Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Renouncing Shame – Part 1 – God’s Ambassadors

Michael writes this week: Everything we do depends on God whether we realize it or not.  According to Ecclesiastes, there is nothing new under the sun. God has already seen everything that has happened and will ever happen.  He sees everything from the perspective of eternity. We see things as God reveals them to us one step a time. All things are and will be according to His sovereign will.

When Abraham was called by God, he was called to be God's Ambassador. He had God's authority and he represented the Kingdom of Heaven when he spoke the Word of God on behalf of God. Likewise, we are called by our sovereign Lord to be His Ambassadors. We have been called both to deliver the message and to be the message. Therefore, we pray you in Christ's stead be ye reconciled to God.

2 Corinthians 5:17-21 says: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

As His ambassadors, our authority is based entirely on who we are in Christ. Old things are passed away, behold all things are become new. Through Christ we have been made God's new creation and He has entrusted us with a new message to reconcile others to Himself through Jesus Christ. Our credentials are not in our own accomplishments, rather our credentials are the gift of the Spirit: Christ in us the hope of Glory.

We examine two aspects of Ambassadors culminating in 2 Corinthians 5:17-21: first, that God is our sufficiency and that we are totally dependent upon Him. The second aspect is that we are ministers of the law of the Spirit of God, in Christ, in us. We are ministers not of the Old Testament law of the flesh that results in death, but of the new law of the Spirit that results in eternal life. Because of the Spirit of life in Christ, God has enabled us to fulfill the "sh'ma" the Old Testament law according to Deuteronomy 6:5, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy might." Jesus clarified this passage when he quoted it in Mark 12:30:  "And though shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind and with all thy strength." Some have said that Jesus quoted the scripture incorrectly when He changed the ending of this verse to "with all thy mind and with all thy strength."  However, Jesus knew the Hebrew text. He also understood the meaning of the text.  The word translated "might" in Hebrew means "very" or "superlative." Jesus clarified this passage to mean, love God with your "very essence" or as Oswald Chambers said, "My Utmost" for His Highest.  

Let's continue Michael's message on the next post.
In Christ , Brian

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