By Dr. John Greever
2 Corinthians 2:14-16 “Thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life.”
We each have an impact on those around us; our lives bear a fragrance that others can detect. The fragrance of life may be initially detected by what we do and how we live, but the real source of our fragrance of life is what we truly are, what we really are on the inside.
Christians bear this fragrance in their lives; this is the “sweet aroma of the knowledge” of God in “every place.” We cannot help it, we live out the fragrance of the knowledge of God in our hearts, and this knowledge bears forth an inevitable aroma of sweetness that others can sense. They sense it before they see it; they sense it before they even know it. Yes, “we ae a fragrance of Christ to God.”
But to the “perishing” we are an “aroma from death to death”, but to the saved, we are an “aroma of life to life.” There is nothing more attractive than the aroma of life! We smell the sweet savor of life in the one who has Christ as life. This aroma soothes, comforts, encourages, and undergirds us; we live with the joyful sensation that there is life in this person’s life. What a powerful attraction this is! To those who seek life, life is beautiful and sweet! But for those who breathe the air of death, darkness, and destruction, life is a contradiction to their very existence; thus, life smells like death. In such cases the smell of life actually repels those existing in death; there is repulsion and a negative reaction to life for those abiding in death. This is the explanation of John 3:19 concerning the rejection of Christ: “Light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the Light.” Christ was hated by those living in death; therefore, they crucified Him.
Dear Christian friend, do not be surprised if the LIFE that is your life does not attract those in death; they are not drawn to you; they do not even understand you. But you will find that your life in Christ will be a light that draws other Christians to you. We may not be large in number, but the sweetness of the aroma of fellowship and common life between us is a taste of the sweetness we will have in heaven together. Enjoy the fragrance of life!
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You that You made me in Christ to have the life that is true life. Please grant that my life will have the true fragrance of that life and use my fragrant life in the lives of others. And may this be for Your glory always. Amen.
John Greever is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Fenton, MO and is a former professor of Bible at Missouri Baptist University. He is a part of the leadership team for Founders Midwest and is a speaker at this year’s Founders Midwest Conference. If you would like more information about Founders Midwest and the annual conference, be sure to check out our Facebook page or visit our website for more information. To register for the conference click here.