Being the Fragrance (Savour) of Christ
“Now thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things?” (2 Cor. 2:14-16) Aroma, savour, odour and fragrance all have a similar meaning, and are used in different translations of these verses.
How can we unworthy sinners be the fragrance of the Lord Jesus Christ? How can we be the sweet aroma of the knowledge of the Holy Son of God?
The Fragrant Aroma Through Suffering
The fragrant aroma is the sacrifice of Christ. “And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling aroma” (Eph. 5:2)
“For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed. We are always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body. For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.” (2 Cor. 4:6-11)
So it is only when we are suffering with Christ that our life can become a fragrant aroma!
We have to arm ourselves with the desire to suffer, and have it as our goal. “Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God.” (1 Pet. 4:1-2) So we shouldn’t be surprised at the fiery trial which comes upon us for our testing. (1 Pet. 4:12) “But rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.” (1 Pet. 4:13)
Paul the apostle wanted to fill up that which was lacking in the sufferings of Christ. We should rejoice in our sufferings in the body. “I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church.” (Col. 1:24)
Christ In You, The Hope Of Glory
“If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and My Father will love Him, and We will come to him, and make Our home with him.” (John 14:23)
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” (Gal. 2:20)
All the good that we do is not from us, but from the Lord Jesus living in us. “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared before hand that we should walk in them.” (Eph. 2:10)
“To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” (Col. 1:27)
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Rev.3:20)
In other words, the Lord Jesus Christ can live in a human being. Jesus wants to live in us, and fellowship and eat with us. How can we undeserving sinners have the Holy Son of God living in us, in our body?
Let The Word Live In You
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” (Col. 3:16) We must know the words of Jesus, and the words of the apostles in our minds and hearts. When the words of the Lord Jesus Christ are in us we have the real communication and presence of the risen Lord and Savior. His voice becomes our voice. His words become our words. His thoughts become our thoughts. His desires become our desires. His actions become our actions. And day by day we unworthy sinners are transformed. “We all with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” (2 Cor. 3:18) The Word of God can transform us and change us, and the Son of God will live in us and make us a new person in His image. (Col. 3:10)
The only way to communicate effectively and clearly with people is through words. Words communicate thoughts, ideas, feelings and emotions. In this way people can understand themselves and also other people. As a result they can work together, help each other, and be united.
God has chosen words to communicate with us as well. When you hear a person’s words, whether they are verbal or written you can get to know them better than by just looking at them. God sent His Son into the world for us to see Him, and to learn His words. The Lord Jesus spoke words of life from His Father, but He also was the Word. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:1, 14)
“That He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the Word.” (Eph. 5:26)
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” (John. 10:27)
“Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the Word of God which lives and abides forever, because ‘All flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of the grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls away, but the word of the Lord endures forever.’ Now this is the word which by the gospel was preached to you.” (1 Pet. 1: 23-25)
Jesus is the Word. If you want Jesus in you, you need the Word in you. If you ate once a week you would starve. If you read the Word once a week you will starve. We have to eat every day, and we need to feed on God's Word each day.
How To Read The Word
Read frequently, preferably daily. The New Testament writings are for the New Testament churches which includes us today. The Old Testament writings give history, and how God communicated in the past (Heb. 1:1), and are also a tutor to bring us to Christ (Gal. 3:24).
Using a Parallel Bible will give different insights from different translations.
Use a Bible with cross references in the margin to find similar ideas and phrases in other places in the Scriptures.
A Strong’s Concordance with Greek and Hebrew Dictionaries will allow you to find every word in the Scriptures with a simple meaning in the original languages.
Remember that all chapters, verses, paragraphs, punctuation, headings, and reference notes are not from the apostles and prophets in the original writings, but from the translators and publishers.
Memorize important passages to give you spiritual protection, and nourish spiritual growth! This will allow the Holy Spirit to use the Word of God as a powerful offensive and defensive weapon, called the sword of the Spirit. (Eph. 6:17)