So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him. For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. And he gave us this wonderful message of reconciliation. So we are Christ’s ambassadors; God is making his appeal through us. We speak for Christ when we plead, “Come back to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. (2 Corinthians 5:16-21)
God reconciles us to himself by blotting out our sins (see also Ephesians 2:13-18) and making us righteous. We are no longer God’s enemies, or strangers or foreigners to him, when we trust in Christ. We make an exchange—our sin for his righteousness. Our sin was poured into Christ at his crucifixion. His righteousness is poured into us at our conversion. This is what Christians mean by Christ’s atonement for sin. In the world, bartering works only when two people exchange goods of relatively equal value. But God offers to trade his righteousness for our sin—something of immeasurable worth for something completely worthless.
Because we have been reconciled to God, we have the privilege of encouraging others to do the same, and thus we are those who have the “task of reconciling people to him” (2 Corinthians 5:18). An ambassador is an official representative on behalf of one country to another. As believers, we are Christ’s ambassadors, sent with his message of reconciliation to the world. An ambassador of reconciliation has an important responsibility. We dare not take this responsibility lightly.
Who were the “ambassadors” who helped reconcile you to God? How do you fulfill your commission as Christ’s ambassador? What are the most useful tools that aid you as an ambassador? What would you say to someone who, like some of the Corinthians, ignored God’s message of repentance?