Our nose is a powerful tool. It can relish in the fragrances of flowers and spark in us memories from our childhood. An aroma can waft around us, and we find ourselves feeling relaxed and peaceful. Then there are those smells that you wish you could forget. For instance, the smell of rotting trash, or the smell of a mouse that crawled up into your furnace and died over the summer and rotted there until winter, then you decided to turn on the heat and the whole house became filled with the smell of rotted flesh. (Yes, that did happen to me) Whatever the smell we either like it and want to smell it again, or we hate it and never want to have to experience that foulness ever again. Did you know that you have a smell? Not just a physical smell, but a spiritual smell. Basically, my sisters, you stink.
“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things?” 2 Corinthians 2:14-16
Now to some Paul tells us this smells great! But to others is stinks. They are repulsed by it and reject it. The picture that Paul is trying to paint for us is one of a parade. During the time that Paul wrote this epistle the Romans were a conquering nation. After they fought a battle and conquered their enemy, they would hold a parade. In front of this parade there would be censor bearers. They would put the incense into these censors and they would burn them. Before you could see the parade, you would smell it coming. This is how the people knew the war was over and the enemy was defeated.
The same can be applied to our spiritual walk. To those that are in Christ, that are Christians, we give off the fragrance of victory. We give off the fragrance of Christ, and it is sweet and good to them. But to those who are not in Christ, we stink. We smell like death. To them the Gospel is a testimony of death. It is not the actual scent that we give off, but the idea that the sweet smelling fragrance of Christ reminds those who do not believe of their own sin. Sin had a distinct odor, it smells like death. When we are around unbelievers, we remind them of their sin and this convicts them. Therefore to them we stink.
“In the same way, the message of the gospel is a message of life to some and a message of condemnation to those who reject it. The same happens to the present day to those who receive and to those who reject the Gospel. It is the means of salvation to the former; it is the means of destruction to the latter; for they are not only not saved because they do not believe the Gospel, but they are condemned because they reject it.” (Clarke, David Guziak Commentary, Blue Letter Bible)
There are going to be those that are going to be drawn to Christ through our fragrance of Him, but then there are going to be others that are repulsed and run away. The sweet savor of the knowledge of Christ strikes every sense we have, and all will feel the power of the gospel of Christ; either to life or to death. You just focus on being that sweet aroma to God, and let Him take care of the ones who say you stink. Amen and Amen.