Summary: The presence of Christ in our life is a sweet smelling fragrance to God and the world
THE FRAGRANCE OF CHRIST’S PRESENCE
2 COR 2:14-17
I. THE VICTORY OF CHRIST OVER HIS ENEMIES
A. A parallel drawn from the roman custom of celebrating a triumphant outcome in battle
1-a king leading a defeated foe to further humiliate him
-Col 2:15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.
2-a king in a celebration procession with his sons and warriors following
B. Paul says Christ causes us to triumph, He cannot do this unless He Himself has triumphed
-1 Cor 15:24-27 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet...
-John 16:33 ...In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
C. In our daily life we celebrate the victory of Christ over His enemies through the victory He gives us
II. THE FRAGRANCE OF VICTORY
A. It was customary in those times for people to throw fragrant flowers into the streets and as they were crushed beneath the feet of those in the procession it would fill the air with their fragrance. Others would carry burning incense. This fragrance filled the city with the sweet smell of victory.
B. In O.T. the priests were commanded to burn sweet smelling incense unto God. Perhaps one reason is because God is always triumphant over His enemies
C. Christ Himself is the fragrance of God’s victory over sin and death
-Song 2:1 I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.
-the plain of Sharon is in full bloom in the spring and is filled with the fragrance of the rose which represents the beauty and majesty of Christ
-the lily is pure white and symbolic of the innocence and humility of Christ
D. As the rose or the lily in full bloom offers it’s fragrance to all who pass by, Jesus in His atoning death and resurrection offers the fragrance of righteousness and eternal life to all
III. THE FRAGRANCE OF CHRIST IN OUR LIFE
A. The fragrance of Christ and eternal life is in stark contrast to the stench of sin and death
B. Many times in scripture God refers to sin as a stench or stinking odor to Him
-perhaps we could compare this to our reaction to the odor of a skunk
-Gen 6:11-13 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
-Gen 13:13 But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.
-Gen 18:20-21 And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.
C. If sin is in our life it gives off an odor that is disgusting to God and we cannot come into His presence
-sin stinks and God says “I’m not letting that into my house”
D. If Christ, righteousness and holiness is in our life then God accepts us into His presence because it is a beautiful fragrance to Him
IV. SPREADING THE FRAGRANCE OF CHRIST INTO THE WORLD
A. The world is filled with the stink of sin
-Isa 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness is as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
B. The gospel of Christ became a sweet smelling fragrance that the early church spread throughout the world
C. As we travel through life we are sending a sweet smelling fragrance to God out of world that otherwise stinks - (14)
D. As we spread the gospel of Christ through preaching, teaching, witnessing and holy living we are spreading the fragrance of Christ. Regardless of whether people receive it or not it is still a sweet smelling fragrance before God - (15)
E. Some people love the smell of sin and hate the fragrance of Christ - (16)
-ill of the woman on Dateline who was a college professor, a millionaire but lived in filth that stunk up the whole neighborhood. Evidently she loved it.