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Whats your fragrance (LHCOC)

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What’s Your Fragrance?

2 Corinthians 2:14-17

Introduction:

1.                   Everyone has their own smell.

a.                   Certain smells remind us of certain people.

b.                  Certain people smell good and certain people smell bad.

2.                   If you are a Christian here today, “What is your fragrance”?

3.                   Notice with me 2 Corinthians 2:14-17 as this will be our main text today.

a.                   The picture in vv. 14–17 was familiar to every Roman but is not to twenty first-century Christians.

b.                  Whenever a victorious general returned home from battle, Rome gave him a public parade.

The processional would include the commander riding in a golden chariot, surrounded by his officers. The parade would also include a display of the spoils of battle, as well as the captive enemy soldiers. The Roman priests would also be in the parade, carrying burning incense to pay tribute to the victorious army.

As the Roman priests burned the incense in the parade, that odor affected different people in different ways. To the triumphant soldiers, it meant life and victory; but to the conquered enemy, it meant defeat and death.

The procession would follow a special route through the city and would end at the Circus Maximus where the helpless captives would entertain the people by fighting wild beasts. It was a very special day in Rome when the citizens were treated to a full-scale “Roman Triumph.”

In the “Christian parade” Paul describes, Jesus Christ is the Victor. Through His death on the cross, He has conquered every foe. We Christians ride in that procession with Him, sharing His victory. The Christian, however, is the incense (sweet savor or fragrance of Christ) in this procession. We are either leading people to victory or to death; our lives are leading people either to heaven or hell.

4.                   So I ask once again, “What is your fragrance”?  Additionally, “Where is our fragrance leading others to”?  Life (heaven) or death (hell)?

a.                   While we may not be able to totally control how our physical bodies smell, we can develop how our spiritual bodies smell - which is much more important.

b.                  Spiritual things cannot be tasted, touched, or smelt, but are seen through the actions, words, and attitudes we have in life. 

c.                   As a result, there are three areas we need to focus on to make sure we are leading people to the right place.

Discussion

I.                        WE MUST WATCH OUR CONDUCT

A.                Conduct: to behave in a particular way.

B.                 We must make sure our conduct is “becoming” of a Christian.

1.                  “Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness…” (2 Pet.3:11).

2.                  “But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct” (1 Pet.1:15).

C.                 We must make sure our actions comply with our words.

1.                  The Rulers of the Jews marveled at the boldness of Peter and John. “And they realized that they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).

2.                  “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Mat.5:16).

D.                We must watch our conduct in all areas of life.

1.                  What type of jokes do you listen to?  What kind of programs do we watch on TV?  What kind of person are you at work?  Many Christians lose their influence for good because of a desire for popularity.

2.                  “Having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.” (1 Pet.2:12).

II.                        WE MUST WATCH OUR SPEECH

A.                Speech: the act of communicating.

B.                 Does our speech encourage others?

1.                  “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers” (Eph.4:29).

2.                  “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one” (Col.4:6).

C.                 Do we use deceitful words?

1.                  “For he who would love life And see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips from speaking deceit” (1 Pet.3:10).

2.                  To speak deceitful words is to deceive someone into believing a lie.

3.                  “Therefore, laying aside all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all evil speaking” (1 Pet.2:1).

D.                Do we use filthy language?

1.                  “But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth” (Col.3:8).

2.                  “Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks” (Eph.5:4).

III.                        WE MUST WATCH OUR ATTITUDE

A.                Attitude: an opinion or general feeling about someone/something.

B.                 What is our attitude toward sin?

1.                  Do we approve of sin, even laugh at it? 

2.                  Paul not only condemned those who commit sins, but those who “approve of those who practice them” (Rom.1:32).

3.                  Paul said of love: “[it] does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth” (1 Cor.13:6).

C.                 What is our attitude toward the things of this world?

1.                  Are we living as if this is all there is? Or are we laying up treasure in Heaven?

2.                  “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Mt.6:19-21).

D.                What is our attitude toward other people?

1.                  Some may say, “It depends on who it is,” but should it? 

2.                  “Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside” (Col.4:5).

3.                  Be careful how you deal with people -- kindness or harshness.

                                                                        a.                   Clerks in stores.

                                                                       b.                   Neighbors.

                                                                        c.                   Fellow employees.

                                                                       d.                   Your mate and children.

4.                  Jesus said, “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me” (Mt.25:40).

5.                  “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels” (Heb.13:2).

Conclusion:

1.                   Christians influence others to obey.

a.                   Think back to the time YOU became a Christian.

b.                  Chances are you were influrenced by someone: a parent, grandparent, preacher, bible class teacher, friend, etc.

2.                   NOW THINK FOR A MOMENT: WHAT DOES YOUR LIFE DO IN THIS AREA?

a.                   Are you drawing others closer to God, helping them on their way to heaven?

b.                  Does your life turn others from Christ, and even encourage them in their sin?

c.                   Before you can influence another, you need to get yourself right with God first. Make that change today.

3.                   Those who have never made the step of becoming a Christian…will you make the step today so God can change your life?

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