Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Ministers of the Spirit – Part 1 – Ambassadors

1 Corinthians 4:20 “For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.”

This week Michael writes: The Bible verse above says that the kingdom of God does not consist of talk, but of power. What is it that divides churches? Idle speaking and gossip will divide the hearts of people. Therefore, according to Ecclesiastes, let your words be few. Wisdom is the righteous application of knowledge. The key to activating the power of God is wisdom: believing action according to His Word. When we were “born again” of the spirit of the living God, we became citizens of Heaven. Heaven is the country of our new birth. Not only are we citizens of heaven, our sovereign Lord has also made us His Ambassadors.  An ambassador is the highest ranking government official sent by his sovereign Lord to represent his homeland in a foreign country.  We are ambassadors for Christ. 

The 1828 Webster’s Dictionary defines an Ambassador as a minister of the highest rank employed by one prince or state, at the court of another, to manage the public concerns of his own prince or state, and representing the power and dignity of his sovereign. Ambassadors are ordinary, when they reside permanently at a foreign court; or extraordinary, when they are sent on a special occasion. As Ambassadors, we are committed to represent our homeland, the kingdom of our heavenly King, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation and generation among whom you shine as lights in a world of darkness. God has called us as missionaries to His mission. Our mission is to be Ambassadors, wholly dependent upon God. We shall tear down everything that exalts itself against the truth of the Word of God. We shall love our enemies and our neighbors as ourselves. We shall lovingly plead with all people to be reconciled with God. We are empowered with the righteousness of Christ himself, for He who knew no sin was made the perfect sin sacrifice on our behalf that we may be made the righteousness of God in Him.

To come to the cross of Christ, the crossroads of life, we must give up the rights to ourselves. He who approaches the Lord must do so with a broken and a contrite heart.  Pride cannot approach the throne of grace. To come to our Father through the cross of Christ, we must offer our "declaration of dependence" on Him alone. For He alone is our sufficiency ... not that we are sufficient in ourselves, but our sufficiency is in Him.  

2 Corinthians chapters 3 - 5 says we are Ambassadors for Christ. What is it that makes us Ambassadors?  What are our credentials as Ambassadors?  According to chapters three and four, the letter of the Old Testament law of sin and death kills, but the spirit of life in Christ in us gives life. Therefore we are ministers, not of the letter (of the law of Moses) for the letter of the law kills ... It convicts of sin resulting in death. Rather, we are ministers of the law of the Spirit that gives life. The law of the Spirit of life in Christ is more glorious than the glory of the Ten Commandments, the law given to Moses on Mount Sinai. Everyone who witnessed the giving of the Old Testament law trembled at the glory of the Lord ... the earth itself shook when God spoke to Moses. The children of Israel said, "Lord speak through Moses and we'll obey." The glory of the Spirit of life in Christ is even more glorious than the power of God manifested at Mount Sinai.  In Isaiah 30:15 who's waiting? The people are not waiting for God, rather God is waiting on the people. He's waiting for His people to repent ... to turn from their wicked ways and unto Him. God gave them His great and precious promises. Their choice was to follow the Lord and be blessed or follow the way of the world and suffer the consequences. The choice is truth or consequences.  

Let's continue Michael's message on being "Ministers of the Spirit" on tomorrow's post.
In Christ, Brian

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