Last week, many around the world were watching with rapt attention as the Roman Catholic Church went through the process of selecting a new pope. Among the people’s many titles, is “Vicar of Christ” which means he is Christ’s representative on the earth. “Vicar” is the word we get “vicarious” from, and it is used when describing Christ’s vicarious death for us, as he took the punishment we deserved.But the question to be asked is this: who is the real Vicar of Christ? Surprisingly, the New Testament does answer that for us. Because, whether you realize it or not, if you are a born again Christian, YOU are the Vicar of Christ to those around you. Here’s how I got there.

Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. (II Corinthians 5:20 NKJV)

Christ uses us to be His mouthpiece to the lost. Jesus is not showing up personally and telling lost people to follow Him. No, that is what He commanded His disciples to do, and He is not going to give us mission and not expect for us to carry it out. We are His voice, His hands, and His feet to carry the Gospel message to the world and plead with with them to be reconciled to God. That is why Jesus began the Great Commission with “all authority has been given to me….go therefore”. We aren’t going out for our own sakes. We go in the authority He has been given, and has delegated to His servants.

And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Colossians 3:17 NKJV)

Not only is our message one that is from God, but our actions are done in His name as well. In context, this verse is talking about the way we minister to one another in the church. But the principle carries over to all that we do. With that in mind, we need to always be cognizant of the fact that, as Christians, everything we do on a daily basis should be something that represents who Christ is. Being a vicar of Christ is not a part-time job.

You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men; clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart. (II Corinthians 3:2, 3 NKJV)

Not only do we as Christians carry His message, we are often the message itself. The saying that “you are the only Bible some people will ever read” is definitely true. In fact, if people don’t see the truth of our message being lived out in front of them, they will give no credence to the message we speak. In gourmet cooking, presentation is important because food must look appetizing or no one will want to eat it. The saying goes, “the eyes eat first”. The same is true of our walk with God. People need to see the truth of our message before they hear the truth of our message.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 KJV)

So there you have it. While the world press have been guessing who the Vicar of Christ was going to be, they didn’t realize that all the needed to do for an answer to that question was to go and find a Christian. We are all Vicars of Christ as He lives and speaks through us.