Vol. 17, No. 30 – July 29, 2018
Eph 6:20, Your Royal Ambassadorship
Our passage of study, Eph 6:20, is one of two places in the NT where the term “ambassador” is used. The other is 2 Cor 5:20. Other passages like 1 Peter 2:9, speak to the role of ambassador, but these two passages are the only ones that directly identify it. Therefore, since we do not often come across this term, we need to spend a little time understanding it and its application to our lives.
Every believer is entered into the Royal Ambassadorship of God at the moment of their salvation. It is one of the 40+ things we receive on the day of our conversion. It is a position that God has sovereignly chosen for us and bestowed on us. It is not a choice of our own, other than the fact that you chose to believe in Jesus Christ as your Savior. On the day that you did, you were ordained as a Royal Ambassador for Christ and entered into your Royal Ambassadorship.
The Greek word for Ambassador is the PRESBEUO, πρεσβεύω, (pres-byoo’-o), that means, “an aged person, elder, be an ambassador, or be a representative (for someone).” It is used in classical Greek to denote the activity of an official envoy of a ruler or government who legally represented the authority responsible for sending him. It is similar to the Noun PRESBUTES or the Adjective PRESBUTEROS that means, “older man, ancestor, elder, presbyter.”
In fact, it is part of the PRESBUS family of words that relates to elders or those in authority, especially inside the Church. It is where the Christian denomination Presbyterian got its name, which also signified its organizational structure of elders in the local assembly, rather than the hierarchical structure of the Roman Catholic church or the Protestant English Episcopalian church.
PRESBEUO, πρεσβεύω, Verb; “Act as an ambassador,” 2 Cor 5:20; Eph 6:20.
PRESBEIA, πρεσβεία, Noun; “Embassy, ambassador,” Luke 14:32; 19:14.
PRESBUTEROS, πρεσβύτερος, Adjective; “Older man, ancestor, elder, presbyter,” used many times in Scripture.
PRESBUTERION, πρεσβυτέριον, Noun; “Assembly of elders, presbytery,” Luke 22:66; Acts 22:5; 1 Tim 4:14.
PRESBUTES, πρεσβύτης, Noun; “An old man,” Luke 1:18; Titus 2:2; Philemon 1:9.
PRESBUTIS, πρεσβύτις, Noun; “Elderly woman,” Titus 2:3.
SUMPRESBUTEROS, συμπρεσβύτερος, Noun: “Fellow elder, fellow minister, co-pastor,” 1 Peter 5:1.
The earliest mention of political “ambassadors,” called messengers or envoys in the Bible, are found in Num 20:14; Josh 9:4; Judg. 11:17-19.
The Hebrew utilizes the Noun TSIYR, צִיר that means, “an ambassador, an envoy, or a messenger.” Also Malakh מַלְאָךְ, “messenger;” LITS, לוּץ, “interpreter.”
Definition and Description.
An ambassador is a high ranking minister of state or of royalty sent by one country as its long-term representative to another country to represent his home sovereign or country. An ambassador is an official envoy who represents a foreign sovereign, providing a link between his host country and the country he represents. Ambassadors work to build relations and develop policies that favor both the host and the home of the ambassador. An ambassador is appointed by the leadership of those he represents and is given authority to speak on their behalf.
By analogy, we are spiritual aristocracy as members of the Royal Family of God, and Christ is the King who has sent us into a foreign country; Satan’s cosmic system – the world.
At salvation, every believer enters the Royal Family of God through adoption by means of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and at the same time we become a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ on earth. Ambassadorship results from the fact that we are in union with Christ, caused by the Baptism of the Spirit, cf. Rom 6:3; Gal 3:27. Therefore, every Church Age believer is part of the Royal Family of God representing the King of kings and Lord of lords during our time on this earth. Therefore, two commissions are given to the believer at salvation: the Royal Priesthood, which is a part of the equal privilege of election; and the Royal Ambassadorship, which is a part of the equal privilege of predestination, 1 Peter 2:5-9. As such, we represent ourselves before God and we represent God before men.
Ambassadorship emphasizes that every believer is in fulltime Christian service. Yet, there are different services. Differences of service depends on differences of spiritual gifts, stages of spiritual growth, historical circumstances (prevalence of positive or negative volition), and environment at any given moment, 1 Cor 12:4-6.
1 Cor 12:4, “Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. 6There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons. 7But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.”
