The Fragrance of Christ

Text: 2 Corinthians 2:14-17

When Paul preached, he was not going to be able to convert everyone. But whether they were converted or not, those who heard would have a reaction to the message and it would be perceived one of two ways. The same is true today.

Always in Triumph (v. 14)

  • Important – Paul is going to be discussing the fact that some will reject the gospel; some who reject it will respond with attacks & persecution against Christians
  • We will face difficulties when we try to faithfully serve the Lord (1 Peter 4:12; 1 Corinthians 15:19)
  • But in the end we will be victorious (Romans 8:36-37; Revelation 17:14) – remember this when studying this passage

Fragrance of Christ (v. 15)

  • The “fragrance of Christ” is the “aroma of the knowledge of Him” (v. 13)
  • Knowledge of the truth leads to life (2 Peter 1:3; 1 Timothy 2:4) – what is truth? … the word of God (John 17:17)
  • Therefore, knowledge of the Scriptures leads to life – contains words of eternal life (John 6:68), power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16)
  • Teaching must be done – a fragrance is something that is noticed by others

Two Responses to the Fragrance of Christ (v. 16)

  • Life to life” – message of salvation (Romans 1:16), liberty (2 Corinthians 3:17), and reward (John 6:68)
  • Death to death” – message of condemnation (John 12:48; Hebrews 4:12), restrictions (Titus 2:12), and punishment (Matthew 22:13; Revelation 21:8)

The Message Does Not Change (v. 17)

  • Not “peddling the word of God” by adding to it (2 John 9), subtracting from it (Acts 20:27), or changing it (Galatians 1:6-9) – not even to accommodate the “perishing
  • Speak in “sincerity” – purpose simply to save people through the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:22-23)
  • Speak “as from God” – accurately represent His word (1 Peter 4:11)
  • Speak “in the sight of God” – knowing that we will each give an account before Him (2 Corinthians 5:10)

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