Paul considered himself Christ's ambassador. What is an ambassador? He is an authorized
representative of a sovereign. He speaks not in his own name but on behalf of the ruler
whose deputy he is, and his whole duty and responsibility is to interpret that ruler's
mind faithfully to those to whom he is sent.
Paul used this "ambassador" image twice -- both in connection with his
evangelistic work. Pray for me, he wrote from prison, "that utterance may be given me
in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an
ambassador in chains; that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak" (Eph.
6:18-20). He wrote also that God "gave us the ministry of reconciliation...So we are
ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We beseech you on behalf of
Christ, be reconciled to God" (2 Corinthians 5:18-20).
Paul called himself an ambassador because he knew that when he proclaimed the gospel
facts and promises and urged sinners to receive the reconciliation effected at Calvary, he
was declaring Christ's message to the world. The figure of ambassadorship highlights the
authority Paul had, as representing his Lord, as long as he remained faithful to the terms
of his commission and said neither less nor more than he had been given to say.
James Packer, Your Father Loves You, Harold Shaw Publishers, 1986.
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