Our spiritual gift is a specific gift given to each of us that we use distinctly for the common good of our generation. But there are also common functions and services related to our Priesthood and Ambassadorship that the Word commands us to participate in, such as witnessing, praying, learning God’s Word, assembly together faithfully, etc., so that there is no confusion between what your spiritual gift demands and those functions which are common to all believers. Ambassadorship is common to all believers; it is not just the title for Pastors, evangelists, or missionaries.
In addition to the mandates of Scripture, there are many avenues of expressing your Ambassadorship, such as utilizing the Faith‑Rest life and Impersonal Love as Problem Solving Devices with emphasis on your spiritual growth. Even though you are an ambassador from day one of your salvation, it is not until you grow spiritually that you are able to exercise your position. Spiritual Self-Esteem, the first stage of spiritual adulthood, results in the maximum expression of your ambassadorship, which is a result of consistent residence inside of God’s Power System under the enabling power of the Holy Spirit and momentum from metabolized Bible doctrine in your soul.
In 2 Cor 5:20, Paul speaks of himself and others as “ambassadors for Christ,” commissioned by their sovereign King to engage in the ministry of reconciliation. As official representatives, they spoke, (as we should also speak today), with the authority of God to the extent that when they spoke the message of reconciliation, it was as though God himself was doing the talking.
Similarly, in Eph 6:20, Paul described himself as acting as an “ambassador in chains,” the imprisoned representative of Christ. This image conveys both the risk involved for the emissary of God, and the oneness the ambassador has with the message he is speaking.
An ambassador must walk a very fine line. He lives in one country, but he is responsible to another. He must represent the message of a leader who is not directly present. He must also embody the character of his home country, following laws and customs that are not necessarily known or even welcome in the host nation. All while respecting the laws and customs of that host.
The Bible contains no finer characterization of the exalted and spiritual nature of the believer’s vocation as the representative of Jesus Christ, the King of kings, and Savior of the world, Mal 2:7.
Malachi 2:7, “For the lips of a priest should preserve knowledge, and men should seek instruction from his mouth; for he is the messenger (MALAKH) of the LORD of hosts.”
This verse confirms the solemn responsibility and high calling of the priesthood in the OT. In applying here this term, “messenger of the Lord,” the priest is made aware of the awesome responsibility that, just as angels and prophets, he is to be a spokesman for God. (Many times in the Old Test. MALAKH or “messenger” is used with YHWH that indicates the “angel of the Lord.” Only here is this term applied to a priest, KOHEN. As such, our Ambassadorship goes hand-in-hand with our Royal priesthood, 1 Peter 2:9.
In 2 Cor 5, instead of a nation, Paul is an ambassador of the Kingdom of God. Unlike modern political ambassadors, Paul did not originate from the “nation” he represented. He had to be adopted in, through Christ’s sacrifice, and then he had to undergo a change of perspective. He was no longer a citizen of the world and he no longer saw things as a citizen of the world. He saw things through the perspective of a citizen of the Kingdom of God; he was a new creation, vs. 17.
If we are to represent Jesus to the world, we must first belong to the Kingdom of God instead of the kingdom of Satan’s world and self. We must live by the standards of our new King, even though we are temporarily away from Him, vs. 6-9. Most importantly, we must accept that this earth is not our home; our home awaits us, “eternal in the heavens,” vs. 1, even if we are imprisoned and abused by our host country, Eph 6:20. In addition, ambassadors must spread His message: that everyone is welcome to have such a relationship with God.
Paul’s work as ambassador, as is ours, was to spread his Ruler’s message to his host nation. That message was reconciliation. God wanted to be personally reconciled to the people Paul lived with. In a way, Paul was asking his hosts to commit treason against the kingdom of the world and pledge citizenship to the Kingdom of God. They could then follow in Paul’s footsteps by becoming an ambassador for Christ in their own lives, just as we have become. It starts with a change in citizenship.
I am convinced that many of us have misunderstood our ambassadorship and our ministry. We think it is clocking in and clocking out, either as a paid employee or as a volunteer. But God has something radically different in mind. He wants us on call in every conversation and in every interaction.
The OT gives us some understanding as to the role of the Church Age ambassador for Christ:
- David sent ambassadors to Hanun, king of the Ammonites, to congratulate him upon his accession to the throne, 2 Sam 10:2, and Hiram sent them to Solomon for a like purpose, 1 Kings 5:1. Toi, king of Hamath, sent his son Joram to David “to greet him and bless him” after his victory over Hadadezer, 2 Sam 8:10. Therefore, we see the ambassador as one bringing a word of encouragement to others.
