Wednesday, March 2, 2016

2 Corinthians 5:16-21 Ambassadors for Christ

KEY TEXT: 2 Cor 5:18-21 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.

KEY THOT: Evangelism is a ministry of reconciliation—reconciling the lost with God. As evangelists, we are Christ’s ambassadors, urging people to come home to God, to give up the miserable life of self-rule and Satan-rule. We persuade people to be reconciled with God and to give up self-rule and surrender to Christ-rule so they may experience the true freedom and joy of abundant living. The reconciliation is possible because a divine exchange took place at the Cross more than 2,000 years ago. At the Cross, Christ took mankind's sins upon himself so that everyone who desires can exchange their sin for His righteousness. This exchange means release from guilt and condemnation of our past life. We can start everything anew, for “old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Cor. 5:17). In Christ we are given a fresh start, a new beginning. While we can’t undo the past, we can change the course of the rest of our life to live under God's love and grace. 

As ambassadors of Christ, we persuade pre-believers to give up self-rule in favour of Christ-rule so that they may return home to the Father’s house and enjoy His presence, protection and provision—to experience and enjoy God’s favour again. This is the gospel (“good news”) that ambassadors of Christ carry to everyone in this world. We are ambassadors of another kingdom and we have a message of reconciliation. 

Alpha is a platform whereby people who are skeptical about our claims of divine providence and presence can "come and see", "come and explore" and finally "come and experience" over a 10-week period. The testimony of many guests on Alpha is that they started to experience God's transforming power even as they were going through the course--even before they were ready to give their lives to Christ. 

Alpha is more than just a course--it's like stepping into the embassy compound of the Kingdom of God where guests can "taste and see" what living under the rule of Christ is like, for Christ is the reigning authority over the embassy compound and community. Once the guests step into the Alpha environment, they experience the reality of the kingdom presence and power in the embassy staff. 

Father God, we thank You for the privilege of being ambassadors for Christ. Through the Alpha Course, we have the opportunity to implore our pre-believing guests to come and experience the Father’s abundant favour and grace. Thank You Jesus. Amen.

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