In 2 Corinthians Chapter 5, verse 20, Paul tells us that “we are ambassadors for Christ.” The first role of an Ambassador is to be a representative of the party that sent them. Christ of course was the key Ambassador of God! He came as God’s physical representative and actual physical presence to an alienated world. Just as God sent Jesus, he told us, “so I send you.” There’s a vast difference between worldly representatives and divine representatives according to the Bible. In America we send representatives to be our voice in government. They argue our case with the powers that be and present our petitions for us. We, the governed, send the representatives.

In Paul’s day, the cities and provinces sent their representatives to Rome to plead their cases in similar fashion as our representatives in government today. Philo, an ancient historian, described what it was like to be an ambassador as he was sent from Alexandria, Egypt, to represent the Jews who were suffering brutal persecution (not unusual!) at the hands of their fellow citizens. He brought a petition for help. The Roman Emperor, if not all emperors, would send out decrees such as the one recorded in Luke chapter 2. He did not send out ambassadors. Instead he’d send governors to rule and armies to crush any resistance. Representatives, Ambassadors, from the conquered countries would be sent to Rome from all over the world. Caesar Augustus boasted in his writing of representatives from as far away as India and China would come to him to present their cases and plead for their people. But please notice, that an all power God did not wait for his alienated people to send their appeals to Him for, but He sent His son to make peace with us. The Son then, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, sends us out “in the same way.”

Just as Jesus is the “living representative” for God, we are the living representatives for Him. Notice that the key purpose for Christ’s mission was “not to be served, but to serve.” From the position of an all powerful king of kings and Lord of Lords, He came to be a servant of all. Just as God sent Jesus to serve us in our greatest area of need, we too were sent in the same way. We have been given a mission of reaching out, like God reaches out to us through Christ. He has given us a mission that is God’s greatest offer to the world; an offer of Peace with God through Jesus Christ. We represent Christ when we become like Him in His mission. That’s why Paul exhorts the Ephesians to “walk in a manner worthy of your calling…with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love…” (See Ephesians 4:1)

“Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ…” Philippians 1:27