the /a atian Christians F/a atians 2:2;G $ That he had been Crucified with Christ# that it was no onger he but Christ that was iving in 5im $ 3au no onger ives as if he contro s his ife $ 3au has taken up his cross# and# he has denied himse f# and now he ives on y by the permission of !esus $ 5is new 2ord not on y permits him to ive# but has taken up residence to he p direct his ife firsthand b" It shou d be that way with us as we $ +hen we commitment our ives to Christ# it shou d be Christ in us directing our ives $ I once saw a bumper sticker that said @!esus Christ is my Co$pi otB $ .y response wou d be# why isn>t he your pi otH $ *ur ives shou d be representative of the great things of /od c" :or when we va ue our opinions# ideas# dreams# and be iefs more than /od>s truth we miss out on /od>s best p ans for us $ ,s Christians we have a higher ca ing# we are to be in the wor d# but not be of this wor d $ 1eing !esus> representative means that we p ace ourse ves on the back burner# $ I wi a ways be 3" 'ube# which is the way that /od made me# but when peop e ook at me# I don>t want them to see just 3" 'ube= I want them to see !esus $ ,nd we shou d a want that because# truth be to d# the way we ive our ives may be the on y !esus some peop e ever see

Transition: The idea of representing Christ to the wor d around us can be a daunting tas- to underta-e. II. a. % % % % % ,. the % Intera(t way with them that the as B"#F%##' tuni( is the one, undergarment ,ut having worn a ,y people one is in not 4esusI a day needed se(ond ne(essity way that Our :et 3ow 3ere do is Our spee(h our we my should words -now momIs tal0or our representation ?6 In differ for from sure idea must In 4esus 4esus well taught did us to that that what on we the of to ,ear A7 word hrist us or thing hur(hK waldeed not the whi(h say whole world is is around good spee(h our any fruit we mustG. ;D+T 6HA;5:6

% ?y what we say people should ,e a,le to see that we are followers of resonate

righteous

% JIf you wouldnIt say it in (hur(h, it pro,a,ly wouldnIt ,e good to say it out of mat(h

% *e are not only to spea- the words of God to those around us ,ut we are to intera(t with them

% This may involve more than meeting their spiritual needs, ,ut may also mean their physi(al needs (:u-e % % The 6veryone % To give an e<ample of this we loo- to the tea(hing of 4ohn the ?aptist, the forerunner of 4esus

% Therefore if we have more than we need, we should share with those who donIt have % This is not suggesting (ommunal living as some have supposed, ,ut simply en(ouraging ,enevolen(e % 3ow (an we say that we love God and strive to serve him if we sit ,y idly as our fellow man la(-s % The the answer ,asi( is a ne(essities simple one of Jwe life= (anItK

Illustration" The first 5rotestant missionary to 4apan was so effe(tive that the emperor de(lared that, if what the missionary said (ould ,e proved true, he would ma-e hristianity the state religion. The emperor sent five of his leading men on a tour of 6urope and Ameri(a. *hen their trip was nearly ended, the saintly ?ishop ;oule as-ed them, "Tell me, gentlemen, what report will you ta-e ,a(- to your emperor=" They replied, "*e will tell him mu(h %% that the ?oo- is all right, ,ut that it does not wor-." % The ,i,le said the right things, ,ut those who (laimed to ,e hristians did not live the way that

it %

said The

that wal-

they didnIt

were mat(h

supposed the

to tal-

(. *e must have a desire to live a life that ,rings glory to God, we will never ,e an e<ample unless we want to ,e, no one, not even God (an for(e our hand on this % % % ?ut +o God sin(e the he /uestion desires gives us free ,e (an us will as-ed= we @o to (an we ,e (hoose want to to ,e ,e an or not that e<ample to ,e e<ample

Illustration" The great evangelist @.:. ;oody was (hallenged when he read this statement Jthe world has yet to see what God (an do with a man fully (onse(rated to 3imK upon reading that, ;oody % % % This *e all our *ill (ounts (an vowed we everyone, ,e an must we the an to are and passage Jma-e we out is of a to do young, e<ample, mat(h to world urgen(y hasteK to season list in with prea(h (2nd of our ,e the old, no methods T36 prea(h (;arthis our this Timothy this middle matter in that that man1 same= age our we age mustG ali-e

Transition" ,eyond representing am,assador III. a. % % % ,. % % In This *e *hen season To There are message are all is ;D+T *here

hrist to the world through a righteous e<ample, to ,e a true 5C6A 3 *OC@ word= #!"#!' (ommand prea(hing word= $"2' imperatives

% The first was what we just mentioned, that ready (. % % % % d. This That ,eing at *hat hrist should is *hy That and ,e was to ,e are the a that we moments word 3im aim 5aulIs the we of are noti(e, are ru(ified our aim, message, to it the to to we (#st to any one, should prea(h instru(tion prea(h speato orinthians who ,e and this (ome none the the word Gospel prea(h= #"2B' our our other word way own

% The se(ond imperative is to ,e ready in season and out of season, that is that we need to ,e % 7ot only at a moments noti(e, ,ut during any situation, ,oth positive and negative

% from % %

To

,ring

re(on(iliation

,etween God

God

and

man

% To (lose that Gap that was (reated when man de(ided that he wanted to go his own way apart This To is ,ring the man only and reason God 4esus ,a((ame together1

on(lusion" I end with a statement a,out serving ,y ,i,li(al s(holar G.

hrist and ,eing an am,assador for him made

amp,ell ;organ he says we should J;a-e the must of 3is life, the must

of our lifeK If a politi(al am,assador represents his or her own (ountry and uses every possi,le means to promote that (ountries interests. 3ow mu(h more should those who represent God to a lost and dying world represent GodIs interests= *e are (alled to ,e am,assadors to this world for the (ause of that tas-1 hrist. In all situations we are (alled to ,e am,assadorsG. :et us ,e diligent in