A L O O K I N T O T H E A P O S T L E ' S H E A R T
Smells, odors, fragrances. These all play a vital role in life as we know it. Without them we would not be able to accurately taste the delicious food we enjoy nor would we be able to savor the rich smell of coffee or baking bread. But not all odors we come across each day are pleasant and enjoyable. Living in the country, I almost daily smell the pungent fragrance of skunk and the “wonderful” aroma of cow manure. While you may not come across these smells often, there are other unpleasant odors we use in everyday life, such as the sharpness of bleach or distinct smell of car exhaust. So fragrance and smell plays an important part in our lives. Sometimes we enjoy what comes through our sense of smell, but other times we don’t. Nevertheless, without this sense, life would not be the same.
Paul understood how much of life is connected with the sense of smell, and he used it in a metaphor representing our life in Christ and what God does through us as He leads us forward in triumph.
“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.”
~II Corinthians 2:14-15
Aroma of Christ
Let’s really break this passage down and meditate upon it for a moment. We are the aroma of Christ to whom? God. We are present Jesus on earth. We are His aroma. We remind God of Christ throughout the world. And just as Jesus was well-pleasing to the Father, so also we are a pleasant aroma and pleasing fragrance to God.
This is pretty amazing considering that our sin is wretched, disgusting, and like filthy rags before the Lord. However, in Christ we are made new, washed clean, and given a new name. We no longer smell like beggars, but are the aroma of Christ to God. How powerful is the grace and love of God?!
Spreading the Fragrance
While we are the aroma of Christ to God, God also wants to spread this sweet smelling fragrance throughout the world. He doesn’t want us to be completely concentrated in one spot. So as He leads us in triumph, He moves us to various places physically, emotionally, and spiritually so that the fragrance of the knowledge of Him might spread everywhere. For we are the vessels containing that wonderful aroma and when we are faithful to God’s calling, we can become the channels through which God spreads His grace and goodness to the ends of the earth.
We are the aroma of Christ to God, so let’s live like it. Let us live a well-pleasing life before the Lord and purpose to always offer up a sweet smelling aroma to the Father. And as we follow the lead of Christ to victory, let us be faithful to follow God as He spreads us out as well, remembering that He wants the wonderful aroma of Christ throughout the world and not just in one concentrated place.
So here’s the question for you…what’s your aroma? And are you allowing God to use you to spread the fragrance of the knowledge of Him everywhere?