January 16, 2022

David Sorn

We have been sent by our King to a foreign country with an important message to share.


January 16, 2022

David Sorn

We have been sent by our King to a foreign country with an important message to share.

SERMON TRANSCRIPT | 2 Corinthians 5: 14-21


Good morning. My name is David Sorn, I’m the Lead Pastor here.

We are in the final week of a 3-week series here called, “Exiles, Pilgrims, & Ambassadors.”

And we’ve been talking about how each of these 3 identities help deepen our understanding of our role as Christians in the culture today.

And today’s identity, our 3rd and final one, is critical to understand if you want to know what God’s mission is for you on earth.

Because God absolutely has important work for YOU, and we’re going to talk about it today as we talk about Ambassadors.

Now, let’s start with a common definition for ambassador:

Ambassador: An authorized and sent messenger in a foreign land

And so, for example, if you go around the world, America has ambassadors in almost every country.

And these appointed ambassadors have been authorized by the president…and sent to a foreign land to both represent America and bring America’s message to that particular country.

That’s an ambassador.

But, as we’ve done every week, we want to look at how the Bible explains this concept.

So, everybody grab a Bible.

(Page 790)

We’re going to be reading from the Apostle Paul’s 2nd letter to the Corinthians today

Paul was an important leader in the early days of Christianity.

We’ll be in chapter 5 where Paul starts by talking about how this earth is not our home, and how we must persuade others of this (he says in v. 11)

We’re going to join the chapter in verse 14

(2 Corinthians 5:14-21) – NIV

14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: 19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. 21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.


Okay, let’s start talking about how to live out this Christian identity.

How to Live as an Ambassador:

#1: Let Christ’s Love Compel You

We see the height of Paul’s argument in verse 20…that we, as Christians are Christ’s ambassadors.

We are sent as representatives of Jesus, as exiles in this foreign culture, to help reconcile people to God

But look at where Paul starts his argument in verse 14

For CHRIST’S LOVE compels us.

What drives us to be ambassadors for Jesus?

To tell people that they can be saved?

That they can be reconciled to God…where He would no longer count people’s sins against them (verse 19)…

What drives us to boldly do such a thing?

The love of Christ.

Do you know who Hudson Taylor was?

One of the greatest missionaries of all time.

Millions of Christians in China today could probably trace back their Christian faith to this man who boldly entered China when few would.

In fact, if you’re looking for an inspiring biography, read Roger Steer’s biography of Hudson Taylor…it’s amazing

(Hudson Taylor by Roger Steer).

But Hudson Taylor often interviewed candidates for the mission field.

And he would ask applicants, “Why do you wish to become a foreign missionary?”

And one would say: “I want to go because Christ has commanded us to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every person,”

And another would say:, “I want to go because millions are perishing without Christ.”

Others gave similar answers.

But Hudson Taylor would say this to them:

“All of these motives, however good, will fail you in times of testings, trials, tribulations, and possible death. There is but one motive that will sustain you in trial and testing; namely, the love of Christ.” – Hudson Taylor

So what will move you to actually go out and reach your friends and coworkers for Christ?

God’s word says it’s Christ’s love, not just duty.

As Christians, duty can be good…

Obedience is necessary…

But the deepest, and most important motivator we need, is love.

Look at 14 and 15 again

(2 Corinthians 5:14-15) – NIV

14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

Christ’s love compels (that is it drives us forward) us to be an ambassador for Him


What does it say?

Because He died for us.

He looked at the mess of my life, and said, “I want that man in my family!”

He looked at your sin, and hatred, and gossip, and the jealousy, and said, “I love her! I want to adopt HER into my family!”

And when you understand that…truly understand that…

You no longer live for yourself (as our passage says)…you want to instead represent the Savior and His love.

Jesus died for us, so we die to being in charge of our own lives.

He died for us, so we live for Him.

We’re His ambassadors now, and it’s His love for us, and for others, that compels us more than anything.


Okay, let’s take a look at the 2nd point Paul makes about being an ambassador for Christ

This is found in verses 16-17

(2 Corinthians 5:16-17) – NIV

16 So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Here’s the 2nd way to live as an ambassador for Christ

How to Live as an Ambassador:

#1: Let Christ’s love compel you

#2: Regard no one from a worldly point of view

This verse is SOO important for our culture right now.

We live in a world where we’re told to “label” everyone…

I think of Critical Theory (and all its variations), and also Intersectionality.

