Gone are the days when I would read one or two verses from Matthew and the next day I would move to Romans. It’s like I read the Bible according to my mood and the circumstances around my life. Thank God for Bible reading plans which bring structure and organisation. I must admit I used to read the Bible in such a haphazard way. I actually wonder how I survived without a plan. Only God knows how I winged it one too many times. Im still in the book of 2Corinthians and loving every minute of it. Paul really makes a point reach home and chapter 5 is where it all goes down but I’m paying special attention from verses 11-21 which talks about the Ministry of Reconciliation.
17 “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And He committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God we’re making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.
These are the kind of verses you read in the Bible that make you go like YES! this is for me. The word reconciliation has being used five times in these verses. Meaning it has importance and we need to pay attention. The english dictionary puts the meaning of the word reconcile as “restore friendly relations between,” it could be between friends, family and in this context that Paul is writing, God is reconciling mankind to Himself and bring back the bond that was there before the rift took place.
In the beginning, God’s relationship with man was perfect and in reading through the book of Genesis, we get a feel of just how perfect it was. Adam was close to God before the fall. I mean, can you imagine walking with God in the cool of the day? Naming all the animals that God had created and whatever name that Adam gave, that was its name. I’m thinking after naming the animals, they watched the sun set together while the animals were just walking around, yeah I know, my imagination goes wild sometimes. I’m also imagining Adam asking God how come the birds were flying and some animals were grazing? Haha… Personally, I know I have questions I would have liked to ask but the bottom line is, everything that God made was beautiful.
So there he was, the first man. Walking and talking with God like you would with another man but before we know it sin happened and it brought about separation, transgression, shame, iniquity and every other word you can use to describe sin. What followed was that the man’s relationship with God became distant and from here we see the issue of offering sacrifices and burnt offerings, as sin offerings so that the people would be okay before God. However, God who knows the end from the beginning had a plan and that plan was to send His Son Jesus Christ to become the ultimate sacrifice for mankind and reconcile us back to our Father in Heaven. God’s love for you and me is so immense that nothing could stand in the way, even if it meant “His Son’s death.”
When Paul says that “If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come and the old has gone,” that’s exactly what happens when we give our lives over to Christ. All our sins, all our shame is exchanged like you would when doing barter trade and you get a whole new sinless life. I’ts like your starting a new chapter in life, but this time on a clean slate. The best part of it all is that God doesn’t count people’s sins against them! No, He’s not like us who keep records of wrongs like, “this is the third time you’re lying to me,” “how many glasses have you broken.?” Can you imagine if God kept telling you “Cynthia you’ve lied for the 7th time today, try and keep it on the low tomorrow,” wouldn’t we feel condemned already? Thank God that He’s not like man, otherwise we would all be finished.
The verse that stood out for me in this chapter was verse 20 “We are therefore Christ’s Ambassadors.” Ask yourself this question, if God is the brand that we are wearing, how well are you representing his brand? A brand ambassador is a person who is hired by an organisation or company to represent a brand in a positive light and by doing so, help to increase brand awareness and sales. The brand ambassador is meant to embody the corporate identity in appearance, demeanour, values and ethics.
How are you representing Christ? Is it in a positive way and in so doing drawing people to the life that you live and making them want to find out more about your God? Are you increasing the awareness of this brand? by that I mean, are people getting saved through you spreading the gospel? This is the only way we know as Christians that the brand of Christ is increasing! Have you embodied the brand identity in appearance by the way you dress and represent yourself? Does your demeanour (outward behaviour) represent the brand of Christ? What of your values and ethics? what do you stand for? believe in? do they represent The Brand of Christ.
To be honest there are so many designer labels and companies in this world, but when you look at it critically and spiritually, I personally see only two (2) God and the Devil and when all is said and done, each one of us will pick a side. Where will you stand? Which brand will you represent? As a Christian I am Christ Ambassador an ambassador that represents the brand that they are in. What then should we do? We need to seriously wake up and stop living our lives like people who don’t care! Paul continues to say…. “as though God we’re making His appeal through us.” The word appeal means, ’to make a serious, urgent, or heartfelt request.’ If our lives are supposed to be used to make an appeal to those who are not saved, will lives get saved? Will the world know about Christ? This statement, that God is making an appeal is a serious heartfelt request through our lives to those who don’t know Him. This is one statement that we need to take seriously and the question we ought to ask ourselves is, “can my life be used by God to make an appeal to others?”
The times that were living in, more and more christians are compromising their faith for the sake of ‘fitting in,’ but Paul reminds us in Romans 12:1-2, The New Living Translation (NLT) puts it very nicely, “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all He has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice – the kind He will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship Him. Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” Christianity shouldn’t be a Sunday thing whereby all we do is go to church, listen to God’s Word, read the Bible and come back home and place the Bible on the shelf like nothing ever happened, only to pick it up again after one week when its Church again.
Ambassadors represent their Country, their brand! they make sure that everyone who doesn’t know, or who had a bad image of whatever they were selling would be sold out to what they bring on the table. That is what we need to do as believers and followers of Christ, wear His brand and sell it out to everyone around us. We shouldn’t be comfortable even when those around us have no clue that we are saved. It’s like we have this huge secret and only we know the truth No! We need to step up and be of our brand! After all God made Him (Christ) who had no sin, to be sin for us, so that in Him (Christ), we might become the righteousness of God. Jesus took all the sin and shame and nailed it onto the cross, He wasn’t ashamed because of us, why should we be ashamed because of Him? The choice is yours, but remember what Jesus says in Luke 9:26 (NLT) “if anyone is ashamed of me and my message, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when He returns in His Glory and in the Glory of The Father and the Holy Angels.” It all comes down to choices and I don’t know about you, but as for me, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile (Romans 1:16) Therefore I will wear the brand of Christ with boldness and speak about His love and His mercy, one article at a time…
Become an Ambassador for Christ, represent Him everywhere you go by wearing His Designer Brand Image with the values, ethics and believes that stand for the Image of Christ.