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The Odor of an Obedient Life

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Living a holy life draws a person to a decision

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The Odor of an Obedient Life

Now
-The Power of Aroma
-Our sense of smell is a powerful means of recognizing places, events, and people without the use of our eyes.
-Many of us have had the experience of catching a whiff of something that reminds us of our Grandmother house, our Mother’s sweet potato pie, our Dad’s cologne, the smell of our first born baby.
-On a more serious note some have had the experience of smelling death, hospitals, and diseases which leaves an imprint on you that you never forget.
-Just like the sniffing dog used by police, our sense of smells is means by which can determine if things are real or fake.  
Then
-Paul in his second letter to the Corinthians is trying to lift their spirits by telling them that he loves them even though he had to verbal rebuke them.
-Paul knew that within 1 & 2 Corinthians he had to deal with some serious issues in this immature church.  He was very hard on them, and like a loving father he is trying to lift their spirits by letting them know that his rebuke of them is due to his great love for them……Kind of like when a father says this is going to hurt me as much as it hurts you.  There is some truth to that statement.
-The church at Corinth was probably the richest of the churches Paul planted, and they also were the most sinful and decadent.  They even accused Paul of preaching for material gain and tried to start a movement against his apostolic authority. These accusations lead Paul to write 1 & 2 Corinthians to straighten up some sinful behavior in the church and to set the record straight about his motives for teaching the Gospel. The three major sins of the church of Corinth: 1. Division/Discord 2. Sexual Immorality 3. Lack of Love
Always
-The Obedient life of the Christian gives off a powerful aroma, that speaks to the victory of Jesus over Death, the Devil, and his Demons.

I.  Your Spiritual Odor permeates the Supernatural world

2 Corinthians 2:14 NASB95
14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.

-(v.14) Paul starts by giving thanks to God. And why does he do this? He is praising God for taking him in as a prisoner of war from the control of the enemy.  When the soldier was captured he was either killed or kept as a slave of the conquering nation. Paul is thanking God that he gets to take part in the triumphant procession even though he was an enemy of God, who was taken in as a prisoner of war. Something fundamentally changed in Paul, for he has gone from the enemy of God to servant of the triumphant God.  
-Paul starts by giving thanks to God. And why does he do this? He is praising God for taking him in as a prisoner of war from the control of the enemy.  When the soldier was captured he was either killed or kept as a slave of the conquering nation. Paul is thanking God that he gets to take part in the triumphant procession even though he was an enemy of God, who was taken in as a prisoner of war. Something fundamentally changed in Paul, for he has gone from the enemy of God to servant of the triumphant God.  Paul is drawing from his knowledge of the Roman Culture concerning a returning General who has just won a great military battle.
-Paul is drawing from his knowledge of the Roman Culture concerning a returning General who has just won a great military battle.
a. There is a processional through the city streets to honor the General, and the returning troops, while the enemies’ officers were paraded through the streets tied up with the captured soldiers. They were mocked and scourged; most were eventually killed in the Coliseum.
b. There is the burning of incense and garland to Jupiter the chief God of Rome for granting the victory.  This burning (sacrifice) signified to the people that victory had been won.
-(v. 14) “and manifest through us, the sweet aroma of the knowledge of him” Paul then gets more explicit by telling us of a second benefit of being a captured servant of the Victorious General.  In our bodies we carry around the aroma of the Victory of Christ won at the resurrection over Death.
a. Manifest---means to make apparent, or show. This carries the idea of your life & body being a surrogate for God to use to point people to himself. In this text Paul uses the word “aroma” to drive home his point….Explain Surrogacy and contrast our role is purveyor of the Gospel. BBQ analogy---We(BBQ Pit), Jesus(Meat being cook), The Father(The Pit Master) It is the life of Jesus that we must allow to permeate our lives.
b. Sweet Aroma---This word means “odor” often used to describe pleasant smells. It is used in the OT of an offering that pleased the Lord.
EX:
“20Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
21 The Lord smelled the soothing aroma; and the Lord said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.
Genesis 8:20–21 NASB95
20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar. 21 The Lord smelled the soothing aroma; and the Lord said to Himself, “I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man’s heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done.
-Also in
Exodus 29:18 NASB95
18 “You shall offer up in smoke the whole ram on the altar; it is a burnt offering to the Lord: it is a soothing aroma, an offering by fire to the Lord.
-Also in , and these text talk about when a sacrifice is done properly that the smell of it pleased God.
Leviticus 1:9 NASB95
9 ‘Its entrails, however, and its legs he shall wash with water. And the priest shall offer up in smoke all of it on the altar for a burnt offering, an offering by fire of a soothing aroma to the Lord.
exodus 2
-these text talk about when a sacrifice is done properly that the smell of it pleased God.
-these text talk about when a sacrifice is done properly that the smell of it pleased God.
-at least two of the requirements of animals sacrifice
a. First born or best
b. Clean
2 Corinthians 2:15 NASB95
15 For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;
2 Corinthians
What does the Father want to smell?
-(v.15) “For we are a fragrance of Christ to God” I want you to pay close attention to the grammatical structure of this phrase.
-A True Christian gives off an aroma. The Fragrance is the smell of a crucified and risen Savior, and that fragrance reaches to the nostrils of God. Our lives become a continual burning sacrifice to God.
-Sub-point: This aroma that we give off is smelled in the spiritual world by God, Angels, Satan and his Demons
Job 1:6–10 NASB95
6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. 7 The Lord said to Satan, “From where do you come?” Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.” 8 The Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job? For there is no one like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, fearing God and turning away from evil.” 9 Then Satan answered the Lord, “Does Job fear God for nothing? 10 “Have You not made a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land.
.
-Summary: (v.8) You will see that a obedient life will put you in the mix of a heavenly battle. The smell of Job’s life had gotten to the nose of Satan. Notice in (v.9-10) that he already tried to get at Job but he could not get around the hedge that God put around Job.
Transition Statement-Not only does your odor permeate the Supernatural world it also permeates the Natural World.
-

