We have covered the privilege of our ambassadorship. The right granted by God enabling us to tell men about the grace of God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have a twofold privilege, or “a right given us by God,” to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery. And it is a privilege to make our impact upon principalities and powers in heavenly places of the manifold wisdom, eternal purpose of God. It is indeed a privilege! Now we come to the responsibility that comes with being an ambassador for Christ. What does it mean to be responsible? To be responsible means: being able to answer for one’s own conduct and obligations: you are either trustworthy, dependable, reliable, tried-and-true, able to choose for oneself between right and wrong. Or you are not! Responsible.
But first, the ambassador for Christ, must have the right or proper attitude. We must have the proper mental position with regard to a fact or a state. It is possible to have a negative attitude, or a positive, optimistic attitude. For the ambassador of Christ, we must fully comprehend, appreciate, grasp, recognize that our justified, sanctified, positions have enabled us to live unto God.
We have the privilege, the right, the responsibility to labor with God in His business. Afterall, “We are His WORKMANSHIP, created IN CHRIST JESUS for GOOD WORKS which GOD has already PREPARED us, that WE should WALK IN THEM.” One of these good works is, co-laboring with GOD, as His ambassadors of Christ, in evangelism. Apostle Paul had the proper attitude when he said in Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Jesus said to His disciples in Matt. 6:24, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other, or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon (money, possessions, fame, status, or whatever is valued more than the Lord). James 1:8 says, “a double minded man is unstable and all his ways”.
Paul continued: ”For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; But to think soberly, according as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith. 1 Cor. 9:16 “For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to Glory of: for necessity (a requirement) is laid upon me: yea, woe (misery) is unto me, if I preach not the gospel. For if I do this thing willingly, I have a reward: but against my will, (I still have) a dispensation of the gospel committed unto me.
Ambassadorship, preaching the gospel is what Christ required Paul to labor in. Paul was compelled to preach the gospel of the grace of God. He has no choice in the matter he is under orders, Christ has given him a job to do, a charge to keep I have, and a God to glorify, the good works of the ministry. Paul was under orders by God, and told Timothy, his son in the gospel: “to charge some that they teach no other doctrine.”
Paul is the master builder of the body of Christ in the dispensation of the grace of God. And Paul cautions us as ambassadors” I have laid the foundation of grace, and another (that’s you and me) buildeth thereupon. But let every man take heed ( be careful) how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid. (1 Tim. 1:4;1 Cor. 3:10-16).
(1 Cor. 9:20-22 ) We are talking about the responsibility, and having the proper attitude to be an effective ambassador of Christ. First, and foremost, you must LIKE people. I will say that again. First, and foremost, you must LIKE people to be an effective ambassador for Christ. Paul did not offend people; he set aside personal privileges out of love on purpose. Paul carefully used tact to make contact with people. Paul had a dual citizenship. Paul was born a Jew, so he used that to win the Jews. And Paul was a Roman citizen, so he used that to win the Gentiles. Paul was uniquely suited as the perfect apostle to the body of Christ made-up of both Jews and Gentiles. He became all things to all people so that he might save some. Paul knew he would not win everyone to Christ, but he wanted to save as many from the LAKE OF FIRE (Rev. 20:14-15; 21:8), as possible, and establish them in sound doctrine. Yes, Paul worked hard for the gospel sake so that he could be a bodybuilder for Christ (building the body of Christ) one saint at a time, so that he could spend eternity with as many as he could.
Paul can be overheard in Romans chapter one, vss. 14-16:” I am a debtor both to the Greek, and to the Barbarians; Both to the wise, and to the unwise. Here is where the rubber meets the road…” Paul makes a statement: “ SO AS MUCH IN ME IS; I AM READY! (Are YOU ready?) “ I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.” FOR I AM NOT ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST: (Are YOU ashamed of the gospel?) for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; To the Jew first, also to the Greek. Paul was ready to discharge his debt to the gospel.
We can hear Paul’s gratitude for the privilege and responsibility of his ambassadorship.
“NOW THANKS BE UNTO GOD, WHICH CAUSES Us (ALWAYS) TO TRIUMPH IN CHRIST. And (THROUGH Us, WE ARE SPREADING, & MAKING KNOWN THE SWEET FRAGRANCE) OF HIS KNOWLEDGE BY Us EVEYWHERE, & IN EVERY PLACE. FOR WE (YOU & I), EVERYTIME WE WITNESS, WE ARE SENDING IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD, AN IMPACT (INFLUENCE) INTO THE HEAVENLY PLACES. AS AN AMBASSADOR FOR CHRIST, YOU ARE, A SWEET FRAGRANCE) OF CHRIST, IN THEM THAT ARE SAVED & IN THEM THAT ARE PERISHING.” FOR WE ARE NOT AS MANY, WHO CORRUPT (WREST THE SCRIPTURES, SHORT CHANGE, WRONGLY DIVIDE) THE WORD OF GOD: BUT WE SINCERELY, OUT OF A PURE HEART, SPEAK HIS WONDERFUL MESSAGE, “THE PREACHING OF JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO THE REVELATION OF THE MYSTERY,” IN THE SIGHT OF GOD, SPEAK WE IN CHRIST. (2 Cor. 2:14-17).
