1,13 Sweet Perfume, Eph 52
A Sweet Perfume
Did you know that plants have long been used as a primary source of essential oils and aroma compounds. Plants are by far the largest source of fragrant compounds used in perfumery. Various parts of the plant can be used, such as the bark, flowers and blossoms, fruit, leaves and twigs, resins, roots and bulbs, seeds, and even the wood.
Would you like to know that another aromatic source is animals---ambergris (lumps of oxidized fatty compounds expelled by the Sperm Whale; Castoreum, from the odorous sacs of the NAmerican beaver; Civet from the odorous sacs of the civets)mongoose family; Honeycomb—from the honeybee and Musk, originally from the musk sacs from the Asian musk deer.
It seems to be a lengthy process to make perfume.
The question I ask you today, “Why do people put on perfume or a good smelling fragrance?” What is its purpose?
Paul writes in this verse that Jesus Christ was a sweetsmelling savour, a sweet perfume, a wonderful fragrance to God. In other words, God was well pleased with what Jesus Christ had done.
I.Watch your Walk
Paul also says to us that we are to “walk in love”.
“walk”- this is not just talking about taking a walk around, but it is the conduct of one’s daily life, the kind of life that we are living. It is our behavior.
a)first, we must know that our walk, our life matters to God. In Galatians 5:16, Paul exhorts the Christians to “walk(live) in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh”.
b) Next, our life is not to be lived as we would want, but under the leadership of the Holy Spirit.
c) Walk in Love- the whole of our Christian life is to be ordered in the realm of love. This is the ultimate test of our profession. The yardstick of “love” is our measuring tool.
1 Cor 13:1-3-Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
Speak as men and angels—without love—useless
Know all doctrine, understanding all mysteries of the Word of God and having all knowledge, and have all faith, even to the moving of mountains, without love is nothing.
Give all my goods to the poor and even give my body to be burned—not only being active in church or religion, but willing to be burned up, without love is empty. Our life without love is a life without value.
LOVE is the test. Everything in the Christian life is designed to bring us to this condition—imitate Christ.
II.Compare Your Walk- “as Christ also hath loved us and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God”.
Paul introduces the doctrine of Atonement—doctrine and behavior go together. We cannot talk about conduct and behavior in the Christian sense without doctrine.
The doctrine of Atonement is important and it does affect our lives. Let us look briefly at the doctrine of Atonement in this passage:
a)The love of God=never seen as vague and general. Some say they are not interested in theology. They just want to know about God’s love. Theology is the study of God, and to understand His love, you need to know God.
Christ has loved us! Christ not only loved His Father, but He loved us. You will never understand the love of God until you understand sin, understanding the truth about yourself.
In Romans 5, Paul wrote that we were without strength( weak, feeble, infirmed); disobedient, enemies of God. We had nothing good dwelling in us. In this we can see the measuring stick of God’s love.
Christ gave Himself- He did this “for us”. He drank our cup, died on our cross, tasted our death, made a curse for us. It is not that He simply allowed this to take place, but He gave Himself. He was active in this work. He didn’t merely give up possessions, but gave Himself. By giving of Himself, He gave up His prerogatives, He emptied himself, though he was rich, he became poor for us. He totally submitted Himself for you and me.
In John 10, Jesus says that He is the Good Shepherd, He knows His sheep and His sheep know Him. Vs17-18—My Father loves me because I lay down my life that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself.
III. Test Your Walk-
Jesus gave himself for us an:
Offering- the act of offering a gift, present. Christ’s death was an offering, a gift to God, in our behalf.
Sacrifice- to kill a victim, marking a full payment of the debt of sin which we as sinners owed.
To God for a sweetsmelling savour—the fragrance, sweet odor Jesus portrayed was from His life of sacrifices that pleased God. He served His Father sacrificially. As a gift, He gave himself sacrificially.
For you and I to have the privilege to have these wonderful aromas on us today, a sacrifice has been paid. For you and I to have a life in Christ, a price has been paid.
For us to be a sweet perfume to God, we must be willing to sacrifice just like Jesus did, living a life characterized by love.
Luther called John 3:16 “the heart of the Bible—the Gospel in miniature.” It’s so simple a child can understand it; yet it condenses the deep and marvelous truths of redemption into these few pungent words:
“God”… …The greatest Lover
“So loved”… …The greatest degree
“The world”… …The greatest number
“That He gave”… …The greatest act
“His only begotten Son…” …The greatest Gift
“That whosoever”… …The greatest invitation
“Believeth”… …The greatest simplicity
“In Him”… …The greatest Person
“Should not perish”… …The greatest deliverance
“But”… …The greatest difference
“Have”… …The greatest certainty
“Everlasting Life”… …The greatest possession
Tan, P. L. (1996, c1979). Encyclopedia of 7700 illustrations : A treasury of illustrations, anecdotes, facts and quotations for pastors, teachers and Christian workers. Garland TX: Bible Communications.