Ambassadors for christ • “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were entreating through us: we beg you on behalf of Christ, ‘Be reconciled to God.’”
Ambassadors for christ • Raises Questions…. • 1. What’s an ambassador? • 2. How did I / We get to be one? • 3. Who is our audience? • 4. What is our message?
A) The Original Creation • Genesis 1:26-28,31 “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image; according to Our likeness…. And let them rule…. • And God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female, He created them…. Be fruitful and multiply and fill the Earth and subdue it…” • Genesis: 2:7 “Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
b) The rebellion in heaven Satan’s rebellion resulted in civil war in the heavenly realms. His plan was to take over and become ruler over God. See Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14 I will ascend to heaven I will raise my throne above the stars of God I will sit on the mount of assembly I will ascend above the heights of the clouds I will make myself like the Most High
C) The rebellion on earth • God’s Warning… Genesis 2:17 • “…but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day you eat of it, you shall surely die.”
Satan’s deception • Question God’s truth… Has God said? • Deny God’s truth… You shall not die… • Question God’s motives and His character… • Present and Alternative…Here’s my plan…EAT! • Allow a choice
Man’s consequences… • 1. Man traded his allegiance to God for his allegiance to Satan • 2. Man moved from the Kingdom of God to the Kingdom of Darkness • 3. Man’s spirit died and became separate from and different than God • 4. Man’s soul (mind emotions and will) came into the culture of the Kingdom of Darkness
God’s response – restoration • God’s response is not to destroy but to restore! • The GREAT THEME of Scripture is the “restoration of all things” • To bring mankind back into a living relationship with God • To restore the Image of God in man • To ultimately restore the Heavens and the Earth • John 3:16,17 “For God so loved the world, that HE gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.”
God’s plan for restoration • The Perfect Original • became a Perfect Representation • to be the Perfect Sacrifice • In order to restore the Broken Image • back to a Perfect Image Hebrews 1:3 Colossians 1:19-22 Colossians 2:9 Romans 5:17
man’s participation in god’s plan Acts 16:31 “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved” “Believe” Not just mental assent – I know Jesus existed Not just moral approval – I think Jesus was a nice man who taught nice principles But complete surrender (commitment) – I believe that Jesus died in my place; He gave up His life for mine: therefore I will live my life for Him.
God’s work • God restores our Citizenship • Colossians 1:13 – “For He (Heavenly Father) delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son” • He restores our true Nature • 2 Corinthians 5:17 – “If any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” • 2 Corinthians 5:20 – “… be reconciled to God”
Our work We still have our part to play – Let go of the OLD culture of the Kingdom of Darkness and learn to operate in the NEW culture of the Kingdom of God Romans 12:1,2 - “… present your bodies…no longer be conformed to this world….be transformed by the renewing of your minds…” 2 Corinthians 10:4,5 – “… we are… destroying speculations…. Taking EVERY THOUGHT captive to the obedience of Christ…”
Our mandate & message • OUR MANDATE • 2 Corinthians 5:20 – “…we are ambassadors for Christ…” • OUR MESSAGE • 2 Corinthians 5:20 – “ Be reconciled to God…”
For your consideration • ARE YOU IN CHRIST? • WHICH KINGDOM ARE YOU LIVING IN? • HOW IS YOUR MESSAGE? • WHO IS YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE AND HOW ARE THEY DOING?