Summary: We are made over comers by the Blood of Jesus and the word of our testimony. We are to spread the gospel like a sweet incense but only God can bring the fruit.
TRIUMPHANT IN CHRIST
Sunday, March 21, 2004 – PM
2 Corinthians 2:14-17, "Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things? For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ."
In the days of the mighty Roman Empire its enemies were constantly testing the Roman Army in battle. Some battles were fought as Rome stood defending the territory that had already been conquered, while other battles were fought in an attempt to conquer a new land and add to the reach of Caesar’s ruling hand.
Since they were the mightiest force on earth at that time, it was almost a certainty that they would be victorious in battle. After the battle was over, the Roman General, leading his victorious army, would ride into town in a victor’s chariot. Along with the parade of military might would come the slaves who had been conquered and brought back to serve Rome.
Some of those slaves would be brought back to be “saved”, which meant that they would be allowed to live as servants. After this group would come the conquered enemies that were being brought back to face execution and death.
Both groups of slaves were given incense to carry into the city. As they walked along the odor of the incense would arise from their vessels and slowly drift over the crowd. The smell of victory for the Romans would bring a shout of triumph but it meant something far different for those who carried it.
The first group was referred to as “them that carry the savor of life unto life”, even if it was as a slave. The second group was referred to as “them that carried the savor of death unto death”!
When Jesus came to this world and gave his life on the cross, as a sacrifice for you and I, it was the mightiest display of power of a Sovereign God that mankind would ever see.
At the Cross of Christ there is a great division that takes place in the sea of humanity that inhabits this world. There are only two categories of people who leave that cross.
One of those categories is the people who walk away with the sweet smelling savor of life unto life. Those who have chosen to surrender their lives unto the Lord Jesus Christ as slaves of love for as long as they live. They have been given a new lease on life in this present world, and they are bound for eternal life in Heaven. Aren’t you glad to be a part of that crowd!
The other category is the people who walk away from the cross carrying their own brand of incense that marks them as slaves unto sin and identifies them as those who are going from death unto death. They are dead in trespass and sin, dead to the things of the Spirit of God, and destined for eternal death.
Paul, in his letter to the Corinthian church, gives forth a message of triumph and praise to those who have chosen to walk with the incense of life unto life!
2 Corinthians 2:14, "Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place."
Jesus is the one who has conquered us by his grace, and made us useful for the work of His kingdom. He uses each of us for the conversion of sinners. His sharp sword of the Word of the Lord has penetrated deep into our hearts and brought under subjection of his lordship. It is Jesus who has chosen us, it is Jesus who had called us, and it is Jesus that empowers us to work for him.
Jesus gives us power to triumph over men and devils, over the world, persecutions, and over every attack that Satan can muster. In the midst of Spiritual Warfare, we are given the power to overcome and lead many souls to the Lord. Everywhere we go, people hear about Jesus.
2 Corinthians 2:15, "For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:"
As we walk this life carrying our incense, the sweet odor of forgiveness, overcoming power, and eternal life goes forth to minister to those who pass by. Our job is to wave the incense. It is the job of the Holy Spirit to reach down into the hearts of everyone we see and to draw them in.