These are becoming prevailing theories of much of the secular world right now…

And even if you’re only vaguely familiar with those philosophies, you might know that they both necessitate that we must be always thinking about our differences…

…and the many identities that could place each of us in different categories:

Race, gender, political party, ethnicity, sexual preference, class, disability

And because of the immense focus on this, you’re literally watching the fracturing of our society because of all of the different ways we’re now taught to primarily perceive or identify someone by.

But Paul says to the Christians, “We regard no one, NO ONE, from a worldly point of view”

To the Christian, there are only 2 ways that are truly worth identifying someone.

Are they saved by Christ, or are they not?

Are they a new creation, or are they not?

And that’s not to say that those other things don’t exist

That’s not to say they don’t matter…

That’s not to say we shouldn’t talk about them.

But God’s Word says that those categories are not how we are to primarily regard or perceive someone.

Look at Galatians 3 and look at what it says about the children of God:

(Galatians 3:28) – NIV

There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Because when we keep looking forward like an exile, and remember this world is not our true home, like a pilgrim…

We will remember that all of those other identifiers won’t matter in eternity

And so as ambassadors of Christ, we can’t get caught up in all of the world’s divisions.

Because we don’t look through worldly lenses, but through the glasses of eternity…

While everyone else elevates the worldly divisions between us, we regard no one from a worldly point of view

Our primary concern is always: Do they know Christ or do they not?

And if they don’t, I don’t want to get distracted by what their skin color is, or who they voted for, or what they think their identity is, or what they’ve done…

I just want them to know the Savior who died for them.

Amen? Amen.


Okay, let’s look now to our 3rd point:

How to Live as an Ambassador:

#1: Let Christ’s love compel you

#2: Regard no one from a worldly point of view

#3: Remember what an ambassador is and does

What is an ambassador?

It’s critical that we think about this…because God wants you to know that YOU are an ambassador!

So what does is an ambassador?

Remember, an ambassador is someone who has been authorized, and empowered by their leader to bring a message to a foreign land.

If you’re a Christian, that’s you.

This is verse 20. We are Christ’s ambassadors.

God has chosen to make his appeal to the world…through…YOU!

And that ought to make you sit up straight in your seat a bit.

In Philippians 3, Paul says that, as Christians, our “citizenship is in heaven”

And so therefore, we are not here on this earth just to fulfill our own dreams and longings…to get a nice home, help our kids be good at sports, and find happiness from our own families.

We are first and foremost ambassadors for the King who has sent us with a message.

And ambassadors have to give an account right?

The King will ask you someday…

“Whose interests did you represent in your short time on earth? Mine or your own?”

In 2 Timothy, Paul uses the metaphor of a soldier for the Christian life, and he writes:

(2 Timothy 2:4) – NIV

No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.

You’re here as an ambassador for our Commanding King, don’t get distracted.

Imagine if the President sends an ambassador to a foreign country, and that ambassador then spends all of their time NOT talking or working with the locals there, but just trying to build up their own dreams and longings.

OR, what if the ambassador instead got highly involved with the locals there and started working to fulfill that country’s agenda instead of the agenda of the United States??

In both situations, that Ambassador would be asked to step down.

This is where remembering this identity of Ambassador is so important.

Let me explain this through a story from history

Years ago, during the Reagan administration, the Secretary of State was George Shultz.

When newly appointed ambassadors had an interview with him, Shultz would walk them over to the large globe in his office and say with a smile:

"Before I send you out, you have to prove to me that you can identify your country on this globe."

And every time, they would step over to the globe, spin the globe, and put their finger on the country to which they were being sent.

It was years until someone actually got his question right.

The man who got the question right was being sent as the ambassador to Japan.

He walked over to the globe, spun it, and put his finger on the United States. He said: "That's my country."


As a Christian, you are first and foremost a representative of Jesus…a citizen of heaven.

You represent Him in what you say, and even in how you act.

When people in foreign countries meet American Ambassadors, they naturally assume that is what Americans are like.

And the same is true for your Christian faith…

For a watching world, we are representative of Christ

As I said a few weeks ago, people may not read the Bible, but they will read your life…and from that, they will guess what God must be like.

Remember, you are an ambassador.


And so to me, this all brings us to an important 4th point

How to Live as an Ambassador:

#1: Let Christ’s love compel you

#2: Regard no one from a worldly point of view

#3: Remember what an ambassador is and does

#4: Actually live it out

If we’re going to be God’s ambassadors, we have to live this out.

