Wk 6 // A Whole New Year... // Representing Christ to the World

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ICEBREAKER

  • When you meet someone for the first time, how do you usually introduce yourself? What information do you usually share first?

  • What questions are you most likely to ask someone in order to get to know them?

  • What do these introductions reveal about the way we define ourselves or our priorities in life?

INTRODUCTION

We tend to define ourselves by our careers, accomplishments, or family relationships. These are our marks of identity—the things that tell us who we are. But God defines His children differently. No matter your occupation, God calls all believers to be “ambassadors for Christ.” Whether CEOs, stay at home moms, or public servants, God has honored the work of all Christians with dignity by calling them to point people to Christ in their unique settings.

In this week’s message, Pastor Sean talked about what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. Disciples are driven by God’s love, and see the world in a different way. And most importantly, disciples represent Jesus to those around them. In this study we are going to explore this call to represent Christ as his ambassadors.

SERMON RECAP

Spend a few minutes recapping this week's sermon together. Click here to view the sermon notes.

  • What was one takeaway from this week's sermon for you?

  • Were there any stories, ideas, or points that stuck out?

  • Was there anything that challenged you?

READ

Have a volunteer read 2 Corinthians 5:17-21.

  • Why is it significant that you are a new creation? What does it mean to be a new creation?

  • How does it change your perspective of God knowing you are already a new creation in Christ instead of trying to become a new creation?

NOTE
As we grow to understand our identity in Christ, we will embrace the great task with which God has blessed us in Christ, to be his “ambassadors” of Christ’s message of reconciliation.

  • What is ambassador? What do they typically do?

NOTE
In Paul’s day, ambassadors were specially appointed by kings to represent the king to foreign nations. An ambassador was tasked with honoring the king with his words and actions and promoting the king’s interests in all he does. Similarly, Christians are ambassadors of God who are called to promote the gospel in all we say and do. For many of us, the primary place God calls us to exercise our role as ambassadors is in the work place.

  • What keeps us from seeing ourselves as ambassadors in our workplaces and homes?

  • What are some practical measures we might take to more readily acknowledge our identity as Christ’s ambassadors?

Have a volunteer read 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12.

  • How did Paul command the believers at Thessalonica to treat one another (vv. 9-10)?

  • How does this command relate to the workplace? Why is it important that we encourage and support one another as we strive to represent Christ in our workplaces and daily tasks?

NOTE
Think about the quality of your work over the past week. What message have you been sending to a watching world? Is there anything you need to change in light of these verses?

Paul acknowledged and commended the Thessalonians for their exemplary treatment of other Christians. He urged them to continue this more and more. However, word came to Paul that instead of working for themselves, some among them were living off the charity of wealthy Christians. To the watching Greco-Roman society, this would have been shameful and embarrassing and compromising to the church’s witness. To help them avoid this poor witness, Paul suggested believers live quiet lives, minding their own business and working hard. Paul is not suggesting that Christians remove themselves from society or refuse to take a stand on important issues, but rather that they think critically about what message their life sends to a watching world.

APPLICATION

  • What needs to change in order for you to begin seeing yourself as an ambassador for Christ in your workplace or in your daily life?

  • If your work is to be your mission field, what challenges do you face there? Where do you need to begin the work of taking the gospel to those around you?

  • What would it look like for you to “walk in wisdom” (see Colossians 4:5-6) toward your coworkers when hot button topics come up? How do you continue to represent Christ in the midst of controversial or divisive discussions?

NOTE
When speaking with others who are not Christians we must remember what is most important is the gospel and their need to be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. Walking in wisdom when controversial topics come up might mean inviting your coworker to coffee or lunch to discuss the matter in a less hostile environment or it might mean that we need to seek to direct the conversation away from hot button issues to Jesus Christ. While these strategies may not work in each and every situation, Paul’s command still remains—we must seek wisdom from God as we seek to help those around see their desperate need for Christ.

PRAYER

Thank God for honoring us with the precious task of living as His ambassadors in our homes, our workplaces, and our neighborhoods. Pray that God would help us be prepared to talk to the people around us about the hope we have in Christ. Pray that we as a group would encourage one another as we seek to faithfully live out of our identity as Christ’s ambassadors.

Brian Otte