Smell Like Christ

by Rev. Sean Finnegan on January 12, 2014
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2 Corinthians 2.12-13 Paul’s concern over the Corinthians dominated his thinking while he was away from them (see 2 Corinthians 7.5-10).

2 Corinthians 2.14-16

Christ leads in triumphal procession, spreading the fragrance of his knowledge everywhere. This is not something we conjure up, but what (super)naturally happens when we follow Christ. This aroma polarizes people into two groups: those who enjoy it and those who despise it.

Ephesians 5.1-2 “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.”
John 3.16-21
Like the fragrance of Christ, our testimony is like a light that divides people into two groups: those who find themselves drawn to the light and those whom the light repels.

It is so critical to understand that people are going to respond to you differently. Some will show interest in your “abnormal” behavior and testimony whereas others will label and mistreat you. If you allow people’s responses to determine who you are, you will always be a slave. Of course you should care how people respond, but you cannot let it control you.
1 Corinthians 1.18 “For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
2 Corinthians 2.14-17 God’s message is free and we should freely give it to anyone interested.

“Paul offers the gospel freely from a sincere heart. He must act in such a way because he believes that God watches. All that he does, he does in the presence of God and in Christ. Therefore he must act in a Christlike manner. What Paul suggests here…[is] that God, not the Corinthians, is the real judge of his case, of the authenticity of his ministry, and thus that he is laying his case before God. He is speaking ‘in Christ before God.’” (Ben Witherington III, Conflict & Community in Corinth, p. 374.)

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