Summary: Big Idea: What does it mean to live our lives as the aroma of Christ? We are the Aroma of Christ when our life smells of success, service, sacrifice and sincerity so that it causes people to remember Jesus.
Introduction: (BLACK SLIDE on screen Votive Candles with chocolate chip cookie Smell lit in sanctuary giving off pleasant aroma throughout Jerry enters auditorium from back with tray of cookies) Good Morning my name is Jerry O’Sullivan I am one of the pastors here at Shelter Rock Church and I am hoping that some of you who walked in the auditorium today noticed something. What was it? It smells in here; it smells good, it smells like cookies, Chocolate Chip cookies. The amazing thing about our sense of smell is that for most of us, even this morning, smelling the scent of fresh baked cookies caused us to recall people, places and events from our past that we associate with that smell. Research shows us that it is our sense of smell that is best at bringing back memories.
• When I smell the ink from a newspaper the memory I recall is the faces and houses of the people on my route in Port Washington when I was a paper boy delivering Newsday door to door.
• Whenever I smell moth balls I think of my Grandmother and I am transported back to the apartment she lived in the Bronx and the happy times we spent there on various holidays watching movies like March of the wooden soldiers and mighty Joe Young.
I think all of us would agree smell has a strong power to vividly bring back memories, and images of people and places it is definitely more important than we realize. Today I want to talk about what you and I smell like. What we smell like as a church to the world around us. What we smell like to our families and our neighbors. We definitely have a smell, in fact, why don’t you lean over and just smell the person next to you (Pause). Only kidding you don’t have to do that. All the visitors are like okay I am out of here. Today we are going to look at a section of scripture where the apostle Paul will teach us how to be the aroma, the fragrance, the smell of Christ to those around us. Today I want to answer this question from the scriptures: What does it mean to live our lives as the aroma of Christ?
Transition: Opening prayer
Trouble in Troas 2:12-13: Turn in your Bibles to 2 Cor Chapter 2 we are going to be reading from verse 14 and following on page 817. Let me give you some of the background to this passage so you know what is going on. BACK GROUND MAP ON SCREEN) Paul is on a trip from Ephesus to Philippi and had planned to rendezvous with a trusted companion named Titus at Troas who would brief him of the status of the troubled church at Corinth.
But Titus failed to appear. Thus Paul was very concerned about Titus and troubled by what was going on in Corinth because he had written them several difficult letters rebuking them and he did not know how they were taking his rebuke.
Paul left Troas and made his way to Philippi. At Philippi he found Titus and received the good news that many of the problems at the church in Corinth had been rectified and the majority of the church was behind Paul, and things were looking better. This so rejoiced Paul that he broke into a song of praise.
Transition: Read 2 Corinthians 2:14-17 (SCRIPTURE ON SCREEN)
(Transition – I believe in this section of scripture we find 4 images that Paul wants us to remember and associate with the Aroma of Christ. Let’s look at the first image)
Read 2:14a But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ
- We are the Aroma of Christ when our lives smell of Success: (IMAGE OF SUCCESS ON SCREEN)
Roman triumphal procession: The first image I want you to remember is that of a victory celebration. Corinth being part of the vast Roman Empire the Corinthians would be familiar with a Roman Triumphal Procession. Behind me on the screen you will see a few scenes from the movie Gladiator of what this would look like. (Show Clip one from Gladiator THEN BLACK) Whenever a victorious general returned home from battle, Rome gave him a public parade, not unlike our modern ticker-tape parades.
“…thanks be to God, who always leads us” In the metaphorical parade Paul is describing Jesus is the leader, the hero that leads others in his processional who have asked him to be the Lord of their lives. In this “Christian parade” Paul describes, Jesus Christ as the Victor. Through His ressurection, He has conquered every foe including the greatest foe known to man, death. Christians ride in that procession with Him, sharing His victory (SCRIPTURE 1 Cor. 15:54-57 ON SCREEN THEN BLACK).