An interesting article begins with these words: “They are the scourge of the world’s capitals. They flout the law and cost the authorities millions. Yet, like mice, noise and traffic jams, there seems to be little any city can do to protect itself from diplomats.” Diplomats, or Ambassadors have a special kind of immunity and so all around the world, they tend to flout things like traffic laws and rack up huge fines that are left unpaid. Sometimes TV shows, books, or movies deal with the problem when someone who is under diplomatic immunity commits a major crime and nothing can be done. There are tense relations as the police try to convince the Ambassador to lift the diplomatic immunity so that they can arrest and prosecute the criminal.
So many people live in fear of being caught breaking the laws that they often don’t accomplish a whole lot. And let’s face it, the way the laws are written, if you work hard to obey one law, you may be breaking another one. Ambassadors don’t have to worry about that. An Ambassador’s only job is to represent the government that appointed him or her. This makes Paul’s reminder that we are ambassadors for Christ even stronger. What is our charge as ambassadors? “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:17-19)
Paul’s next words were to remind the Corinthians that they were ambassadors for Christ. How did they, and we, achieve this exalted position? It begins with recognizing that we are new creations in Christ Jesus. In some places Paul lists a bunch of sins that God’s people used to commit and reminds us that’s how we were. Once we commit our lives to Christ, though, we’re no longer bound by the laws of sin and death. We are a new creation. The charge that God gives to each and every believer is to act as an ambassador proclaiming the ministry of reconciliation. Our God and King has decided that this is the message He wants us to proclaim. It would be easy to get entangled in the problems of this world and focus on this sin o that sin. God doesn’t call us to do that. God calls us to proclaim the message of reconciliation to those who are trapped in sin.
We like to picture some sins as worse than other, but in the end, all sin separates people from God. Our job is to proclaim that no matter what the sin may be, there is hope for forgiveness because of Jesus Christ. God wants us to be reconciled to Him, and He wants us to let others know about this reconciliation that is available because Jesus paid the price for our sins. All of them. Our responsibility as Ambassadors for Christ is to share that message of reconciliation, not get embroiled in the message of the world of sin and death. If you’re worried about that sin thing that people who have been reconciled to God have to deal with: don’t. It’s not your job. God’s job is to make them a new creation. God’s job is to take away the old and bring in the new. We may see some Christians engaging in the old ways of life because reconciliation is a long-term, ongoing process. Even Ambassadors for Christ may fall into the old ways and break the laws of this world. Fear not: if it happens to you, bring it back to God. If it happens to someone else, bring it back to God. In either case, keep proclaiming the message of reconciliation.
Lord, there are so many who need to be reconciled to You. Help me to show them Your love and mercy. Use me to draw them into a state of reconciliation with You.