The Role and Relationships of an Ambassador
I. What BEING and AMBASSADOR looks like. (v.3-10)
A. A LIFE of removing OBSTACLES. (v.3)
1. Servants WILLING to face DIFFICULTY. (v.4-5)
2. REFLECTING Christ and His RIGHTEOUSNESS. (v.6-7)
3. EMBRACING the PARADOX of Faith. (v.8-10)
B. The FOUNDATIONAL nature of RELATIONSHIP. (v.11-13)
1. Speaking FREELY, living TRANSPARENTLY. (v.11)
2. Giving AFFECTION, possible REJECTION. (v.12)
3. A LIFE of continual INVITATION. (v.13)
Paul has been building up to our role as ambassadors for Christ. This is what a cruciform life looks like, and what Paul is modelling to them. This looks very differently from one of the “Super Apostles” and for good reason. Paul seeks to model his ministry after the way of Jesus.
1. Kid’s Question: Who do you see as a hero, someone you’d like to be like? Why?
2. What obstacles have you had to overcome in your relationship with Jesus? How can you avoid putting obstacles up for others?
3. Which of the 9 types paradox in v.8-10 do you most identify with and why?
4. What are three things that make relationships challenging? What (to you) is the best thing about a truly life-giving relationship?
II. FOLLOWING the CRUCIFORM path. (2 Cor. 2:14)
A. Our BEING flows out of first RECEIVING. (2 Cor. 4:7; 1 Jn 4:19)
B. Moving from IDEAS to TRANSFORMED lives. (v.3-13; 2 Cor. 3:18; 5:21)
C. From TRANSACTIONAL relationships to MUTUALITY. (v.13, I Thes. 2:8; Jn 17:20-23)
So how do we live this way? This seems like a tall order, a request that is bigger than we are. You’re exactly right. This is not us being our best self, but dying to self and letting the new life of Christ come in and flow through us. This is a way of living radically different from what most would expect.
5. Reflect on your own life. What is the progression or actual experience of your receiving FROM God and being FOR God? Does that need change?
6. Is your faith in God more about ideas and beliefs or actual lived out practice? What might God be saying to you though this assessment?
7. Take a look at your circle of relationships. Would you characterize them as transactional or mutual? How can you moved toward more mutuality?
8. What has God been saying to you personally through this series on “A Cruciform Life”?