Dear CSOPC brothers and sisters,
As we considered last week, the Lord has called us to take the gospel to a lost world. May we be in prayer for one another even today for open doors and opportunities to speak the truth in love. And what is this truth? It is the truth of Christ – the son of God who laid down his life for sinners.
This coming Lord’s Day we will be looking at how Christ is the great shepherd of the sheep who loves the sheep and feeds the sheep. Christ alone is the one satisfies our deepest longings and desires. And ultimately what he gives us is himself.
Please take note of the following events and announcements:
Men’s breakfast this Saturday morning at the Egg and I at Hwy 6 & Little York at 8:30AM. We will be looking at chapter 1 of the “Masculine Mandate.”
On Sunday we will have a fellowship lunch following worship. Please see Barbara’s email from yesterday about what to bring.
Also this Sunday we will be celebrating the Lord’s Supper and collecting the Deacon’s Offering. This offering is specifically used for mercy needs within the church.
Finally, please note there will be a congregational meeting during the fellowship lunch to discuss some exciting events coming up in the life of our church for which we need to be in prayer.
This week’s devotional (attached) is a reflection from 2 Corinthians on how Christians are the fragrance of Christ to the world.
From the Pastor’s Desk
“The Aroma of Christ”
2 Corinthians 2:15, “For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.”
At the close of 2 Corinthians chapter 2 Paul employs a metaphor that should be familiar to anyone who has walked through the women’s section of a department store. Paul uses the ideas of ‘fragrance’ and ‘aroma’. In 2:15, Paul describes the believer as the ‘aroma of Christ.’ This language of fragrance and aroma was often used in the Old Testament to describe sacrifices as pleasing to God (Ex 29:25; Lev 1:9, 13, 17). And the New Testament picks up on this language in describing the life of the Christian as a sacrifice of praise to God – a pleasing aroma to the Lord (Heb 13:15-16). Put simply, Christ’s sacrifice was the perfect sacrifice – the perfect ‘fragrance’ before the Lord (Eph 5:2); and Christians’ lives are to reflect that perfect ‘fragrance’ as we live before a watching world.
But what is striking for our purposes in this devotion is Paul’s application of this truth in v. 16. He reasons as follows: to some, Christians are an aroma of life; but to others, Christians are an aroma of death. What is Paul getting at? We can think of it like this. In the same way that a Rose or a Lily has a distinct aroma (so distinct in fact, that when one enters the room and smells the aroma, one knows that a Lily is near); so also a Christian has a distinct ‘aroma,’ namely, the aroma of Christ. As a Rose fills a room with its aroma, so believers are called to fill the world with the aroma of Christ. That is to say, Christians are to reflect, proclaim, diffuse, radiate, and demonstrate Christ in all that we do.
But let us not forget the two-fold reality of Paul’s words – that to some we are the aroma of life, and to others we are the aroma of death (v. 16). In other words, when someone is confronted with the aroma of Christ, there are but two possibilities – attraction and repulsion. There is no neutrality when it comes to Christ; there is only acceptance or rejection, life or death (Matt 12:30). The fragrance is unchanging – the sweet, blessed aroma of Christ. But the responses to this fragrance vary. The ‘aroma’ is the same – the truth of the gospel that is ‘radiated’ and ‘diffused’ through the life of a Christian; but the responses to this ‘aroma’ vary. To some the aroma is sweet, beautiful, and life-giving. But to others it is wretched, ugly, and death-dealing.
So how should this truth play out in our lives? As followers of Christ, we are called to be faithful. In the language of this passage, we are called to diffuse the aroma of Christ as truly and purely as we can. Our primary responsibility is to cleanly and purely diffuse the fragrance of Christ. That is, when others see us, they should see something of Christ – something of his love, of his truth, of his goodness. Dear brothers and sisters, is this true of you? What do others see when they look at your life? Yes, we are called to have a deep burden for the lost; but ultimately, it is the Holy Spirit who softens and hardens the hearts of men. The task of the Christian is to be faithful to our Lord – to purely reflect Christ – for, indeed, we are the aroma of Christ.
God bless and I look forward to seeing you this Sunday,