Yesterday, on our way back to Santiago, Griffin, a guy I’ve been working with in Los Andes, and I talked about a ton of stuff, including what it means to be set apart from the world and the idea of being witnesses to those around us- through our actions and the activities we do. It’s always been a tough subject for many Christians (me included), because what may seem black and white for some people is all gray for others or a mixture of the two.
This morning as I read 2 Corinthians 6, God really convicted me of a couple of things that I wanted to share with y’all concerning these topics. Paul, I feel, made it pretty clear in 2 Corinthians 6 what it means to be a Christian in this world. We are to not put any obstacle in our lives that would cause our ministry to falter (v. 6). We are to live, as my dad likes to call it, above reproach. And our testimony, the way we live our lives and the way we commend (or introduce) ourselves to those around us should clearly show that we are different from them (v. 4-10). We should show endurance in times of hardship and suffering, the Fruit of the Spirit in every area of our life, love that is true and genuine, truthful speech, and so much more. Our reactions to things in our life, like being treated as impostors, being unknown, living in death, when punished, when sorrowful, being poor and having nothing, should be so different from those of the world that the attitude and thoughts of Christ are seen in us.
We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.
2 Corinthians 6:3-10
In the previous chapter, Paul said we are ambassadors for Christ, which means we are representing Christ here in the world. As His ambassadors, we are doing His work, which is taking the message of the Lord to the ends of the earth and praying that they may be reconciled to Him. So we must act in such a manner that this purpose is accomplished and fulfilled.
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:20-21
Our ultimate goal and purpose by being his ambassadors is that God may be glorified. We believe, so we speak of His grace, mercy and judgement to the people around us. And so as His grace towards His creation extends, more and more people may come together to bring thanksgiving and glory to His name.
Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. So that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 4:13-15