It is a great feeling when your wife walks by you and says, “Humm, you smell good!” It is a great feeling because you realize the purpose for putting on cologne has been accomplished. Another reason is the compliment comes from someone who loves you.
2 Cor. 2:15 “For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing…”
Did you know that God smells you? He does not smell you like a human who possesses “olfactory nerves?” God does not have nerves or a nose, because God is spirit. When the bible implies that He smells us, He is merely using an “anthropomorphism.”
Anthropomorphism is any attribution of a human characteristic to God. Anthropomorphisms help us to better understand Him and His actions towards us. The aroma of Christ in this verse is figurative language, referring to the sweet smell of burnt offerings to God in the Old Testament
This verse says, we emit a pleasing, sweet smelling aroma towards God. In other words, God smells us! But, do all of us emit this beautiful fragrance that brings pleasure to God’s nostrils? The answer is No, not all of us.
In the context of this verse, the people whom emit this aroma are those who are sharing the Gospel, his disciples, his faithful followers. If you are sharing the Gospel, if you are proclaiming the Good News, you are smelling good. The proclamation of the Gospel is all about His Son. God loves His Son and when we speak of His Son, this action produces a sweet aroma that is pleasing to Him. The proclaimer of the Gospel is the aroma of Christ to God!
Not only is God smelling us when we proclaim the Gospel, but the world also smells us.
2 Cor. 2:16 “to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?”
As we all know, some aromas attract, like the aroma of your favorite meal being cooked. When you catch a whiff of this smell, you try to find the source of the aroma. On the other hand, some aromas repel and make us move away from the source. This is what the Gospel does in the world. To some, it is a sweet aroma that attracts and gives life, to others, it is an offensive aroma that repels and reveals divine judgment.
Barclay calls the repelling aroma “a deadly and poisonous stench.” The aroma which attracts is “a living and life–giving perfume.”
Our words and our works for Christ are like incense that is crushed, burnt and diffused everywhere, as a waft of perfume.
Let me ask you a question. “How are you smelling today?” Can the world smell you or are you like a cheap bottle of perfume that smells good when you open it the first time, but quickly looses its fragrance?
More important, can God smell you?
“But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.” 2 Cor. 2:14
Why don’t you take your “Sweet Aroma” to the outer parts of the world? Visit the Mission Trip Calendar on this blog or e-mail us at missions@Idlewild.org for mission trip opportunities.
“You are not obedient to the Great Commandment if you are not obedient to the Great Commission.”
A strong but truthful quote, or is it just the “one track mind” of a mission pastor speaking? Let me try to expound. Paraphrasing the above quote would read, “You are not loving God if you are not living the Great Commission.”
In order to understand the reasoning behind this quote, we probably need to start with explaining the meaning of “loving God.” The Great Commandment says:
37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
38 This is the great and first commandment. Matt. 22:37-38
What would loving God with all your heart, soul and mind look like?
I believe, if you love Him with all your heart, your heart will “break for the things that break His heart.” (R. Sterns)
If you love Him with all your soul, you will be willing to give your life for the souls of unbelievers like He did with His Son.
If you love Him with all your mind, because your mind is a renewed mind (Rom. 12:2), you would desire to do His will. Because you know His will, His desires are “good, acceptable and perfect.” He desires for “no one to perish, but have eternal life.”
Now that you know the meaning of the Great Commandment, let’s look at what the Great Commission says:
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matt. 28:18-19
What does living the Great Commission look like?
It looks like you “making disciples.” It’s putting all that bible knowledge you have accumulated throughout these years to work, by pouring it into someone’s life. Robert Coleman said, “Making disciples is not a special gift or calling; it is a lifestyle of obedience incumbent on the whole body of Christ, the church.”
It looks like you sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ and guiding believers to being obedient to the ordinance of baptism.
It looks like you teaching them to obey all God’s commands by modeling obedience to “all” He commands them to do.
It looks like you loving your neighbors as much as you love yourself, your next door neighbors and your next-country-over neighbors.
So, “What’s love got to do with it?” Everything!
Our love for God should be the compelling force which drives us to participate in the Great Commission. Our love for Him should dictate the priorities in our lives. If He loved us so much that He gave His Son to die for us on the cross. If He loved us even while we were still sinners…the least we can do is be obedient to His commands.
“When you love the Lord, you long to glorify Him and see the nations fall at His feet in worship”. Keith Wright.
Show your love for God by being obedient to the Great Ommission, and see what great things He will do in your life.
But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”- 1 Cor. 2:9
* Live the Great Commission…Join us in 2012 as we show the love of Jesus Christ around the world. Check out our 2012 trip opportunities in Mission Trip Calendar tab on this blog.