- Ambassadors were also sent:
- To protest against a wrong, Judges 11:12,
- To seek friendship, Num 20:14,
- To contract alliances, Joshua 9:3-6.
As ambassadors for Christ, we are to save people from their sins, plead for them to be reconciled to God, and invite them into the Royal Family of God.
In addition, the OT shows us that faithful ambassadors bring health to a nation, Prov 13:17, i.e., salvation to the people. In addition, we see in Isaiah that he condemned Israel for sending ambassadors to Egypt seeking military aid rather than seeking God’s aid, Isa 30:4; Cf. Isa 57:9. Therefore, we are to make it clear that the world cannot save or truly provide, but only God can. Ambassadors need to encourage all to trust in God, rather than themselves or the world.
When we became ambassadors for Christ, our lives ceased to be our own. We need to acknowledge that our lives belong to another Person now.
But if we are honest with ourselves, this is where we fall into trouble, because we do not really want to live as ambassadors, at least not ALL the time. Some days, we would rather live as a mini-king. We know what we like and the people we want to be with. We know the kind of house we would like to own and the car we want to drive. Without even recognizing it, we quickly fall into a “my kingdom come, my will be done” lifestyle.
Why does it seem that people, things, and situations get in our way? Why do we seldom go through a day without some experience of conflict? The answer is that we view our lives as our own. Often, we are more committed to the purposes of our own little kingdom than we are to God’s eternal kingdom. This is why Christ said that to be his disciples, we must die to ourselves, Luke 9:23, Gal 2:20, and why no one can serve two masters, Mat 6:24.
As ambassadors, we must sacrifice our own kingship before we can properly represent the one true King. The biggest reason for lack of ministry in the church and in our culture is not a lack of training. It is our hearts. Where is God specifically calling you to die to yourself so you can live for a kingdom much bigger than your own?
Therefore, if we know what God’s intention for ministry is, (everyone, everywhere, all the time), and if we know what the biggest obstacle to our ministry lifestyle is, (our hearts pursuing the kingdom of self), what then is the best way to minister to others? The last phrase of 2 Cor 5:20 tells us, “We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”
That directive does have evangelistic application. Believers should look for opportunities to implore non-believers to be reconciled with God, so they can experience eternal life. But, in the context of this passage, Paul has another line of reasoning.
Look back a few verses, 2 Cor 5:14-15 “For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this; that One has died for all, therefore all died; 15and He died for all, that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.”
Paul is saying that the purpose of the Cross is not just to secure an eternity for sinners, but to also recapture the hearts of God’s people to serve God alone. Our sin not only separates us from God, but even after we have been reconciled to God through justification, our remaining sin causes us to be incredibly self-absorbed, reducing us to idolatrous worshippers of self.
The focus of Christ’s work is to deliver us from our bondage to ourselves, even after we have been saved! As long as sin indwells us, which it will until Jesus returns or we are taken home, we tend to wander away from the worship of God and serve ourselves. God is intent on owning our hearts unchallenged. His goal is that our lives be shaped by a worship of Him and nothing else. And, He has chosen to send us as His ambassadors to make His appeal for people’s hearts. What an exciting calling! Who is God calling you to engage with in “the ministry of reconciliation?”
As such, an ambassador is one through whom a sovereign speaks. “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making His appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God,” 2 Cor 5:20.
The apostles, as sent by Christ with authority to speak in his name, and to negotiate with men, proposing the terms of reconciliation, and urging their acceptance, were in an eminent sense His ambassadors. Just as all believers are sent by Christ and are commissioned by Him to propose the terms of salvation, they too are entitled to the same honorable designation: AMBASSADOR!
Summary, The Profile of the Ambassador.
1.) Ambassadors do not appoint themselves. We are appointed by God Himself at the moment we believe in Jesus Christ. God also gives us the power and ability to handle the job.
2.) The Ambassador does not support himself. The Church Age believer, as an ambassador for Christ, is provided for by God’s logistical grace blessings.
3.) The Ambassador’s instructions are always in written form, so he has no doubt as to what he should do. We have the policies, Problem Solving Devices, instructions, principles, doctrines, and concepts in written form in the Scripture.
