Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be you reconciled to God.
For he has made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
2 Corinthian 5:20-21
So ... why do most people turn to Christ? What about You?
Did you unconsciously or consciously bring a lot of old beliefs, habits, and philosophies with you that you were not willing to leave behind or give up?
When you trusted Christ, were you at the end of your old self, and ready to become a new creature; or were you just trying to become a better person?
There is a huge difference.
Did you decide to put off the old person and put on a new life with Christ, without really considering what that commitment meant?
This is the Truth we will consider today: wrong motives and false beliefs bring the wrong results.
When you became a Christian, was it your desire “to be made the righteousness of God in Him? Was this your desired end result? I never even considered this … you say? I was in need of a savior and I wanted to be forgiven and receive eternal life? Now we are on the same page … but God had a different plan. And that plan is for each of us to be made the righteousness of God in Him and to be ambassadors for Christ with a ministry of reconciliation.
We come to God and ask for His free gift of eternal life but we want to meet him on our terms. But that is not acceptable to God. The conversation with Jesus goes like this: “Thomas said to him, Lord, we know not where you go; and how can we know the way? Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.” John 14:5-6
According to Jesus … He is the Truth.And as they say in court when one swears on the Bible: “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.” This is the only thing that will satisfy God. The problem is that men as attorneys and politicians have continually proven that they have ingenious ways of twisting the truth … and so do all of the rest of us.
In order for the New Creature to come, the old must pass away. We must become born again of the Spirit like newborn babies to enter the kingdom of God. He will not allow for our false beliefs to come along with us into eternity. Everything we believe must be tested against His Truth.
On the other hand, the common tactic for men is to test His eternal Truth against those things which they have already come to believe. Or more specifically, men will search the scriptures for verses that support their previously accepted beliefs and conclusions … and then they write books about it using these out of context conclusions as biblical evidence of their false beliefs. This is either hypocrisy, heresy; or at the worst deliberate evil intent.
You have heard it said that people can make the Bible say anything they wish. Well the statement is true; but beyond people’s deluded minds, these false conclusions have no impact on the eternal truth that Jesus has revealed to us, one way or the other.
Religious Modernism and Post Modernism have confused the truth greatly, and as a result millions of pastors and religious leaders to some degree have been falsely trained and are in danger of leading their followers away from the eternal truth, and to follow enlightened ideas, or the discoveries of men instead.
Does this mean that I am saying all of the teachings of the world are false? No! not at all … only that as Christians we have become committed to follow Jesus Christ: the Way, the Truth and the Life … and no other.When we mix the Truth with lies or even good but false intentions, the end result is a lie.
We are to test the teachings of men against His truth and believe accordingly; and not the other way around.
We are not judging other people when we reject their religions and beliefs. God clearly says that they are already judged by Him. “He that believes on him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:18. Others are free to reject this Truth, but their contrary beliefs do not make the Words of Christ, any less true or false.
Conflicted thinking results in a conflicted, compromising, hypocritical belief system. And that is clearly not … becoming the righteousness of God in Him.
So … what is still standing between you and becoming the person he wants you to be?
Here and now is always a good time for prayer and meditation, and God will reveal a list of areas where you have blockage; but here are some definite areas where our spiritual conversion to Christ is most often hindered: other people; friends; family; denominational religious training; Modernist or Post-Modernist ideas; all new age teachings; mind science or religious science; most “Christian” denominations, or sects; all non-Christian religions, or sects; your church; church movements such as the Peace Plan; well meaning, but un-biblical teachers; any unbelievers around you; your education; business practices; all political parties, clubs, hobbies; media, TV; books; authors; all worldly philosophies; worldly causes; even our constitutional freedoms can be stumbling blocks; human logic, experience, and feelings continually hinder many from knowing and living God's Truth.
The Holy Spirit and God's Word are the only guides we can trust ... and they are the only guides we need.
If we truly choose to follow Christ everything must be humbled to Him. Read: Luke 18:18-27 for a deeper understanding. Hint: This conversion is not about selling everything we have and giving it to the poor … but it is about changing the way we think, changing our values, and following Him; which will surely change our concerns for the poor, and everyone else as well. But it is also certain that spiritual concerns are far more important to Ambassadors for Christ than temporal concerns.
To be in Him most surely means that we will not be liked by the world, some will be repelled by us, and we will often be viewed as a peculiar person. But at the same time, others will be drawn to Him through us. True Ambassadors for Christ would never want anyone (even their enemies) … to not receive the free gift of Jesus Christ.
It is important here to again stress: We are to test everything we believe against His Word … not test His Word against the teaching of the world or our pre-established beliefs.
Born Again Christianity is not an add-on.
Be careful not to fall for this:
“But the Spirit says expressly, that in later times some shall fall away from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons, through the hypocrisy of men that speak lies, branded in their own conscience as with a hot iron.” 1 Timothy 4:1-2
But rather always keep these eternal Truths in mind:
May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith ... the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1:2-9
To be Born Again is to become a New Creature ... who is the righteousness of God in Him.
often contradict the wisdom of the world. Since we have been programmed by the world ... we have come to accept these worldly ideas as truth ... but when we consider God’s perspective ... we come to understand ... "the Lord's ways are not our ways"
Don't just read these writings ... meditate and pray over God's Word ... Listen to the Holy Spirit ... and be transformed by renewing your mind. He who died on our behalf wants you to ... allow the love of Christ to control you ... so that you might become ... the righteousness of God in Him.
Be an Ambassador of Christ ... with a ministry of reconciliation. Share God's eternal Truth and Love ... with everyone He brings into your path.