I mean, seriously, what’s the point of this text?

It’s not to learn this passage so you can eventually pass a test about what an ambassador in the Bible does and does not do.

The Bible-believing church in America tends to get overly focused on knowledge.

“Now, I know this church is attracting a lot of people, in part, because we’re a Bible-teaching church…and that’s great…

But hear me, the end-goal of our apprenticeship of Jesus is not knowledge

The great Bible Teacher Howard Hendricks once said it this way:

“The mark of spiritual maturity is not how much you understand, but how much you use. In the spiritual realm, the opposite of ignorance is not knowledge but obedience.” – Howard Hendricks

It means nothing if you leave here today, and say, “That was a good teaching. I’m glad I learned about ambassadors”

We need to remember James 1:22

(James 1:22) – NIV

22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

So how can you do this?

How can you live out this high calling as an ambassador?

As an exile in this culture, on a short pilgrim’s journey, how can you practically be an ambassador for Christ?

You need a strategy.

Ambassadors have a plan.

They don’t just move to their new country and wait around, hoping to be noticed.

You want to have both a strategy to invite people to church, but also to strategy to share the Gospel personally with people.

The “invite to church” strategy does work.

We see people meet God here pretty much every week

I encourage you to use it.

In fact, we’re doing a HUGE series in 3 weeks, starting Feb 6th that I really want you to invite friends to.

It’s called “Life’s Biggest Questions,” and we’re going to take a look at the 5 most foundational, biggest questions out there that shape worldviews.

IT’s going to be deep, but also really, really helpful to people who are seeking.

But we also know that many people are never going to walk through these doors.

Pastors can’t be the only ambassadors.

We are all ambassadors.

You can reach people that I’ll never meet…people that would never come here.

Let me give you a helpful method for how you can think of being an ambassador to your friends & family

It’s called the CPR Method

The CPR Method:

Cultivate: Work on relationship building with non-Christians

Plant: Plant seeds of how God is moving in your life

Reap: Share the Gospel

It starts with C – Cultivate.

You want to work on, cultivate, relationships.

Not that it doesn’t work to share about Jesus with a stranger (I do it every week from right here), but the more you’ve developed a relationship/friendship with someone, the more likely they are to hear you.

Ambassadors have to engage the world out there…

We’ve talked about this a ton lately.

Invite over your unbelieving neighbors for dinner

Hang out with an unsaved co-worker for lunch

Help your sibling that doesn’t know Christ with a project at their house.

Cultivate relationships…that’s the first step of the CPR method…

You’re softening the ground

Then P – PLANT

Plant seeds.

The best ambassadors for Christ talk about God naturally.

They don’t say, “So, do you know that you’re a sinner and you’re going to hell!!”

They say, “Wow, I was so thankful to God today that my son was feeling better”

“What did you do last night?”

I went to House Groups. I just love my house group. The people there always encourage me in my faith. ”

“Ugh, I messed up again yesterday, but I’m thankful that God loves me and forgives me”

“Good ambassadors, very intentionally, and yet not abrasively, plant seeds all the time.

This is who I am…this is what I’m about….

And then R – REAP

When it’s time…because they’ve cultivated, because they’ve planted….

They REAP, and share the Gospel

So when someone says, “When you say God forgives you, what do you mean?”

You lay it out

When your co-worker says, “What’s so different about your church, why do you talk about it so much?”

You lay it out.

By the way, if you’re struggling to think of who you can actually be an ambassador to, next week, I’m going to give you some AMAZING tangible options where you can get involved in our community and form relationships with non-believers.

I think you’re going to love this.


But church, this is our task: To be ambassadors.

We can not just come here every week, take some notes, and grow in our own faith while the city around us perishes.

God’s call is on your life, Christian.

He has empowered you and sent you on a mission.

He has specifically put people around you for you to a be a light to.

For you to be an ambassador of His kingdom.

That you may help reconcile them to God, their maker and Savior.

We can turn this city upside down if we do this.

If we own this…

And we say, we’re not consumers, we are renovators.

Here to change this city.

We are ambassadors.

We are not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation!

Listen, almost every week, I get to be in the follow-up room, and I’m standing there with someone from our church who has joyful tears in their eyes as they’re proudly standing right next to their friend who just gave their life to Christ.

Let that be you.

Remember who you are!

We are exiles.

Pilgrims on a short journey

Ambassadors with a mission.

Let’s get to it.

Copyright: David Sorn
Renovation Church in Blaine, MN

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