A SWEET AROMA OF CHRIST
Devotion 10 of 34
“For we are unto God a sweet savor of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish.” (Verse 15, 2 Cor 2:15-17)
Every major version reads the same (“of Christ”), with a single exception. The New Living Translation reads, “a fragrance PRESENTED BY CHRIST to God.” I do not believe this fosters a proper view. The believers themselves are the fragrance. This verse affirms the source of that fragrance, NOT the means by which it is presented.
Men become precious to God when Jesus is living in them. That is, when His life is being expressed through them. This is a conscious matter, and is not something that is accomplished within the believer independently of their intention and knowledge. Paul states it this way: “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me” (Gal 2:20). Christ living in us results in “the savor of Christ.” We experientially enter into this by living in a very deliberate manner – a manner that is dictated by our faith, and directed by the Holy Spirit as we ingest the Word of God, by which we live. Elsewhere this purposeful manner of life is referred in a variety of different ways.00
1. It is living by faith (Gal 3:11).
2. It is walking by faith (2 Cor 5:7).
3. It is living in the Spirit (Gal 5:25a).
4. It is walking in the Spirit (Gal 5:25b).
5. It is living while looking at the things that are not seen (2 Cor 4:18).
6. It is patiently running the race set before us, looking unto Jesus (Heb 12:2).
7. It is presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice unto God (Rom 12:1).
8. It can also be viewed as resisting the devil (1 Pet 5:8), crucifying the flesh (Gal 5:24), mortifying the deeds of the body (Rom 8:13), and saying “NO!” to ungodliness and worldly lusts (Tit 2:12).
9. It is living in such a way as justifies the statement, “as He is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17).
10. It is walking in the newness of life (Rom 6:4).
11. It is living “unto Him” who died for us and rose again (2 Cor 5:15).
12. It is working out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Phil 2:12).
13. It is cleansing ourselves of all filthiness of flesh and spirit, and perfecting holiness in the fear of the Lord (2 Cor 7:1).
14. It is living while seeking the things that are above, where Christ sits at the right hand of God (Col 3:1-2).
None of these things can be accomplished unintentionally, or without personal effort. They cannot be done seasonally, or sporadically. Further, salvation supplies in abundant measures everything that is required to actually do these things. They are part of the preparations that are required to be married to Christ (Rom 7:4; Rev 19:7), and to “ever be with the Lord” (1 Thess 4:17). One of the primary purposes of “the church” is to provide an environment where these things can be perfected and matured (Eph 4:11-16).
This kind of life emits a pleasing fragrance to God – the “savor of Christ.” Our lives are pleasing to the Lord when “the life” of Jesus is “made manifest” in their “mortal flesh.” As it is written, “Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest IN OUR BODY. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in OUR MORTAL FLESH” (2 Cor 4:10-11). That is, when Jesus expresses Himself through our human capacities.
Tomorrow: “THE APOSTLES”
PRAYER POINT: Father, in the name of Jesus I thank You for the Lord Jesus Christ.