While our status as ambassadors is a confirmed station, we also need to know
we are part of something much larger than ourselves. Not unlike our own
Ambassador to the United Nations, we have an identity within our family of
believers, where there is a personal touch on our life. We also have an
accountability factor associated with our position.
During the time of the First Century Church, Paul and Barnabas were
ambassadors, along with Silas. Their journeys took them many places, but
they had a church home. “From Attalia they sailed back to Antioch, where
they had been committed to the grace of God for the work they had now
completed. On arriving there, they gathered the church together and reported
all that God had done through them and how He had opened a door of faith
to the Gentiles” (Acts 14.26-27, NIV).
They were accountable to those who had sent them. The church
at Antioch was their support group. The New Testament Church of today,
represented by local bodies of believers, is our support group.
Our faith matures within a local body of believers. With Christ at the center,
we feel empowered to do and be what God has called us to be. Paul
understood this and told the believers in Rome, “You, however, are controlled
not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And
if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ”
(Romans 8.9, NIV).
As witnesses for the truth that lives within us, we are to operate
in the power of the Holy Spirit. Called, yes, but we are not free agents.
Like Paul and Barnabas, when we go,we are under the authority of elders.
“…So Paul and Barnabas were appointed, along with some other
believers, to go up to Jerusalem…”(Acts 15.2, NIV).
The local body of believers in Antioch approved the mission and sent
Paul and Barnabas, along with the others, to be about the work of
telling the truth.The First Century Church provides the methods
and examples that we in the New Testament Church should apply
and follow, especially in the areas of outreach,witnessing and evangelism.