“Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ…” (2 Corinthians 5:20)
The third level of commitment to Christ is identified by the preposition “for Christ.” Paul concludes that when we understand all that we have available to us “by Christ,” and we fully appreciate what it means to be “in Christ,” we are therefore ambassadors “for Christ.”
Paul writes:“Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:18) According to Paul, everyone who has been reconciled to God by Christ has been given the message and the ministry of reconciliation. This means every believer is a minister. The seventh beatitude “blessed are the peacemakers” is another way of saying the same thing. As conduits of God we should plead with people to be reconciled to God.
There is another application to this third level of commitment as demonstrated by the legendary missionary David Livingstone. On one very hot day in Africa, he faced a stream he had to cross. Holding his gear over his head he waded through sewer-like water that had a terrible odor. Covered with decayed plant life up to his chin, when he reached the other side he laid down his gear. Falling prostrate on his face, David Livingstone cried out, “Father I thank you for the privilege of going through this putrid jungle stream for You!”
I was once asked as a pastor to visit a missionary couple who returned after 48 years in China without any welcome or appreciation. Although living in tenement housing and in poor health, they were in wonderful spirits. When I inquired about their attitude they said, “You have to know Who you are doing it for.”
Do you know Who you are doing it for?