Fragrance of Christ
Wednesday, August 12th, 2015
14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things?17 For we are not, as so many,[a] peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ. 2 Cor 2: 14-17
What fragrance do we permeate as Christians? I am not talking about us using the right deodorant but rather what distinctive fragrance we permeate. Is it something that identifies as one following Jesus Christ? Let us glean through 2 Cor 2:14-17 that talks about Christians having the fragrance of Christ.
1. Let’s look first at the setting of triumph. Paul likely had in mind a picture of the Roman victory procession. When Roman armies conquer a land, they would take prisoners into a victory march. Using this picture, Paul alludes that he too is in such a victory procession. Christ is the conquering general Who had defeated sin, sin nature, world, death and Satan by His baptism and death on the cross.
2. We are the fragrance of Christ but who is the source of the fragrance? First, Paul makes it clear that the fragrance itself is Christ and not ourselves. Paul is simply telling us that the Gospel of the water and Spirit is the source of the fragrance. This constitutes the baptism, death and resurrection of Christ that fulfills God’s righteousness. It has the power to render salvation by grace through faith to all mankind who believe. This is the beautiful fragrance that God is spreading throughout the world. While the Gospel of Christ is the fragrance, Paul and us are merely channels used to disperse the beautiful fragrance of Christ.
3. We must remember that sometimes this fragrance convicts others. Paul denotes that as this fragrance is spread, two things could happen. It can either bring life or death. However, it is important to know that there is only one fragrance. Like in the Roman victory march, there is only one odor in the air. There weren’t a foul fragrance that the captives were forced to smell and a pleasant fragrance the victors smelled. It was the same fragrance for both the victors and the captives. It was the same fragrance but a different response. The message of salvation is always the same but it is received differently. To some, the Gospel of the water and Spirit could be an offence but to another it may be a life saving experience. To the offended, it resonates judgment and condemnation from God. To the recipient of the Gospel of the water and Spirit, it is a fragrance that gives life.
4. Spreading the fragrance of Christ is something that true believers of the Gospel of the water and Spirit ought to do. We at NCCkl are so privileged to be entrusted with this beautiful fragrance of Christ to spread to our neighbors. People are sensing the Gospel through our lives in different ways. We may not know how they respond but we still continue to permeate this fragrance. Our lives are visible demonstration of the fragrance of the Gospel of the water and Spirit.
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