February 28th, 2007
You might like or dislike a fragrance depending on the person you associate with it. According to Paul, followers of Jesus emit the fragrance of Christ, and people who smell it either like it or don’t, depending on whether or not they believe in Jesus. To people who don’t believe in Jesus, the fragrance of Christ is like the odour of death. Often Christianity only intersects their lives when it is time to bury someone. The sign of the cross is just a reminder of the graveyard. But to people who do believe in Jesus, the fragrance of Christ is the sweet smell of abundant life now and eternal life to come.
Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians — Chapter 2
2:1 I decided that I would not make another painful visit to you. 2:2 If I upset you, who will cheer me up, if not the person whom I upset? 2:3 I wrote what I did so that, when I came, I would not be upset by the people who should be making me rejoice. I am confident that you will all share my joy. 2:4 I wrote to you with many tears in a state of distress and anxiety, not to upset you, but so that you could know the overflowing love that I have for you. 2:5 If anyone has caused distress, he has distressed not me, but to some extent all of you, although I do not want to press this point too hard. 2:6 His punishment applied by the majority was enough. 2:7 Instead, you should forgive him and comfort him to prevent him being consumed by regret. 2:8 So please reaffirm your love towards him. 2:9 A reason why I wrote was so that I could find out whether you are obedient in everything. 2:10 I forgive anyone whom you forgive. What I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, 2:11 so that we are not outsmarted by Satan. We are not ignorant of his schemes.
2:12 When I went to Troas for the Good News of Christ, a door was opened to me in the Lord, 2:13 but I was uneasy because I did not find my brother Titus there. I said goodbye to them and went to Macedonia. 2:14 I am grateful to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and wherever we go reveals through us the fragrance of knowing him. 2:15 We are the fragrance of Christ to God in people who are being saved and in people who are dying. 2:16 To one we are the odour of death. To the other we are the fragrance of life. Who is adequate for these tasks? 2:17 We are not peddling the message of God, as so many do. We speak sincerely in Christ in the presence of God, as people sent by God.
Entry Filed under: Hope