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2 Cor. 2:12-17 Fragrance of Christ

Light of the Gospel  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Those who are in Christ spread the fragrance of Christ among those around them by living and speaking for Christ.

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Fragrance of Christ

2 Corinthians 2:12-17
Prayer:
Our Father in heaven hallowed by your name
Come to worshp you in spirit and in truth
Grateful for gathering
Your kindgom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven
opportunity for unhindered gathering going forward
wisdom as we meet
wisdom and healing in our nation
politics will be overcome for the greater good
justice in south Ga. killing of Ahmad Ahberry
Give us this day our daily bread
provision for those who are suffering
forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors
world of blame, teach us to forgive, grant us a spirit of forgiveness. Grant us grace as we extend grace
And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
protect us from becoming like the world
deliver us from evil both seen and unseen
Show us how to be your people for such a time as this.
Use us for your glory.
Read TEXT and Pray
College suite mates called me and said they were passing through town on their way back to school from a camping trip. We had a great time but our house smelled for a few days…they had not bathed in nearly a week. Their fragrance was undeniable.
Fragrance is a key part of the word picture in this text...
Main Idea: Those who are in Christ spread the fragrance of Christ among those around them by living and speaking for Christ.
12 When I came to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ, even though a door was opened for me in the Lord, 13 my spirit was not at rest because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I took leave of them and went on to Macedonia.
Troas—modern day Turkey northwest .
preaching the gospel of Christ…opened door.
was not at rest…concerned for Titus. (pastoral and personal concern)
Moved on to Macedonia…Northern area where Greece and Turkey meet…Phillipi and Thessalonica in this area. Location that Paul writes 2 Corinthians.
Why did Paul offer this detail?
Explain why he did not come to them.
Show how the gospel prevails regardless of circumstances.

Those who are in Christ spread the fragrance of Christ among those around them.

14 But thanks be to God, (regardless of circumstances)
But thanks be to God who in Christ
God himself is the source and the substance.
In Christ. union with Christ. All who are trusting in Christ alone for salvation are in Christ and Christ is in them.
But thanks be to God who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession,
Word picture/illustration…Conquering Roman general or emperorer who returned having defeated or conquered his foe. Parade would include spoils of war, prisoners, and often the leader or leaders he had conquered who were being led to their death. Pagan priests would wave incense as the parade passed.
and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.
fragrance is not a literal smell...the gospel…the knowledge of Christ made known...
Christ is our conquering King who defeated sin and death, purchasing us with his own blood.
Colossians 2:12–15 ESV
12 having been buried with him in baptism, in which you were also raised with him through faith in the powerful working of God, who raised him from the dead. 13 And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, 14 by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.
But thanks be to God who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.
always & everywhere spread the fragrance of the knowledge of him.
Among everyone...
15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, 16 to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?
among thosse who are being saved
among those who are perishing (John 3:16) .
“There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations--these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit--immortal horrors or everlasting splendours.” CS Lewis (Guthrie 174)
Illus: Church being called on to limit it witness and activity to save lives…we are called to save the perishing. I do not mean we do so recklessly.
The real issue today is that the ministry of the church/the ministry of the gospel is seen as irrelevant and non-essential.
Do we(those in Christ) believe that people have an eternal soul or do they merely have political affiliations and philosophical points of view? Read an article yesterday from a self-identified progressive christian that the basic premise was shut up, stay home by doing so you will love your neighbor.
What I am about to say is not to discount wise and safe measures going forward.
How do we love our neighbor? we proclaim Christ...
1 Corinthians 1:18 ESV
18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
The Cross of Christ creates a dividing line.
16 to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?
death to death from physical death to spiritual death
life to life from new life in Christ (conversion) to eternal life.
How is the fragrance of Christ spread?

Those who are in Christ spread the fragrance of Christ among those around them by living and speaking for Christ.

17 For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.
For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word
peddler of wine who watered down what they sold for more profit.
people who water down the word of God for personal gain or profit.
“If mishandled with skill the gospel can be lucrative.” (Naylor 118)
but as men of sincerity, pure motives
as commissioned by God, literally from God—the commission of God not profit drives Paul.
Medal of honor recipients…doing what they had been trained and ordered to do.
in the sight of God accountable
2 Corinthians 5:9–10 ESV
9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.
How can we possibly be pleasing to Him? we are in Him.
we speak in Christ. do not simply speak of Christ but from a profound relationship with Christ…in Christ.

So What?

Who is sufficient for these things? adequate or qualified
2 Corinthians 3:5 ESV
5 Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God,
Struggling with measuring up. Not smart enough, educated enough, been saved long enough, not perfect enough....do no claim anything as coming from us....our sufficiency is from God.
Acts 4:12–13 ESV
12 And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” 13 Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.
Response
Prayer
Offering baskets
Be careful with one another.
Be who we are called to be....
Recognize scrutiny
live and speak for Christ
Matthew 10:16 ESV
16 “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.
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