II. Your Spiritual Odor affects the Natural World

2 Corinthians 2:15–16 NASB95
15 For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; 16 to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things?
2 CORINTHIANS 2:15
-Sub-points---What effect does the aroma of Christ have in the World?
-Sub-points---What effect does the aroma of Christ have in the World?
-(v.15) names two classes of people in this text that are affected by the aroma of our lifestyle.
a. Those that are not saved, but eventually will be.
b. Those that are not saved, and never will be.
How are they affected?
-(v.16) Paul tells us how our life impacts these two classes of people.
-You will remeber we talked about the Fragrance that was burned when the Roman General returned from battle to signify victory was won. The people could smell the fragrance and no that Rome had conquered another region.
-The Fragrance was also a reminder to all the prisoners of war that were tied up and detained behind the Roman army, that they would be tortured and then thrown into the coliseum to be consumed by Wild Beast.
-You can see that the Victory Fragrance meant two things to two different classes of people:
a. Those that are not saved, but eventually will be; hear the teaching and watch the lifestyle of the Christian.  And examination by them attracts them to the Christian, which ultimately leads them to the source of the aroma that the Christian is emitting from their life.
b. Those that are not saved, and never will be; hear the teaching and watch the lifestyle of the Christian.  And the examination by them leads them away from the Christian, and further down the path of hardness of heart, which eventually leads to the Lake of Fire.
Scriptural Example
Acts 2:22–38 NASB95
22 “Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know— 23 this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. 24 “But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power. 25 “For David says of Him, ‘I saw the Lord always in my presence; For He is at my right hand, so that I will not be shaken. 26 Therefore my heart was glad and my tongue exulted; Moreover my flesh also will live in hope; 27 Because You will not abandon my soul to Hades, Nor allow Your Holy One to undergo decay. 28 You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of gladness with Your presence.’ 29 “Brethren, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. 30 “And so, because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to seat one of his descendants on his throne, 31 he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was neither abandoned to Hades, nor did His flesh suffer decay. 32 “This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. 33 “Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. 34 “For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says: The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at My right hand, 35 Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.” ’ 36 “Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.” 37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brethren, what shall we do?” 38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
(Peter sermon); 37-38(The Crowds response)
Acts 7:51–60 NASB95
51 “You men who are stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears are always resisting the Holy Spirit; you are doing just as your fathers did. 52 “Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become; 53 you who received the law as ordained by angels, and yet did not keep it.” 54 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the quick, and they began gnashing their teeth at him. 55 But being full of the Holy Spirit, he gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God; 56 and he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 57 But they cried out with a loud voice, and covered their ears and rushed at him with one impulse. 58 When they had driven him out of the city, they began stoning him; and the witnesses laid aside their robes at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” 60 Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” Having said this, he fell asleep.
-(v.16) Paul asks a rhetorical question: “who is adequate for these things?” you can see within this question that Paul is admitting his own spiritual inability to complete the task.  Paul starts preaching to himself and answers this question in:
2 Corinthians 3:4–6 NASB95
4 Such confidence we have through Christ toward God. 5 Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God, 6 who also made us adequate as servants of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
-v.16 Paul asks a rhetorical question: “who is adequate for these things?” you can see within this question that Paul is admitting his own spiritual inability to complete the task.  Paul starts preaching to himself and answers this question in
2 Corinthians 3:
Quote
Quote
If your presence doesn’t make an impact, then your absence won’t make a difference….No Author
Application
1. As Professing Christian we have no choice but to impact any environment that God puts us in because we are surrogates of the Messiah aroma to the World.
a. What aroma are you giving out? The smell of Roasted chicken or Chitterling.
2. We are known by our smell
There are three classes of people in the church:
a. Ones that give off fragrant aroma---be it strong, or weak
b. Ones that don’t give off an aroma at all----neutral (meat without seasonings; bland)—they don’t want to stick out for Christ; they like to blend in the crowd and fly under the radar, they have no conviction. They are just there. They don’t get involved they just come to church every week then go home.
c. Ones that are just funky (these are the ones who don’t take a shower and still try to put on cologne) They come and get involved in ministry but they stir up trouble in the body. They do everything they can to work against the mission of the church.
-In these classes only one is truly saved, and that is the first one.
-Let’s remember what the two stipulations for a sweet smelling sacrifice were
a. First-born(or choicest animal) this means God wants our best; stop giving him your left-overs cause they stink to him and to the world.
b. Clean----Stop putting dirty animals on the altar, in other words your sacrifice only smells good to God when your life is clean & pure.  Stop living in Sin because it stinks to God and the aroma you are giving off to the world is that God is liar…….Lets go to:
Mark 3:22 NASB95
22 The scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “He casts out the demons by the ruler of the demons.”
-explain the name; Beelzebub: lord of the flies-His name and his demons are associated with the flies that linger around manure. Which means when we act like little demons we smell just like a pile of manure to God!
explain the name Beelzebub-His name and his demons are associated with the flies that linger around manure. Which means when we act like little demons we smell just like a pile of manure to God!
explain the name Beelzebub-His name and his demons are associated with the flies that linger around manure. Which means when we act like little demons we smell just like a pile of manure to God!
Transition Statement
Paul tells about his willingness to be a surrogate for the aroma of God, and then he defends his actions to the Corinthians.

