Your Identity: Ambassador with a Mission and a Message

Updated: Mar 23, 2019

by Dave Miller

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It is time to roll up your sleeves in the everyday mundane where the Spirit is ready to break in with the Kingdom at the opportune moments!


Who you believe you are determines who you will seek to become. Identity is everything! Dr. John Ewart used to say to me constantly, “We are telling people what to do when they don’t know who they are. It will never work.” Follower of Jesus, you are an ambassador of God with a mission and a message. Believe it. Own it. Become who Christ has declared you to be.


Buried right in the middle of Paul’s second letter to the Corinthian church you will find an explanation of Jesus’ words:


“Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.”

Paul wrote:


Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 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. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:17-21).


Following Jesus encompasses all of you. There is no second fiddle for the Savior of the World. You are either all in or you are out. Paul says we are controlled by the love of Christ. Our heart beats to the passion of his heart. Our mind thinks with his thoughts. Our strength is expended for his mission. Our soul lives entirely for him. Christ died for all; therefore you have died. Whatever image you sought to identify with matters none to a dead man. Christ raised you to life for his sake.

Don’t take a second look at who you used to be, the flesh and blood that everyone sees and still assumes you are. Do not concern yourself with those old perceptions, opinions, needs to be accepted, or desires to be “someone” or “something.” When you follow Jesus he makes you new.


YOUR IDENTITY: WHO ARE YOU?


“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).


Do you or do you not believe this verse? The influence of identity is powerful. If you fear your friend’s opinions you will become what they say about you. If you love your spouse’s compliments because they convince you of your worth, then you will fly off the handle when he or she speaks a word of complaint. If you value a social status associated with a pair of jeans, you will pay $200 for $5 of denim and a fancy tag. If you live with animosity towards someone who hurt you in the past, your anger defines you. Again my mentor John Ewart has helped me immensely when he says:

You worship what you fear, love, and value. What you worship you become.

Paul says if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation. All of these old things have passed away and no longer define you. You are a new creation, and you are who Christ declares you to be. I cannot adequately express how imperative truly believing this truth about yourself is to the whole of your Christian life. Everything has been made new in Jesus.


YOUR IDENTITY: WHY ARE YOU A NEW CREATION?

Death is serious business. It is final, over, and done. New is intimidating business. It is unknown, just beginning, and happening whether you like it or not. God has taken great care and demonstrated unfathomable tenacity to bring you to the point of new. So why are you a new creation?

God has saved you with somebody else in mind. Paul says:


“All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation.”


Reconciliation speaks of the moment when a broken relationship is restored and enjoyed by everyone involved. The life, death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus was the cost for your reconciliation to God. An extraordinary event in history, by an extraordinarily gracious Savior put you and God’s mission on a collision course. The impact was spectacular and the Spirit of God birthed a restored image-bearing ambassador. You have been granted the full authority of Jesus himself to make disciples through the same powerful gospel that re-created you. Jesus is making you into a fisher of men.

The ministry of reconciliation, seeking and saving the lost, was Jesus’ mission.

Paul wrote:


“in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them.”


Should it be any surprise that following Jesus would lead you to seek the lost? If you do not find yourself regularly among those who do not believe in Jesus, then you are not following Jesus because that is where he is. We are good at asking Jesus to join our life. Trust Jesus and then he will _________ for you. But Jesus wasn’t sent by the Father to give you the life you feel you deserve. He sent Jesus to seek and to save the lost. Stop asking Jesus to follow you around, and start following him. If you do, you will engage in the ministry of reconciliation.

Engaging the ministry of reconciliation means speaking the message of reconciliation. Paul wrote in Christ God was:


“entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.”


The proclamation of the gospel is the most important skill to be practiced in disciple making. We cannot and will not see disciples of Jesus Christ made in all nations apart from speaking the message of the gospel.


“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” (Romans 10:14).

I am not talking about inviting someone to a Franklin Graham good news festival that you met at church on Sunday. I am not suggesting you send a Facebook link to a family member of your pastor’s last sermon. I am not even referring to making friends with someone who doesn’t seem Christianly so you can demonstrate a “different lifestyle.” I am talking about sharing the good news of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection with with your words, then asking what keeps them from following Jesus. This is walking in the image-bearing ambassador authority of Jesus.

You were made a new creation to be an ambassador with a mission and a message. Paul wrote:


“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. 5:20).


The image-bearing ambassador takes the minstry and message of reconciliation and calls everyone to faith in Jesus Christ.


YOUR IDENTITY: HOW ARE YOU A NEW CREATION?

This transformation was no small feat. The cost of your new life was the life of Jesus Christ.


“For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Cor. 5:21).


The moment on the cross when the sinless perfect Son of God, Jesus, becomes sin and takes the wrath of God that treasoness men and women deserved. The God-Man dies the substitute death of man for the sin of man. Then for those who believe in Jesus, we receive the sinless perfect life of Jesus as our own. Jesus takes our sin and gives us his righteousness! We call this the Great Exchange and what an exchange it is!

If God goes to such great lengths to restore our role in his purpose as image-bearing ambassadors, then what lengths should we go to join in this incredible story? Are you balking? What is holding you back? The Apostle John in his gospel told us about a outcast woman who was shacking up with a man after five divorces to demonstrate the impossible in action.


The Woman at the Well

Jesus and his disciples were making the journey from Judea to Galilee through the region of Samaria. It was a long journey so about noon that day they passed a little town called Sychar and stopped at the well Jacob had given his son Joseph centuries before. Jesus was tired so he sat down by the well and sent the disciples into town to buy some food.

A woman