2 Corinthians 5:20 – “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. 21God made him who had no sin to be sin for us,                                                                        so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

uper  FOR           cristou  CHRIST              oun   THEREFORE                                  presbeuomen  WE ARE AMBASSADORS,                 wV    tou  AS IT WERE       qeou  GOD             parakalountoV  EXHORTING               di  BY       hmwn  US,     deomeqa  WE BESEECH                uper  FOR              cristou  CHRIST,                               katallaghte    tw  BE RECONCILED               qew  TO GOD.


  • Ambassador is “presbeuo” (presbeuomen) a technical term used of the emperor’s legate
  • The word is from the base of presbuteros which means to be a senior, elder or old man, i.e. (by implication) act as a representative (figuratively, preacher) be an ambassador.
  • They are one who speaks for the emperor. 
  • “presbeuo” refers to the imperial service of Caesar


Used also in Ephesians 6:20 – “19 Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth,                                                                                                               words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of                                                                                                                   the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may                                                                                                               declare it fearlessly, as I should.


            20 uper  FOR       ou  WHICH           presbeuw  I AM AN AMBASSADOR         en  IN      alusei  A CHAIN,       ina  THAT            en   IN         autw  IT                                                                                                                 parrhsiaswmai I MAY BE BOLD            wV  AS         dei  IT BEHOOVES                                       me  ME             lalhsai  TO SPEAK.


“I am Entrusted”

The imperial secretary in Rome would use the technical expression “pepisteumai”           (pepisteumai) to express “I am entrusted”.

“pepisteumai” means “to be entrusted with something; to trust, trust to or in, put faith in, rely on,      believe in”

The imperial secretary meant he was entrusted with a designated matter.


Paul used the same technical term in:

  • Galatians 2:7 – referring to preaching the gospel to the Gentiles

“On the contrary, they saw that I had been entrusted with the task of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles, just as Peter had been to the Jews.”


                alla  BUT  tounantion         ON THE CONTRARY,         idonteV  HAVING SEEN  oti  THAT              pepisteumai I HAVE BEEN ENTRUSTED WITH   to  THE euaggelion  GLAD TIDINGS          thV  OF THE  akrobustiaV  UNCIRCUMCISION,           kaqwV   ACCORDING AS  petroV  PETER [THAT]          thV  OF THE             peritomhV  CIRCUMCISION


  • 1 Corinthians 9:17 – in reference to being entrusted with preaching the gospel

If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me.


ei    gar          FOR IF              ekwn  WILLINGLY             touto   THIS        prassw  I DO,          misqon  A REWARD           ecw  I HAVE;     ei    de BUT IF                 akwn   UNWILLINGLY            oikonomian  AN ADMINISTRATION                  pepisteumai  I AM ENTRUSTED WITH.


  • 1 Timothy 1:11 – referring to the “glorious gospel or the blessed God”

that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

 kata  ACCORDING TO         to  THE          euaggelion  GLAD TIDINGS                                 thV  OF THE            doxhV  GLORY          tou  OF THE          makariou  BLESSED          qeou  GOD,      o  WHICH      episteuqhn  WAS ENTRUSTED WITH          egw  I.


“Hiera Grammata”

The correspondence of the imperial secretary was designated by the technical expression “Hiera Grammata” or “sacred writings”

  • This is the term used to refer to imperial letters, documents and decrees
  • “iera” is the word for “sacred, or temple”
  • “grammata” means “letter (of the alphabet), piece of writing, document, drawing
  • Paul uses the same expression in 2 Timothy 3:15

and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.


                 kai AND      oti  THAT        apo  FROM        brefouV   A BABE      ta  THE            iera  SACRED        grammata  LETTERS     oidaV  THOU HAST KNOWN,          ta  WHICH [ARE]        dunamena  ABLE        se  THEE                                               sofisai  TO MAKE WISE        eiV   TO            swthrian  SALVATION,                   dia   THROUGH             pistewV  FAITH           thV  WHICH [IS]          en IN                                            cristw  CHRIST            ihsou  JESUS.


Examples of Ambassadors in Scripture

  • 2 Samuel 10:4
  • 2 Chronicles 32:31
  • 2 Chronicles 35:21
  • Isaiah 30:4


Principles of Ambassadorship

1)      Ambassadors do not appoint themselves.  They are appointed by the imperial court.  Jesus Christ appoints his own ambassadors.

2)      Ambassadors must be personally accepted and welcomed in both countries (this is called a persona grata which means “acceptable person”) to fulfill their mission and to serve their purpose. (1 Peter 2:12, “Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.”)

3)      Ambassadors bring an authoritative message and request (not demand) that it be accepted.