III. We are not Salesmen, we are Proclaimers of Truth

2 Corinthians 2:17 NASB95
17 For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God.
-(v.17) Paul contrast his motive with “many” these are the people who have sprung up in the church using the message of the cross like a salesman
-v.17 Paul contrast his motive with “many” these are the preacher who have sprung up in the church.  What is wrong with these brothers that Paul would tell the Corinthians I am not like them? These brothers were peddling the word of God.
What is wrong with these brothers that Paul would tell the Corinthians I am not like them?
-These brothers were peddling the word of God.
-These brothers were peddling the word of God.
a. Peddling-This word is used to describe people who prepare things to be sold at the marketplace i.e clothes, meat, vegetables, and jewelry.
-Paul is not against Salesmen, but he is against Gospel Salesmen. Salesmen use two different tactics.
a. They adjust products to the taste of the consumer.
b. They convince consumer to make them buy a product they really might not need….Explain when you sold Kirby Vacuum’s
-This is why Paul says we preach “from sincerity” this expression means that Paul did not have any hidden agendas in his message.  Paul preaching was never adjusted to taste of the listener nor did Paul twist scriptures for the purpose of controlling the churches
. 12For our proud confidence is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you.
2 Corinthians 1:12 NASB95
12 For our proud confidence is this: the testimony of our conscience, that in holiness and godly sincerity, not in fleshly wisdom but in the grace of God, we have conducted ourselves in the world, and especially toward you.
-Paul says in holiness and godly sincerity.  He is essentially saying not only were my external action right, but also my heart motive was right.  And the key to this is that he did it for the world to see. Not for credit to him but to God who was empowering him.  You see Paul was concerned about what aroma he was giving off. He wanted God to be please with the smell of his offering.
-(v.12) Paul says in holiness and godly sincerity.  He is essentially saying not only were my external action right, but also my heart motive was right.  And the key to this is that he did it for the world to see. Not for credit to him but to God who was empowering him.  You see Paul was concerned about what aroma he was giving off. He wanted God to be please with the smell of his offering.
-(v.17) “we speak in Christ in the sight of God” We speak in the power of Christ, but look who our audience is. “in the sight of God” Every teacher, preacher, evangelizer, and discipler is teaching his message in the sight of God himself. My ultimate accountability is not first to the congregation it is to God himself.
-Paul is telling the Corinthian believers that I am not scared of you and your questioning my apostleship, my ultimate fear is that I will held accountable by God for every word that comes out of my mouth.
Application
1.  Paul mentioned “we” in these verses which means that most of the application of these verses applies to those who have been charge with preaching and teaching the word of God.  Preacher what aroma are you giving off?
2.  As proclaimers of the word we are not Salesmen, but men charge to preach the Gospel of Christ without sugar, without pretense, and without agenda.  Our one agenda is that “through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Christ would permeate through the world.
3.  This requires that we live pure lives, and maintain pure motives.  When we live in Sin, or when we brush sins under the rug our Aroma is no longer sweet smelling, but reeks of manure.
4.  To the Saints that are offering acceptable sacrifices to the Lord know that you are not going to have a neutral affect on anybody.  You will affect people in two ways you will either lead them to Christ or further away. God did not call us to neutrality. He called us to impact.
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