- Parent Category: FAQs
- Category: Questions about Sin and Salvation
- Published on Thursday, 19 November 2009 16:51
Paul uses the first person singular pronoun (I, me, my, mine: see v 11, for example) because he is the writer, but he includes at least Timothy (1:1) and Silvanus (1:19) with himself.
Before this verse (5:20), Paul uses the first person plural pronoun (we, us, our) about 120 times. About one fourth of those uses could include the Corinthians, but the context indicates that all but one refer to Paul and his associates. That one time, Paul includes the Corinthians by using the word "all": "We all with open face . . ." (3:18).
In a unique sense, the Lord had directly entrusted to Paul ("He hath given unto us") - and Paul graciously includes his associates - a "ministry of reconciliation" (5:18). That makes it likely, then, that in verse 20 Paul means that he - and those with him - were ambassadors for (on behalf of) Christ.
Some will point to the next verse and ask if being "made the righteousness of God in Him" is exclusive to Paul. In the context, Paul is referring to "us," meaning himself and his associates. He is emphasizing the blessings that constrained them in their labors. All will have to agree, though, that we have received the same blessings that Paul received through the work of Christ. Further, we have a responsibility to declare "the word of reconciliation" to sinners. More than that, in our declaration, we should be no less conscious than Paul was that we are speaking on behalf of God or Christ (1Pe 4:11).
We have a work to do and we do not need "ambassador status" to do it. For us, failing to do this work would be what Paul calls (6:1) receiving "the grace of God in vain."