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A Sweet Smelling Savor, part 2
But now, here in the second half of this chapter he passes himself as one in the place of an incense bearer in the procession. He seems to be saying that as he passes on through the world bearing incense, it is saying two things, or having two effects, speaking to two different classes of people. It relates to life and death. 2 Corinthians 2:15 “For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.”
Aroma either convicts or condemns
Isn’t it interesting that the aroma of Christ is the sweetest smell there is to the Christian; and yet the most repelling thing there is to those perishing! Just think of what the captors of the earthly kings thought as they walked through the street behind the victorious general. As the incense went forth it created the smell of victory for the people of that city or country, but the same smell meant the death of the captors. The same smell created two different reactions.
When we gather together as the body of Christ there is more than just “pews” that we smell. There is a definite sweetness to church that all believers relate to. We are not repelled at all at the preaching of the cross. We are not repelled during our worship.
Ephesians 4:22-24 “You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;23to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
If you tell someone in the world that they need to die to their way of life and make Christ their savior, they become very offended. To them, that is the smell of death. If you don’t think that is true, just look at the spirit that is in the world today.Today a radical Muslim can kill another person and yet America is falling all over itself to say that Islam really isn’t a bad religion. However, if in the midst of this conflict a Christian were to simply state that Muslims need to make Christ their Savior if they plan to go to heaven that is considered the most vial, non-sensitive, hateful remark you can make.
The very same fragrance that we embrace and love is the smell of death to those perishing. Our lifestyle is what puts that smell out there. If, as Christians, there is no difference between our lifestyle and the worlds then we no longer bring any conviction or revelation of Christ to others.
Paul is pretty blunt in his statements about those who don’t know Christ. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.If that becomes the testimony of a Christian – then his life is no longer putting forth any sense of conviction to those around him. The aroma of Christ is the cross, and the cross represents death. Death means separation – when we no longer separate ourselves from the world – then we take on their aroma. It’s in the procession of the victory of Christ where the aroma is found. When we walk in the procession of this world we smell like the world. When you come out of a secular concert, you smell like the concert, not like Jesus. You smell like beer, and smoke, and cursing. You smell like anything but the aroma of Christ.
So if for nothing else – just for my sake – when you cannot say anything more on facebook than what ungodly thing you did last week, or whose ungodly music you just discovered – at least go into your information page and delete your status as a Christian. It’s confusing to the world to think that you call yourself a Christian and yet love the very world Jesus told us to come out of and be separate from. We have been called to bring the world out of its vain, ineffective, futile thinking – not to encourage them in it by supporting their ungodliness.
I’m serious about this folks. Is Jesus not enough for us today? Would it be impossible for us to serve Jesus if we had to put away all forms of entertainment and all we had was the Bible and prayer?
For those of you who feel I speak too much against Hollywood and entertainment – you are a case in point. Those who have died to the worldly entertainment find my statements are much needed because to them these statements smell like life. To those of you who have not died to the world find the same statement convicting because to you these statements smell like death because you have not yet died. Ok, I had to get that off my chest – now back to the Bible.
Taught in Him
Ephesians 4:21 “Surely you heard of Him and were taught in Him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.” What does it mean to be taught in Him? That which is going forth from us; that which is the effect of our lives, is more than just a knowledge of Christ. It is one thing to be taught of Christ. Any professor in any college can teach about Christ from a historical perspective. There is however, a great difference between being taught about Christ and being taught Christ.
Medication: A Merry Heart: A DOG’S PET PEEVES
~ Yelling at me for barking... HEY, I’M A DOG!!
~ Taking me for a walk, then not letting me check stuff out. Exactly whose walk is this anyway?
~ Any trick that involves balancing food on my nose... stop it.
~ Blaming your farts on me... not funny... not funny at all.
~ Yelling at me for rubbing my bottom on your carpet. Why’d you buy carpet?
~ Dog sweaters. Helloooo... have you noticed the fur?
~ Any haircut that involves bows or ribbons. Now you know why we chew your stuff up when you’re not home.
~ Taking me to the vet for “the big snip,”: then acting surprised when I freak out every time we go back.
~ The sleight of hand, fake-fetch-throw. You fooled a dog! What a proud moment for the top of the food chain.
God Bless, Press On!
St Mark’s Community Church, Janesville
New Beginnings Church, New Ulm
Verse of the Week: Matthew 28:18-20 NIV
Today’s readings: Matthew 14, Mark 6 & Luke 9:1 - 17