Summary: Describes the way we are to impact our community. Expanded outline.
CARRYING THE AROMA OF CHRIST IN THE NEW YEAR
In verses 12 & 13 of this passage, we find Paul a little down. He’s a little tired. His spirit has been troubled because of having to miss friends and people he cares about.
But notice the change in his tone when he gets to verse 14. He says, “Yes there’s been some struggle. Yes there’s been some grieving, but praise be to God. It’s all been worth it. It’s all worth it, because God has put us on display and is using us to spread the sweet aroma of Christ.”
My friend, did you know that God is using you as a perfume dispenser in our community?
Years ago, in my childhood and early teens, I used to collect cologne. At one time I had a pretty good assortment. I had Hi Karate, Brut, English Leather, Old Spice, something by Mennon, and a number of other fragrances. I remember though, that Avon was pretty cleaver. They would take the fragrance “Wild Country”, and put it in all different kinds of decanters. They put it in cars, and horses, a bottle shaped like the White House, a book, and anything else you can imagine.
Every time I had a birthday, or Christmas rolled around, I’d end up with another bottle of “Wild Country” in a different bottle.
My friends, that’s kind of what you and I are like. We are all different shaped bottles, in many different designs, and colors, and clothing styles, but we are all called to carry the same fragrance, the perfume, the aroma of knowing Christ.
Turn to the person beside you and tell them, “Something smells around here.”
Now, as you know, there are basically two different kinds of smells. There are pleasant smells, and unpleasant smells, and what may smell good to one person, doesn’t necessarily smell good to another.
There used to be an egg farm about 5 miles from here, out on Reed Ellis Road. From time to time, when I was growing up, we used to take one of our 2 ton trucks down there to the chicken farm and pick up a couple of loads of chicken manure to put on our pastures to help the grass grow.
I remember one Saturday we went down and got several truck loads of that chicken manure and took it out behind where the pavilion now is on the church property. After we dumped those piles on manure, we cleaned up the truck and filled it with hay because we were having a youth hayride that night, with the youth from our church.
Now, during the time we were gone to pick up the youth, there was a short rain out at the house. How many of you grew up around chickens? Tell me, are there many things in the world that smell worse than wet chicken manure?
We pick up the youth in Orange City, and bring them out to the house. One of those young guys, recently moved to the area from the big city, stepped out of the truck, sucked in a lung full of air and said, “MMM, smell that country air!” I didn’t smell any country air. All I smelt was chicken manure.
My friends, I am afraid that when we are supposed to be smelling like country air, that we sometimes smell more like chicken manure. I am afraid that when we are supposed to carrying the perfume of Jesus Christ, that we are sometimes carrying the stench of the world instead.
So, how do we put on the aroma of Christ? How do we accurately carry the smell of Jesus Christ to the world. I would like to suggest this morning that we must do two things. We must bathe and dress. We must clean off and we must put on. Let’s look briefly at how Paul describes this for us in his letter to the Colossians.
STINKING STUFF WE MUST TAKE OFF
1. Sexual immorality v5 – In thought, or action. That is broken down into impurity, lust, & evil desires. My friends, God intends sex to be restrained to within the bounds of marriage. There is to be no second glances, no immoral movies, nor anything that causes you to lust.
2. Greed v5 – The desire for things. Letting things take the place of God, the place of priority in your life.
3. Anger & Wrath v8 – We must not hold on to anger, nor can you be quickly angered. Do you have a short fuse? Do your children, spouse or co-workers tip-toe around you, never knowing when you might blow-up?
4. Malice – v8 A bad disposition. The desire to hurt another.
5. Slander – v8 Insulting talk about another person.