Summary: This sermon is actually preached in a graduation service and it talks about the dignity and speciality of being a minister
AROMA OF CHRIST
The theme for this year is “Aroma of Christ” and the text is taken from II Cor.2:15. Let me read it for you. “For we are the Aroma of Christ for those who are being saved and those who are perishing.”
Paul is known for his dramatical usages and the play of words. He says we are the Aroma or fragrance of Christ. If we really want to know the meaning of the term, we must know what picture was in the mind of Paul when he wrote it. The picture was presumably of a Roman triumphal Procession. The streets of ancient Rome very rarely witnessed the triumphal march of some of their generals. The march was gorgeous and it was a thing of magnificent beauty for the thousands of Roman spectators gathered on the either side of the Roman national High way.
I would like to bring to your attention three important spiritual lessons from this verse.
1. Christ the universal conqueror
I fell it is relevant to describe the un- parallel proceedings of the procession. It was indeed a superb and glorious sight. Roman senate and the high officials of the Roman government stood first in the March. After them there came a group that displayed the spoils taken from the conquered land. For example when Titus conquered Jerusalem the seven branched candlestick and the golden table of Shaw bread were displayed in that manner. Behind them there were the bulls to be sacrificed to their gods. Then in the march we see the captive princes, nobles and the generals every one in chain. Behind them were the musician and they were followed by the priests with censers from which came the smoke of pleasant Aroma which filled the place. Behind the priest was the victorious general in his special chariot with special attire and along with him were the Roman victorious army also in their spectacular outfit shouting “Lo Triumphe”
This was the proceedings of the Roman triumphal march and this was the picture in the mind of Paul.
We need to understand that not every Roman general would be conferred this high honour. In order to be in this privilege he must have been the actual commander- in- chief in the field. He must have pacified the region and the troops brought home. He must have gained an extension for the Rome and the war must have been against an enemy king, not a civil war.
Friends I want to tell you this is the perfect representation of Jesus Christ who is our commander general. Yes Christ is the universal conqueror. Down through the centuries multitudes fought against Him. But He conquered them all. Emperors and empires, cultures and religion. Philosophies and world views were not able to confine or contain Him. Religiously it was Judaism and politically it was Rome that persecuted Christianity most. But we know the history. It is Judaism that lost everything not Christ or Christianity. Like wise the Roman emperors Nero, Domitian, Decius, and Diocletian tried to exterminate Christ and Christianity. But the history says Rome the greatest of al the empires did not last even for a century after Diocletian. Where is Rome now? It is in the History ext books. But Christ is still the conqueror.
After being defeated severely in the battle of Waterloo Napoleon Bonaparte said like this. “Alexander, Charlemagne and I have conquered lands and kingdoms. But all our kingdoms perished. But there came a man from Palestine, He has conquered kingdoms and established it on the hearts of men. And his kingdom is still growing.”
2. If Christ is victorious we are also victorious.
The most important thing we need to understand is this, we are not the eventual conquerors but Christ is the conqueror. It is Christ who fought the battle and gained the victory. But Paul sees himself in that troop. Praise God we are also in that army. It is we who cry LO TRIUMPHE. Our speciality is that we are in the army of Christ. We don’t have any other speciality. Our speciality is in our commander. We are not with any other great men of the world. All of them have gone into history. Our commander general is not Socrates, Plato or Aristotle. The difference between Jesus Christ and these philosophers is this. They are man’s enquiry to know God. But Jesus is Gods’ revelation to man kind.
Finally we see, we are the Aroma of Christ. In the march there are two groups of people. Number one, the people who are jubilant, joyous and glad. They are the victorious army. We are the victorious army and we are the aroma of Christ. But there are another who are miserable, downhearted and frustrated. They are the captive princes, nobles and the generals. They are going to be executed and killed and will be sold as slaves. This same procession and aroma give some joy and some others death. This is very much true with the Gospel. If we receive the Gospel it can give us joy and salvation if we refuse it we will be left only with the option of depravity and death.