Discovering Motives for Service

KEY VERSE: “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.” —II Corinthians 5:20

SELECTED SCRIPTURE: II Corinthians 5:6-20

THE APOSTLE PAUL’S second letter to the brethren at Corinth emphasized the fact that as followers of the Master we have the privilege of participating in the work of the Lord in connection with the reconciliation of the human race to harmony with him. Paul said we are “workers together with him” (II Cor. 6:1), and admonished us not to receive this grace of God in vain by unfaithfulness.—II Cor. 5:19

This viewpoint is important, for it means that accepting Jesus as our Redeemer during the Gospel Age is not just to attain salvation from sin and death ourselves, but that we may become co-workers with the Lord in his great plan of salvation for the entire world of mankind. Paul wrote, “Unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.” (Phil. 1:29) This suffering comes through association with Jesus in the ministry of reconciliation.

We qualify for a part in this ministry because God has given to us the “Word of reconciliation.” (II Cor. 5:19) We read, “God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.”—II Cor. 4:6,7

Aside from willing hearts, we have nothing to qualify us for such a high position in the divine plan. The excellency and the power is of God.

Faithfulness in this ministry calls for the preaching of Christ, not of ourselves, always emphasizing that the Gospel we proclaim has as its basis and central figure, Jesus Christ, who gave himself a ransom for all. It is through the merit of his shed blood that we are made acceptable as co-workers in the ministry. “God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself” (II Cor. 5:19), and we as Jesus’ followers, are the first to be reconciled to God, made acceptable for the ministry in which we are invited to participate.

Paul called us ambassadors for Christ. An ambassador is a minister who represents the sovereign power and dignity of his government. Our citizenship is in heaven, and the words of Jesus concerning his followers are, “They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.” (John 17:14) While still living in the world, we are not of it, but have transferred our allegiance and citizenship to the heavenly kingdom. Our Father in heaven has delivered us from the power of darkness, and has translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son.—Col. 1:13

In this capacity, we should feel both the dignity and the honor of the position, as well as its weighty responsibilities, keeping in mind the apostle’s words: “Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”—Col. 3:17

As Jesus was in the world, so are we, his followers. Our Master said, “To this end was I born and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth.” (John 18:37) Similarly all the Lord’s followers are to bear witness to the truth, proving their loyalty to God’s holy Word and will, his character, and his great purpose. We have been made stewards of the mysteries of God, and it is required of stewards that a man be found faithful.—I Cor. 4:1,2

Dawn Bible Students Association
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