Bible Text: (2Co_2:14-15) "Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge . . . For we are to God the fragrance of Christ."
In addition to growing in the grace and knowledge of Christ, God also wants to mark our lives with the fragrance of Christ. "Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge."
How believers conduct themselves in everyday life can produce a fragrance, so to speak, either good or bad - like a perfume or like a pig pen! God wants us to live our lives in a way that honors him and produces a sweet aroma, not an offensive stink!
I. Just as there are physical fragrances that can be noticed by our physical senses, there are also spiritual fragrances that can impact us and others spiritually. If a person prepares food that is well-seasoned, others will notice the fragrance and think, "that smells wonderful". If a person consistently presses on to know the Lord, others will be impacted by the "fragrance of that knowledge."
II. This is described as the "fragrance of Christ." This is that spiritual aroma that wafts forth from the lives of those who are getting to know the Lord. It is a validating reality that the Lord Jesus Christ is dwelling in their lives and is being evidenced through their lives.
As we are getting to know the Lord more and more, this spiritual aroma of Christ is even impacting God Himself. "For we are to God the fragrance of Christ." God is the first one who is impacted by this Christlike fragrance.
III. Our work and testimony is always primarily unto the Lord. We who believe in Jesus Christ are called to be "proving what is acceptable to the Lord" (Eph_5:10). We are not here on earth to please ourselves. "Do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a servant of Christ" (Gal_1:10). We are here to please our God.
A Life Pleasing to God - 1 Thess 1:1-9 (ESV)
1 Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. 2 For you know what instructions we gave you through the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 5 not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 8 Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.
9 Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, 10 for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, 11 and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, 12 so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.
IV. What ultimately pleases our heavenly Father is His beloved Son. When the Father looked down from heaven at the baptism of His Son, He exclaimed, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased" (Mat_3:17). When our Father looks down today upon our lives, He wants to enjoy the fragrance of His Son emanating forth from our lives. "For we are to God the fragrance of Christ."
Rom 8:29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.