Diplomatic Immunity

I have a confession to make. I like action movies. You know the ones where, along with fight scenes, wrecked cars and explosions, the hero always saves the day. While there may not be much redeeming value in them, sometimes they can teach us a lesson.

In the movie, Lethal Weapon 2, the minister of affairs for the South African Consulate flashes his identification and indignantly invokes his diplomatic immunity to police heroes, Riggs and Murtaugh. Under diplomatic immunity, the minister and his employees are exempt from being arrested, charged or prosecuted for violation of American law. The heroes are forced to leave empty handed, their hands tied, without taking action.

Diplomatic immunity isn’t a creation of cinematic fantasy, it’s a reality; becoming international law in 1961 under the Vienna Convention. It’s a policy between countries, granting legal immunity to governmental representatives; designed to protect them from harm while serving on foreign soil. Not only is diplomatic immunity a political reality, it’s a spiritual one as well.

When you accept Christ as your Savior, you become a child of the King of Kings; no longer a citizen of this world. From that moment on you live on foreign ground. Along with child, you gain another title, ambassador. You become His representative on earth and, as a result, gain spiritual immunity. You are free from the bondage of the prince of this world. Oh, he’ll try to convince you that you are still subject to his rules. Don’t buy it. Your freedom from this world was paid for by Christ’s great sacrifice. When Jesus died for the sins of the world, he “destroyed him who had the power of death, that is the devil, and released those who…were all their lifetime subject to bondage”. (Heb 2:15) The prince of lies has no power over you, that is, unless you give it to him.

Had the minister in the movie not declared his immunity, he would have been arrested and tried for his crimes. You will come under attack, but now you have the power to fight against him for the “one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4) Flash your identification, your righteousness through the blood of Christ, and invoke your diplomatic immunity. As it says in James 4:7 “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Too often we accept assault by the evil forces of this world instead of proclaiming our immunity. We are in this world but not of it. Speak the Word, the sword we are to use when under attack, and tie his hands; through God’s strength defeat him. Remember who and whose you are.

At the end of the movie, the minster shoots Riggs. Outraged, Murtaugh pulls out his gun to arrest him. The minister gloatingly holds out his identification and says “diplomatic immunity”, a dark grin on his face. Pushed to the limit, Murtaugh shoots, saying fiercely “It’s just been revoked”. But unlike in the movie, once a true child of God, your immunity can never, ever be revoked.

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