4)      An ambassador does not support himself.  God supplies all our needs. (Ephesians 1:3; Philippians 4:19)

5)      An ambassador is not a citizen of the country where he is sent.  We are citizens of heaven )Philippians 3:20_

6)      An ambassador has instruction in written form.  We have the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16)

7)      An ambassador cannot take insults personally;  he is accepted or rejected not on his own merit but because of who he represents (John15:19-21)

8)      An ambassador does not enter a country to profit himself (2 Corinthians 5:15)

9)      An ambassador is a personal representative of someone else; everything he does and says reflects on the one who sent him. (John 13:35; 17:18-23; 20:21)

10)  An ambassador’s perspective is service; his prospect is reward. (Matthew 5:12; 2 John 8; Revelation 22:12)

11)  An ambassador is recalled when war is declared (2 Thessalonians 2:1-12)

12)  An ambassador for the Lord (creator, judge, savior and king) is the most exalted positions available to mankind.


The world often makes ambassadors of Christ feel embarrassed or ashamed. 

The absolute opposite is true. 

The people of the world should be grateful and honored that the king of all the universe has sent into their lives one of His chosen and empowered spokespersons to speak           directly to them for God himself.


What is our message as an ambassador?

2 Corinthians 5:20, “We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”

            Robertson Writes: “Be ye reconciled to God (\katallagˆte t“i the“i\). Second                                                                                                                                                                             aorist passive imperative of \katallass“\ and used with the dative                                                                                                                                                                              case. ‘Get reconciled to God,’ and do it now. This is the                                                                                                                                                                                            ambassador's message as he bears it to men from God.

  • KJ: “we pray [you] in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.”
  • NAS: “we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
  • Rotherham’s:we entreat, in behalf of Christ,--be reconciled unto God!
  • CEV: “We speak for Christ and sincerely ask you to make peace with God.


Proverbs 13:17-

A wicked messenger falleth into mischief: but a faithful ambassador is health.


Jeremiah 49:14-

I have heard news from Yahweh, and an ambassador is sent among the nations, saying, Gather yourselves together, and come against her, and rise up to the battle.


Obadiah 1:1-

The vision of Obadiah. This is what the Lord Yahweh says about Edom. We have heard news from Yahweh, and an ambassador is sent among the nations, saying, "Arise, and let's rise up against her in battle.




Koine – The Language of the Roman Empire #2

(Based on a sermon by David Antion --- 3/25/2000



Words can cause conflict.  In the koine Greek the word “king” was applied to Roman emperors.  They often took the title “king of kings” for they were rulers over all other rulers in the known world.  To claim to be a king put one in conflict with Caesar!  “…whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar!”, cried the Jews before Pilate (John 19:12).   Later they said, “We have no king but Caesar” (v. 14-15).  Pilate, looking at Jesus scourged, bleeding and weakened did not take the claim of king seriously for he wanted to release Him. Later Paul wrote, “…to the only King…”(1Timothy 1:17; 6:15).


Emperors were often referred to as “saviors” and at least eight of them took the title, “savior of the world.”  It was no wonder.  Rome brought peace, restored order to lawless areas of the empire and brought in a system of justice so the Roman citizens had the rights of due process of law.  Pax Romana was hailed as Rome brought world peace and kept order.  Roman roads brought prosperity through commerce.  Rome saved people from disorder, poverty and war.


But another “savior of the world” (John 4:42; Titus 1:3-4; Jude 24) came to save people from their sins.  Most preferred the savior from Rome to the Savior from Galilee for men loved darkness than light!


The emperor held the title, "Pontifex Maximus” – Latin translation of “archiereus” which is “high priest.” It was assimilated into the Roman system from the conquest of Banylon. In the cult of Rome the emperor was the high priest on the throne of Caesar!  But we, as Christians, have one high priest on the throne of God (Hebrews 4:14-16).


In the cult of Caesar there was the title “friend of the emperor.”  It was the Greek word, “philos.”  On the night of His betrayal Jesus called his disciples “friends” (John 15:14-15).    The Jews knew what this mean when the told Pilate that if you release this man “you are no friend to Caesar” (19:12).


Written documents from the emperor were called in Koine Greek, “hiera grammata” – sacred writings.  Imagine Paul in prison in Rome referring to the old testament as “hiera grammata.”


Any news about Caesars was called “euaggelion” or “good news”, or glad tidings.  Paul wrote to the people in Rome, “I am eager to preach the “euaggelion” to you in Rome”(Romans 1:15).  He then stated, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel (old English word) = good news, “euaggelion.”


Rome had its good news about the emperor, the apostles had the good news about our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.