“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things?” II Corinthians 2:14-16
2:14 ::Paul thanks the Lord, because He always(1) leads us in His(2) triumph in Christ(2), and through us, makes known everywhere(3) the knowledge of Christ as if it were an aroma permeating the air.
- God’s will is always accomplished — He never fails.
- Though a situation may seem like a defeat to us, it is God’s victory for His glory, if we act and dwell in Christ and His strength.
- The truth and knowledge of Christ is made plainly known everywhere we go, as if we were a rose that punctuates the air with its fragrance.
2:15 ::As believers we are the fragrance(1) of Christ — the representation of Him to the world — to two groups of people: saved and dying(2).
- We represent Christ and by identifying ourselves as Christians, we give our Lord a physical, present-day face in this world.
- As ambassadors, we carry the news of Christ to people, but it means two distinct things to the saved versus the unsaved.
2:16 ::To the unsaved, knowledge of the truth identifies them as sinners, dead from birth, and heading to eternal death because they know the saving truth and reject it. To the saved, it is a sweet fragrance of encouragement that we are freed from sin and justified before the Father in this life and in the eternal life to come with Him.
- Historically in Roman times, the aroma Paul speaks of is the incense and flowers welcoming the returning Roman army home from war. To the soldiers, this fragrance was joyous and represented their survival and victory in battle as well as a congratulatory welcome home. To the captives in chains entering the city, this aroma was the smell of death awaiting them in the Roman colosseum at the hands of the gladiators.
- Both saved and unsaved will hear the trumpet sound of Christ’s return, and to the saved it will be a summons home, where as the unsaved will receive it as a the gavel drop, delivering their sentence of eternal death.
Praise God that His fragrance is life to us in Christ.
(Historical background from Joshua Winn, Dallas, TX)
(c) 2005 Veritas Road