Paul uses some interesting – and challenging – words – as we start reading his 2nd letter to the Corinthians; he refers to his continuing journey in serving the Lord and writes, “…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.” [2 v.14]
Let us visualize in our minds the state of – and perceptions within – Paul’s mind. We sense that these developed more and more as the years passed. Is that happening in us?
In reading his first letter to the Corinthians, we saw how, in some chapters, he had sternly reprimanded them – trying to provoke them into more Christ-likeness. But now in his 2nd letter he reflects on how “I wrote to you out ofmuch affliction and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to cause you pain but to let you know the abundant love that I have for you.” [2 v.4]
Those who are bringing up children in our ever more godless world face a great challenge these days – and those who do not fully apply themselves to meeting that challenge are not really showing “love” for them, there is not enough of the right kind of “fragrance.”
We come to v.15-17! Let us meditate on all that Paul means – what his words cause our minds to meditate on – what they unfold into our thought processes. “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? For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.”
Paul is the supreme example to us! What kind of “aroma of Christ” is to be seen in the way we behave and speak? And we must not miss Paul’s point – it is an aroma … to God” Is the ” fragrance from life to life” flowing out to all around us? Do you and I sense in our hearts that we are really people “of sincerity, as commissioned by God”?
Let us all re-double our efforts to both feel and show “we are the aroma of Christ.”