Christian Living

Ambassadors for Christ: More than Just a Clever Title

Author Alan Shlemon Published on 04/19/2013

Alan’s monthly letter for June 2007

Dear Friend,

Did you know you speak for God? No, I’m not mistaking you for a televangelist or the latest self-appointed prophet. If you claim to be a follower of Jesus Christ, then you speak on behalf of God. That’s right, I’m talking to you. It sounds like a big deal—and it is.

If you’re familiar with Stand to Reason, you’re already aware of our emphasis on being an effective ambassador for Jesus. This is more than just a clever catchphrase. It’s our identity and your identity. In fact, the Apostle Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 5:18—20 that we are all ambassadors for Christ.

...God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.

Paul makes two important points in this passage:

First, as followers of Jesus Christ, we already are His ambassadors. There’s no option here. We represent Jesus whether we like it or not. Our role is 24/7. We don’t stop representing Christ when we go to our jobs, watch movies, coach our kids’ sports, go to the beach, attend bachelor/bachelorette parties, or hang out with our non-Christian friends. We’re Jesus’ representatives in every moment, conversation, and event. Whether we represent God favorably or unfavorably is up to us.

Second, Paul says it is just as if God were speaking through us. People can’t see God. They can only see us. People will draw conclusions about our God from how we behave and what we say. We function, therefore, like His mouthpiece. This is not to be taken lightly.

We shouldn’t be surprised by the representative role Paul speaks of. Jesus charged us with the very same task in the passage known as the “Great Commission.” He stated that although all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Him, we are to go and make disciples of all nations and we are to teach them everything He has commanded us.

Given this great responsibility, it should be clear why I emphasize the importance of effective ambassadorship every time I teach. Every believer should be mindful of their role as an ambassador of God, especially when they talk about controversial subjects like Islam, abortion, evolution, and homosexuality. It is critical we ask the Holy Spirit to give us wisdom to know what kind of message we communicate about our sovereign, Jesus Christ.

Striving to be an effective ambassador,

Alan Shlemon