The New Is the Old
Where have we been in this quest for understanding the cultural engagement by Christians? Well first we saw that humanity is created in the image of God, second we recognized our epic fail, then we saw how the Law was given to keep on the straight and narrow, and in the previous post we looked at King Jesus.
The question we must now face is what does this mean for the Christian? If we indeed have been transferred from death to life by King Jesus through his bloody revolution on a Cross, what does this new life look like?
2 Corinthians 5 gives us the answer, “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:20 ESV).”
In the new life we are now ambassadors for Christ. Wait, isn’t that what we were called back in the first post: “God gives humanity a very specific responsibility and that responsibility is fill the earth, subdue it, and have dominon. We are to this as God’s ambassadors.”
You see we have been redeemed. Redeemed means, “to obtain the release or restoration, as from captivity, by paying a ransom.”
That’s right, restored.
What are we restored to? We are restored to our roles as ambassadors for Christ to the creation. If you say you are a creation you are not your own. You are an ambassador. You serve at the pleasure of King Jesus. You serve a particular purpose.
This ambassadorship is not a “special” or “unique” calling to a privileged few. It is for all Christians. This is our new identity, which is actually our original identity, only better.
How is it better?
The Holy Spirit.
Jesus said, “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment: concerning sin, because they do not believe in me; concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer; concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged.
“I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you (John 16:7–15 ESV).”
This is what makes everything so much better. The Holy Spirit lives with us and is in us. How can we engage the world? We do it with the Spirit’s help.
The new is the old, only better.