Definition of ambassador from Merriam Webster
- 1: an official envoy; especially: a diplomatic agent of the highest rank accredited to a foreign government or sovereign as the resident representative of his or her own government or sovereign or appointed for a special and often temporary diplomatic assignment She’s the American ambassador to Italy.
- 2a: an authorized representative or messenger b: an unofficial representative traveling abroad as ambassadors of goodwill
When you think of an ambassador, do you picture a U.S. embassy overseas? Do you picture a group of diplomats coming together and striving for world peace at the United Nations? Or do you look in the mirror and picture yourself?
Paul declared himself and us as ambassadors of Christ.
18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. (2 Cor. 5:18-20 ESV)
We expect our ambassadors to other nations to be familiar with U.S. policies as well as the government of the country they are hosted. They are in a position of high rank and authorized to represent our nation. Their actions reflect on our entire nation and it is important for the safety of our citizens abroad to maintain positive relations.
What does it mean to be an ambassador of the gospel? We must be ready to share the highlights even when we may not have all of the answers. Even though we do not know everything, we should be expected to know more than nonbelievers. Do we take care with non- or new believers to guide them through God’s word or do we expect them to navigate the scriptures on their own? God reveals himself through his word, but as Christ’s ambassadors, we want to make sure they understand Christ’s redeeming love and God’s unchanging character throughout scripture.
Are we familiar with the beliefs we claim and how they differ from other faiths? Are we mindful that our actions do not just reflect on us, but the entire body of Christ? As ambassadors of the gospel we want to draw people to the kingdom. In 2 Corinthians 5:20 Paul tells us that as ambassadors for Christ, God is making his appeal through us. In the Greek, the word translated as appeal also translates as ‘to call for’.
Think about that for a moment.