No wonder Paul said: “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation, to everyone that believeth, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.”
To God, the message of the mystery of Christ that we carry, and also you, the messenger of Christ, are a sweet smelling perfume of Christ, in them who are saved, and those there are lost.
PAUL IS OUR PATTERN, & HE SHOWS US THE PROPER ATTITUDE OF BEING A FAITHFUL AMBASSADOR!
ARE YOU SENDING A SWEET FRAGRANCE IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD & ANGELS? ARE YOU FAITHFUL TO THE GRACE MESSAGE, AS YOU WITNESS, MAKING ALL MEN SEE WHAT IS THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE MYSTERY? ARE YOU FAITHFUL TO THE MESSAGE OF THE GRACE OF GOD AS YOU WITNESS, SENDING A SWEET SMELLING FRAGRANCE, YOUR IMPACT INTO THE HEAVENLY PLACES? ARE YOU MINDFUL THAT YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE TO TEACH THE ANGELS ABOUT THE MANIFOLD WISDOM, THE ETERNAL PURPOSE OF GOD?
To the ambassador for Christ, the first thing on your mind when you wake up in the morning, and the last thing on your mind as you close your eyes to go to sleep is 2 Cor. 5:10:
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that everyone may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
1 Cor. 3:13: ” Every man’s work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire (DOCTRINE); And the fire (DOCTRINE) shall try every man’s work what sort it is. If a man’s work abides which he had built there upon, he shall receive a reward, if any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss (of rewards): but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”
Apostle Paul was thinking about ONLY one thing at the end of his life, his rewards at the judgment seat of Christ. That’s why he prayed this prayer after he put on the whole armor of God. “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the spirit, and watching there unto with all perseverance and supplication for All Saints; and for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds; that they’re in I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”
No wonder Paul could say at the end of his life, as he was headed toward Nero’s chopping block: “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love is appearing.” 2 Tim. 4:6-8..
As faithful ambassadors, faithful to the message, faithful to God who entrusted Us with the message of the grace of God, and the mystery of Christ, we too have a crown of righteousness laid up for us, which the Lord, the righteous judge shall give unto us at that day. And at that day we can say along with Paul to those souls at the BEMA, who we have won to Christ “For what (who) is our hope, our joy, our crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye (as we stand) in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming? For you are (indeed) our glory & joy. (1 Thess. 2:19). (Phil. 4:1).
What does the Bible say about the rewards that are available to us at the judgment seat of Christ, for faithfulness? But first, we are not only ambassadors for Christ, but we are also stewards. Let us define stewards or stewardship. A Steward: is one appointed (by God) to supervise, manage, oversee certain duties. Stewardship: is the act of careful, and responsible, management of carrying out your ambassadorship & the doctrine (Romans – Philemon) entrusted to one’s care. There will be rewards given at the Judgment Seat of Christ for faithful (loyal) ambassadorship or stewardship (the careful, and responsible) management in these areas, according to Paul’s epistles.
REWARDS FOR FAITHFUL (LOYAL) AMBASSADORS/ STEWARDSHIP:
1. Faithful stewardship of the mysteries of God (1 Corinthians 4:1-5). This stewardship concerns the special revelation of the mystery which was committed to Apostle Paul. The Twelve had the stewardship of the Kingdom committed to them. Most of Christendom have sadly confused these two stewardships. Reward in this area requires more than simple sincerity. Accuracy, careful handling, right division of the word: all of these are essential to faithfulness as a steward of the mysteries of God.
2. Faithful stewardship of worldly possessions (2 Corinthians 8, 9). The Israelites were subjected to a ten percent income tax, better known as the law of the tithe. Believers in this present dispensation of grace are not under the law (Rom. 6:14). Paul does not lay down any percentage. He simply states that sparse sowing will result in a sparse harvest and that every man should give “as he purposeth in his heart” not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7). Some have been entrusted with very little of this world’s goods, but if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man has, not according two that he has not. That is grace giving.
3. Faithfulness in soul winning. Paul said of those whom he had led to Christ: “ For what is our hope, our joy, our crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his (Rapture) coming? (1 Thess. 2:19).
4. Faithfulness under suffering and trial. Again, Paul says, “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him” (2 Tim. 2:12), and “if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together” (Rom. 8:17). I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” (Rom. 8:18).
5. Faithfulness toward all men. “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” (Gal. 6:9,10).