Summary: 5 of 5 messages on God Senses. This message is on how we can be a sweet smelling fragrance to God.
7/29/07 – God Smells
Three Sweet Fragrances
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?
This is the last message in our series on the God Senses. One of the most profound of truths revealed to us through God’s word is that we are made in his image. To know something of God we need only to look at our selves. We learn about the world around us through the five senses, touch, hearing, taste, sight and smell. Today we look at the last sense – smell.
It seems a bit strange to think about the Almighty God sniffing the air for a whiff to catch a scent but this sense is actually one of the senses that are spoken of quite often in reference to God.
In the Old Testament incense was an important part of worship in the tabernacle built by Moses and later on in the temple built by Solomon. But this incense was not something that Moses and Solomon came up with without direction. God himself laid out the design and plan for his tabernacle and temple.
It was in the first room called the Holy Place that his plan called for an altar of incense to be placed directly against the back curtained wall that covered the entrance to the inner most room – the Holy of Holies. It was on this small altar that the Levitical Priests would burn sweet incense representing the prayers of the people to their God. The sweet smells would waft through the curtained walls and fill the place where the Shiknah glory of God dwelt. The smell represented man’s attempts to please their father God – and it was a sweet fragrance to Him.
We live in a different time and place. The Old Covenant has been replace by the New Covenant. The old sacrifices of bull, calves, and sheep have been replaced – once and for all – by one sacrifice of Jesus. The old temple is no more and in it’s place is a new temple not built with hands.
We are that temple and in that temple there are at least three new and distinct fragrances that bring great pleasure to our Father God.
The Sweet Incense of Offering
…I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God.
Do you remember the story of Ananias and Sapphira in the book of Acts? Let me read you the story:
36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.
Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2 With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.
3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God.”
5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. 6 Then the young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.
7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?”
“Yes,” she said, “that is the price.”
9 Peter said to her, “How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”
10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.
Ananias and Sapphira imitate the gifts of Barnabas when they sold some land and gave a portion of the price – while wanting credit for giving it all. They were greedy and proud. The smell of these two was not sweet. Their essence was more like a couple of dead skunks.
In contrast to them are people like Barnabas and the church in Philippi. And the church in Philippi stands out as being quite different than the churches in Corinth, Ephesus, Antioch, and Jerusalem. They were outstanding in the liberality of their giving. The Philippians gave out of their abundance and out of their poverty.