“We are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life.” (II Corinthians 2:15-16).”
Smell, like all of the senses, is quite mysterious really. What may be a pleasing aroma to me may stink to you, to put it bluntly. You may enjoy Aqua Velva; I prefer Burberry Brit. You may enjoy the fragrance of a freshly cut rose, but the smell I enjoy more than anything is fragrance of cedar. Weird, huh! You may find the smell of popcorn cooking in the microwave oven mouthwatering; I can’t stand it. It causes my throat to close up. So if you invite me over to your house for movies, ditch the popcorn and let’s have some freshly baked chocolate chip cookies—which I’m convinced is the modern day equivalent of Old Testament manna.
The Bible reminds us that as Christians, we, too, have a smell. We carry around the fragrance of Christ. We can’t help it; it just naturally exudes from our being—or at least it should. Paul tells us that the fragrance of Christ upon us rises up to God as a sweet scent—he just loves the smell. And to others who also wear the Christ-fragrance, it is an aroma redolent with life.
But to those who have rejected Christ, frankly, we stink. I don’t know how to put it more graciously than that. When they smell Christ on us, it reminds them of something bad. It reminds them of the guilt they carry around from being hostile toward God. It reminds them of the way of death by which the Bible says they travel. It reminds them of the foolishness of the cross and the sheer lunacy of salvation by grace apart from works. It reminds them of the boatload of spiritual truth they find unbelievable, narrow, unsophisticated and offensive. And because of the aroma of Christ you they may not want to in your presence.
Don’t let it shock you if people have to hold their nose around you every once in a while. And when that happens, just remember: You smell “real good” to God.
So wear the fragrance of Christ boldly and proudly—you’re wearing the most expensive perfume known to God.