My husband likes to cook out—hamburgers, chicken, even turkey at Thanksgiving time. Because we live in the Southwest, the only fuel he uses is mesquite wood, which he cuts himself. When he cooks out, he always takes on that fragrance of the wood and the meat he is barbecuing. The smell permeates his clothes and skin almost as if he’s been sitting on top of the fire, when in reality, he’s only standing beside it.
2 Corinthians 2:14-16 has something to say about us being a fragrance. Does that mean we’re stinky? Well, maybe. There are fragrances that are appealing and those that are offensive. (Think skunk here. Ugh!)
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. 2 Cor. 2:14 (NKJV)
Have you ever thought that just by being close to God, by studying His word, and by praying and seeking to do His will, you are carrying Him with you everywhere you go? Not by what you say. Not by what you do. (Although those are important.) But, by your very closeness to God, you give off an aroma of Christ. Something others can sense or “smell” even though we don’t register that fragrance.
For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 2 Cor.2:15 (NKJV)
This is such a beautiful thought—that to God we are the aroma of Christ. We are so close to Jesus Christ that we take on some of His attributes, one of those being the fragrance of Him.
We are not only a sweet aroma to God, but also to those who are Christians and to those who are not Christians. That means we carry the fragrance of Christ to everyone, everywhere we go. We are like a diffuser for scents and being around us can be that reminder of God that a person needs. Isn’t that amazing?
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 Corinthians 2:16 (NKJV)
Herein is the difference. To those who aren’t Christians we are often the fragrance of death. We are offensive because they have rejected Christ. But, we can also be the reminder that they need that relationship they don’t have. Perhaps that aroma of death is just what they need to draw them to Christ.
And to the Christians, we are the fragrance of life. The life they chose in Christ. The reminder of Who they serve. Of Who they love. Of Who they represent. Jesus is the one Who leads to life and we need the constant reminder or aroma of other Christians to help keep us close to Him.
Even so, the question is asked “who is sufficient for these things?” We are not. None of us are worthy. Yet, the passage goes on to say this:
For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ. 2 Corinthians 2:17 (NKJV)
We must be a sincere Christian, not putting on the airs of one, or just using the verbiage. Our actions, our words, our very lives, must say Christ is in us and works through us. Then, we will exude that wonderful aroma that pleases God and is noticed by those around us. Standing close to Christ is like standing close to a cooking fire. You can’t help absorb Him and you will carry that fragrance with you wherever you go.