4.) The Ambassador does not belong to the country to which he is sent. Our citizenship and home is in heaven, Phil 3:20, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.” Cf. Eph 2:19; Phil 1:27; Heb 12:22. We are also citizens of a client nation to God – the USA.
5.) The Ambassador does not live in the foreign country for his own personal interest. We live here on earth solely to serve in the interest of our Lord. Therefore, we subordinate all personal interest to the function of our ambassadorship, which includes the development and function of the spiritual skills, including the Filling of the Spirit, understanding of Bible doctrine, and the execution of the Plan of God. Our position as Ambassadors for Christ is in place as of the moment of salvation, but it is not effective until we develop spiritual skills by growing to spiritual maturity.
6.) The Ambassador does not treat any insult to himself as personal, Prov 12:16b. This is the Royal Ambassador’s function in both Spiritual Self-Esteem and Impersonal Love for All Mankind. We tolerate others and hold no grudges. When we are insulted, treated unfairly, or ridiculed, we have tremendous Problem Solving Devices (PSD) to handle the situation. You recognize that it is God who they are insulting and not us, we apply the PSD’s, and we turn the matter over to the Supreme Court of Heaven in Faith-Rest.
7.) When an Ambassador is recalled, it means either that his job is done, or it means a declaration of war. This is analogous to our death when our Lord will bring us home as a good servant, Mat 25:21, 23, or the Rapture of the Church, 1 Thes 4:13-18. The Tribulation is analogous to the period of war.
8.) Everything the believer does in life becomes a part of his way of life as a Royal Ambassador. Every believer, therefore, makes a pulpit out of his circumstances in every area of life. Every believer is in full‑time service; this is a decision God made, not one that we make. The Lord uses ambassadors in business, professions, homes, academic life, and in local churches. Your circumstances are your full-time Christian service whether you work in the military, in labor, or in management.
- Believers as ambassadors are the personal representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ. Every believer is in the Plan of God and lives his life under the principle of full-time Christian service. The profession of every believer is representing Christ as a Royal Ambassador. The avocation of every believer is making a living as per Philemon. Paul was as much an ambassador in prison as when he was a traveling missionary. You always represent Christ.
9.) Your ambassadorship is basically made up of two factors: how you live, and what you say as a result of what you think. Generally, in private, you function under your priesthood; in public, you function under your ambassadorship. This was Font/Pitch 2,12 – Off.Note: The change to pitch (12) and font (1) must be converted manually.This is the function of every believer who witnesses and is the special function of the believer with the gift of evangelism. We are to witness through verbal communication of the gospel of the Word of God. We are not to witness only through our lifestyle.
10.) The Church Age believer is not only an Ambassador to human creatures but to angels as well. You are a Royal Ambassador being watched right now. Angels observed our Lord, 1 Tim 3:16. They observe and rejoice over the conversion of one person, Luke 15:7-10. Fallen angels are organized to resist and oppose your ambassadorship and your growth in grace, Job 1:6, 2:1‑3; Eph 6:12. The fact that angels are watching you as an Ambassador is found in 1 Cor 4:9; Eph 3:10; 1 Tim 5:21; 1 Peter 1:12.
1 Cor 4:9, “For, I think, God has exhibited us apostles last of all, as men condemned to death (last ones into the coliseum); because we have become a spectacle (amphitheater) to the world, both to angels and to men.”
Eph 3:10, “So that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places (angels).”
1 Tim 5:21, “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen (elect) angels, to maintain these principles (doctrines) without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality.”
1 Peter 1:12, “It was revealed to them (OT Prophets) that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those (Church Age Ambassadors) who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven—things into which angels long to look.”
11.) Christians are God’s ambassadors in that they have been “approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel,” 1 Thes 2:4. As we go through this world, we represent another Kingdom, John 18:36, and it is our responsibility to reflect the “official position” of heaven. We are in this world, but not of it, John 17:16.
12.) God’s ambassadors are to be “as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves,” Mat 10:16. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, we must take the message of our King to the “ends of the earth,” Acts 1:8, imploring men and women everywhere to be reconciled to God.
Being an ambassador for Christ is the fulfillment of the incredibly important kingdom perspective. To follow Christ means to give up the kingdom of self and the kingdom of the world, and pledge allegiance to the Kingdom of God. It means our home is heaven, not earth. Our responsibility is to tell others about that good news, so they can join the Kingdom of God as well.
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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
#18-076 – 18-078
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A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us.
Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life. So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ,
died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I Welcome You to the Eternal Family of God !!!