The Fragrance of Christ…
“For we are the sweet fragrance of Christ [which ascends] to God,
[discernible both] among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;
to the latter one an aroma from death to death [a fatal, offensive odor],
but to the other an aroma from life to life [a vital fragrance, living and fresh].
And who is adequate and sufficiently qualified for these things? For we are not like many,
[acting like merchants] peddling God’s word [shortchanging and adulterating God’s message];
but from pure [uncompromised] motives, as [commissioned and sent] from God, we speak
[His message] in Christ in the sight of God.”
~2 CORINTHIANS 2:15-17~
Another beautiful passage. When I read these words I like to break up the paragraphs, so as to help make clearer the message of the passage.
When you read this slowly it’s abundantly clear what is being said, in the most beautiful way.
To God, we are the sweet fragrance 🌸 of Christ. He is our covering He is pleasing to God. When we are in Him we bear His fragrance, whenever we carry out his will and are submitted to him, we spread the fragrance of his love all around us.
Interestingly even though it is a definite fragrance to him it is perceived differently to others.
Its a mystery to me, but God knows those that will seek him and find him. It’s far too big a question for me to really comprehend, but seeking and finding God is a thing of free will. He has put within each one the seeds of eternity, the mysterious longing for the divine, and though He longs for each and every one, He knows which of us will choose him, and come to know him.
“He has made everything beautiful
and appropriate in its time. He has
also planted eternity [a sense of
divine purpose] in the human heart
[a mysterious longing which nothing
under the sun can satisfy, except
God]–yet man cannot find out
(comprehend, grasp) what God has
done (His overall plan) from the
beginning to the end.”
To those that sense and follow that longing, we are the sweet fragrance of Christ. I love how it’s described here, a vital fragrance living and fresh. If I put imagery to the scent it would be a beautiful rainforest teeming with life, beautiful and fertile, rich and depth. Or an amazing perfumed cottage garden, filled with every colour and variety of flower creating a heady aroma.
But this fragrance is only to those that are searching, seeking and destined by their heart choice to find him.
To the ones whose hearts will never look for him, to those who will not bring their sin, their shame to His cross to exchange for new life, those who hide from him with guilt and especially those who do not believe, who make themselves their god, who are perhaps filled with evil intentions caught up in sin, and more than happy in that mud, we give off a bad aroma. It makes them want to run. And when our paths cross they often do. They run, or they are offended, they are angered. We become to them a laughing stock.
I think the fragrance of Christ either reminds people that they are forgiven, can receive forgiveness, or…. that they need to be forgiven or forgive.
In a natural sense fragrance or smell evokes a response. And when you hear the true message of the gospel, this is the case.
The true message of the gospel is that I needed to be reconciled to God, I was separated from him by my sin. Jesus Christ paid the price for my sin, the only one that could. He made the way open to God for me through His sacrifice of love.
So, even when you read that last passage it evoked a response… hopefully it was “yes I am a sinner I need His blessed sacrifice” or it could be…. “that’s a whole lot of baloney. There is no God. I make my own way”.
To the first the fragrance of life to life and to the latter the aroma of death leading to death. It’s that simple.
I’m sure there are some to whom at first it’s not a pleasant fragrance who then may come to know it as one, and for those, I pray they would come up know him soon. He wishes that all would come to know him
and His love but he knows not all will.
May we carry the fragrance of Christ that leads others to Him. We can carry the message in words and in deeds, but we have all been commissioned and sent by God to carry it.