November 2, 2016

What Paul said

But thanks be to God who always (not sometimes, but always!) 
leads us in triumphal procession, 
and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him
 everywhere (not some places, but everywhere).
 For we are the aroma of Christ (never are they a foul odor due to sin)
 to God among those who are being saved
 and among those who are perishing.
 (II Corinthians 2:14-16).

Are you the aroma of Christ—always?

I can hear some reply, "That's too hard," or "That's too much pressure!"

It is if you are trying to be the aroma of Christ, or if you are trying to live for him.

Christianity is not about trying.

It is about being born new.

It is about the Holy Spirit living through you to do what you cannot do.

It is about offering your body as a living sacrifice.

It is about the yoke being easy, and the burden light.

Indeed, it is too hard, and too much pressure if YOU have to DO it.

And YOU will be trying to DO it unless you have been born new.

And it will not be a partial birth where some of you is new, and some is not new.

When you have been born new through repentance, then you have the mind of Christ.

Then you have the aroma of Christ to God.

God only will stand for the aroma of Christ in his presence. 

When you leave the presence of people do they think, "She loves me," or do they wonder otherwise?

Not everyone will love you when you have the aroma of Christ.

Not everyone loved Christ.

Not everyone, who says that they love him these days, really loves him.

It is evident in one way.

Scripture tells us it is in obedience.

Obedience to what you might ask?

Love.

Do you love God completely, and your neighbor as yourself?

For that matter, if you are married, do you love your husband?

To love your husband is to honor him.

Do you order him around?

Do you check his cell phone, and ask him all about how he spends his moments away from you?

Are you a god in his life to whom he must answer?

Is he free from your critical eye, and your judgment, and control?

Are you kind to him— always?

Are you patient with him, or does he sense an impatience from you that he must change somehow?

Do you touch him with gentleness— always?

If you don't do those things always, then on the "off" moments, then what is it like to be around you?

Is it an unpleasant aroma?

If so, how long?

Do you know that Paul was saying that the truly saved are always a pleasant aroma?

Can you bear the thought that you might not be truly saved?

It is better now than to stand, not before St. Peter, but the Lord Jesus Christ, and to hear him say that he does not know you because you spent energy on sin (worker of iniquity), and to depart from him.

Does it offend you to think that you just might not be saved?

If so, then your self-righteousness is showing.

You must think that you are good.

If you are good, then are you good always?

That is exactly what the righteousness of God, in Christ Jesus, looks like, and smells.

The truly redeemed are pleasant— always.

It really is always or never.

Those are the words that Paul used.

He always used very definitive words; he was never wishy-washy.

Read and study.

Look at Scripture for yourself.

You will answer for the way that you smell one day.

Is it pleasant always, or moody, and mean sometimes?

Even Hitler was pleasant sometimes.

And he is not the standard, thankfully.

It is the Lord who carries the standard.

Be exactly like him, or you're not.

That is what Paul said.


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