But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession,
and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.
For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved
and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death,
to the other a fragrance from life to life.
Who is sufficient for these things?
The Corinthian church gets a bad rap nowadays. Pastors use them as an example of how NOT to do church. Think about what it’d be like if it was your church who went down in history as one of the worst examples of how to look like Christians?
Really. A guy sleeps with his stepmom and the whole church gets blasted for hundreds of years…. (1 Corinthians 5:1)
Paul, however, did not stop with a corrective, perhaps discouraging letter of how awful the Corinthian church was. He wrote 2 Corinthians for a number of reasons, but was sure to talk quite a bit about the Christian’s identity in Christ (sound familiar?)
“For we are a fragrance of Christ to God”
Let me use a really cheesy analogy for a second.
Last week, I had a great hair day. Because my hair is naturally curly/frizzy à la Diana Ross, there are only a few days a year, when the weather has lost its humidity but the static hasn’t quite set in, that my hair does EXACTLY what I tell it to do. And six days ago, it happened (and hasn’t since).
I decided to try my hand at Kari Jobe’s amazing bump-it hair style. To smooth down a few strays (that did not get the memo that it was Annual Good Hair Day), I used my husband’s pomade. And BAM. I took a million selfies like an 8th grade girl to commemorate the holiday. This thing should go national.
All day long though, I kept smelling my husband. After turning my head, or walking down the hall, or just sitting, I found myself thinking, “Something smells good” or even something about him. I finally realized that it was the pomade I was smelling. I hadn’t realized before then that the smell of his hair product had become a part of my memory of him. Because he wears the same stuff every day, and because I spend so much time with him, that smell is linked to him in my head.
Christ’s fragrance is very much like the pomade. When I spend time with Jesus - by praying to Him, reading His word, learning about Him in books and sermons – God gives me His ‘fragrance of the knowledge of Him’ (vs 14). This aroma becomes ingrained in my heart, and pours out to the world to show them our Savior.
When the Gospel permeates our hearts, we can’t help but share its fragrant message with the world. We are more than good examples.
So, today, I want to challenge us to evaluate ourselves in light of this passage.
Can the people around us sense the aroma of Christ in us or do they find us poor examples of the faith we claim to have?
Do we truly spend enough time with Jesus to associate His aroma with Him?
Do we actually find ourselves speaking the Gospel to others naturally?
I pray that we will fall deeper and deeper in love with Jesus, and that through us, He will spread His fragrance to the world.
See You In The Round,
“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."