So we are Christ’s ambassadors, God making His appeal as it were through us. We [as Christ’s personal representatives] beg you for His sake to lay hold of the divine favor [now offered you] and be reconciled to God.
2 Corinthians 5:20 (Amplified Bible)
If you read the epistle from the beginning you can see that in chapter 5 verse 20 the “we” and “us” is himself and Timothy, and the “you” refers to the Corinthian Church. Christians are no more automatically ambassadors for Christ than they are disciples of Christ on the level of discipleship in Luke 14, unless they have met the three conditions set forth in verses 26, 27, and 33.
Moreover, it is inconceivable that one would be an ambassador for Christ if one is not even a disciple (learner) on the discipleship level of Luke 14. Sad to say, that most Christians today in this country are not only not ambassadors for Christ nor disciples of Christ (according to Luke 14), but rather are yet carnal like the Christians in Corinth whom Paul rebuked in his first epistle to them (1 Cor. 3:1-4).
Would Christ send someone to be His ambassador who is carnal rather than spiritual, who is not even a disciple according to the conditions of Luke 14?
The purpose in this study is to make clear what is involved in being a true disciple of Jesus Christ. We will do this by looking at Jesus’ own words. There are seven statements about discipleship that Jesus makes in the gospels.
These statements give us a :
One statement that tells us the goal of discipleship.
Three statements that tell us the marks of a disciple.
Three statements that reveal the cost of discipleship.
Are you are a disciple of Jesus?
An ambassador is…
· Ready. An Ambassador is attentive for chances to represent Christ and will not back away from a challenge or an opportunity.
· Patient. An Ambassador won’t quarrel, but will listen in order to understand, then with gentleness seek to respectfully engage those who disagree.
· Reasonable. An Ambassador has informed convictions (not just feelings), gives reasons, asks questions, aggressively seeks answers, and will not be stumped by the same challenge twice.
· Tactical. An Ambassador adapts to each unique person and situation, maneuvering with wisdom to challenge bad thinking, presenting the truth in an understandable and compelling way.
· Clear. An Ambassador is careful with language and will not rely on Christian lingo nor gain unfair advantage by resorting to empty rhetoric.
· Fair. An Ambassador is sympathetic and understanding towards others and will acknowledge the merits of contrary views.
· Honest. An Ambassador is careful with the facts and will not misrepresent another’s view, overstate his own case, or understate the demands of the Gospel.
· Humble. An Ambassador is provisional in his claims, knowing that his understanding of truth is fallible. He will not press a point beyond what his evidence allows.
· Attractive. An Ambassador will act with grace, kindness, and good manners. He will not dishonor Christ in his conduct.
· Dependent. An Ambassador knows that effectiveness requires joining his best efforts with God’s power.