Tuesday, November 20, 2012

An Unforgettable Fragrance

By Randy Fenter

"But Thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphant procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him. for we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. "For to one we are the smell of death; to the other the fragrance of life." II Corinthians 2:14-16

When a Roman conqueror returned to the city, the Senate would arrange for him a triumphal procession. Swelling throngs would engulf the procession, cheering the conqueror as he rode by. Marching before the conqueror's chariot were captives bearing smoking pots of incense and wearing garlands of flowers. These prisoners would be allowed to return to their native country and serve as Rome's emissaries.

Behind the chariot marched other captives; these men and women were joined together with heavy chains that clattered over the rough cobblestones. For them, the procession was a cruel gauntlet ending in death.

To the first group the sweet smell of garlands and incense was "the fragrance of life." To the second group it was "the smell of death." That is precisely the effect we have on others as God, through us, "spreads everywhere the fragrance of knowledge of Him." We do not leave the world the same. As God spreads the fragrance of Jesus over the world through us, we affect people in one of two ways; they either become bitter or better. Either way, they go away differently. To those who refuse the King of Kings we are "the smell of death." They know the demands of the conqueror and they refuse him. To those who freely give up their citizenship to accept citizenship in His Kingdom, we are the "fragrance of life."

To both groups we are an unforgettable fragrance. We leave no one the same.


"Come Unto Me," the weekly bulletin of the Richfield Church of Christ, Richfield, MN, June 18, 1996, p. 2. 

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