Summary: The importance of a Christian’s "fragrance" (according to Paul).
CHRISTIAN SCENTS…. 7/13/2008 (Intercession City Community Wesleyan)
2 COR. 2:14-16
2 Corinthians is Paul’s defense of his actions and apostleship. It seems that since his first letter to the Corinthians, what has happened, is that false teachers had come into town and were discrediting Paul and his message. They claimed that he was not a true apostle, and the gospel he was preaching was not true, and that he was not even qualified to preach this gospel. So, Paul has sent Titus to Corinth to take care of these issues. And he does. This letter is Paul’s letter to the Corinthians expressing his gratitude for their change of heart, and to appeal the few who are still not convinced that Paul is not qualified to be an apostle and preach the gospel. This is a deeply personal book. Paul opens up his heart and pours it all out to the Corinthians. Through this book we can see the true heart of an apostle. We can see the heart, attitude, and mind set, that we as Christians must demonstrate. The same things that qualify Paul as a Christ follower, a person to spread the gospel and share God’s Word are the same things that qualify us. We come in at the beginning of his defense…
This passage is full of imagery and word-pictures.
Here Paul alludes to the Roman custom of celebrating a triumph in battle.
When a Roman general returned victorious from battle, after gaining new lands, obtaining contraband, and capturing its citizens, he would be met with a great procession. The general would ride in a gold chariot. He would be followed by his soldiers, the senate magistrates, musicians, priests, and captives. The priests carried censers filled with burning incense, that let off fragrances in honor of the god, Jupiter. Some commentators suggest that people would throw flowers onto the road, and as the procession trampled over them their scent would be released into the air. This scent, this fragrance, could be smelled throughout the town, the procession was coming! Everyone knew what this scent meant. To the Roman soldiers this scent meant life, victory, celebration. To the captives it meant death and destruction.
As Christians we have a part, both, as a victor, and as a captive.
It is our victory to be taken captive, to be captured, by Christ. Paul says it is our privilege to be led in the victory “procession” of Christ. It is our joy to fight for the cause of Christ, because we get the privilege of following in his train, or procession. It is no matter what difficulties or trials may come our way, we are led by a conquerer. Our main interest should be, that our lives are taken captive by Christ, and we remain captivated by Him.
He has total control of our lives. We no longer have to be anxious, or worry, we have been captured by a conquerer. Our plans, goals, ambitions, lives are now controlled by a Victorious Christ.
One commentator stated this verse literally reads to, “Take captive so as to preserve alive.” If it was not for Christ pursuing, and capturing us we would be dead in our sins, we would be bound for eternal damnation. But, if Christ has captured us, He has captured us to live. We can have life!