To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume.
The man in Corinth who had opposed Paul was resisted by the church, and for Paul this is enough. He urges forgiveness and comfort for this man so that he is not overcome by discouragement.
God has made us His captives and leads us in Christ’s triumphal procession. Our lives are like a fragrant offering to the Lord. To those who are saved this is a sweet fragrance of life, but for those who are perishing it is the smell of death.
We are like captives in Christ’s procession of triumph. Yes we are free because of Christ, but our freedom comes by submitting ourselves to the rule of Christ. We are trophies of His grace, signs of His victory over sin.
Our lives are like a fragrant incense offering to the Lord. Those who are being saved perceive this to be a sweet smell, but those who are lost in sin perceive it to be a reminder of the judgement over their lives.
We should not be surprised when the world reacts harshly to the gospel or to the lives of Christians because it is reacting against Christ in us the hope of our glory.
Lord, I thank you for the privilege of being your trophy of grace. Amen.