Paul writes these amazing words in 2 Corinthians 2:15-16 ‘For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life’.
If you are a Christian that is if you have been regenerated and have the Spirit of God living and sealed inside of you then you are the aroma of Christ to God. You are indeed a sweet smelling aroma to God and He loves to smell you because it is pleasing to His soul. Genesis 8:21 ‘And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth”. If God will never again curse the ground because of man when he smelled the aroma of bulls and goats, how much more will His favour and tender Love be upon you when He constantly smells the aroma of Christ emanating from you? A Christian has no grounds to ever doubt God’s love for them or to think in anyway that God is against them. For you are to Him the aroma of Christ, the sweet incense and fragrance which arises to his Holy Temple and make glad His heart. Christ is the delight of His Father, in fact Christ is His infinite delight and from all eternity the stream of love flowed fully never lacking in substance or affection. And we read Christ himself say when He became a Man ‘My Father Loves me because I lay down my life’. And when He bore the wrath of His Father because of your wretched sins, God loved Him so much that it was perfectly amiable and agreeable to His nature to raise Him from the dead.
When a man enters a room with a horrible stench, would he be content to stay in the room let alone continue his business without dissatisfaction. But a man who enters a room with a sweet odour would immediately breathe an intake of the soothing fragrance which excites his soul. Likewise we could never be a filthy stench to God although we once were when we were dead in our sins and trespasses but now we have been grafted in, we have been united with Christ and are whole identity is Christ. We have entirely been covered by His garment, His skin is now our skin so that the fragrance which springs out from us is entirely Christ’s.
We have a picture of this in the Old testament, that inspired word which testifies of Christ your beloved. We see in the story of how Jacob inherited His Father’s blessing by acquiring the right of the firstborn from His godless brother Esau. Although Jacob purchased the right from Esau, yet, He needed to convince his Father to bless him with those rights. In order to execute his mission, we are told that ‘Rebekah took the best garments of Esau her older son, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son. And the skins of the young goats she put on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck…. Jacob approached His Father…and then Isaac said to Jacob “Please come near that I may feel you my son”… and he did not recognise him, because his hands were hairy like Esau… and Isaac smelled the smell of his garments and blessed him’ Gen 27. In like manner we are all like Jacob, undeserving of the blessing of our Father, but because God is rich in mercy he clothes us in the righteousness of Jesus Christ so as to rid us of the filthy stench of sin and instead we are a smooth smelling aroma which the righteousness of Christ yields on our behalf. Because you are in Christ Jesus, you are a smooth smelling pleasing aroma to God your Father who has blessed you with all of the spiritual blessings in the heavenly places and made you co-heirs with Christ. Is this not a delightful truth, that right now regardless of your condition or situation that you are the aroma of Christ to God.
As well as constantly and for all eternity being a sweet smelling fragrance to God we are to some of our fellow men the fragrance of death to death and to those who are being saved we are the fragrance of Life to life. ‘Who is sufficient for these things?’ the apostle asks. But God makes us sufficient. To belong to Christ will naturally bring you into His Kingdom and separate you from the kingdom of darkness. When Christ walked this earth, to some He was the fragrance of life and peace ‘And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace’ John 1. And to some he was the fragrance of death ‘And this is the judgement: the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For every one who does wicked things hates the light’ John 3. These are those who are perishing from death to death and the presence of Christ only increases their depravity unto that final death where it becomes irrevocable to be transformed. And to those who are being saved, the presence of Christ brought about humble contrition of heart and submission and a recognition of His universal sovereignty and a wilful decision to receive from him and to live their lives for Him. This was the influence of Christ upon the world and because He lives in us and we are clothed in Him our lives will and should reflect His.
To some my dear saint you will be life unto life and to some you will be death unto death. To those who are being saved that is those whom the Spirit of Christ have begun to work upon will smell that sweet fragrance which the Spirit of grace has been familiar with since all eternity and immediately their hearts will spring to life accepting the gospel of grace and submitting to the reign of Christ their king. But to those who are self seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, the gospel of Christ will be death to them and willingly they will reject that which alone can save them. The same Christian as an influence of life and death. To all peoples we are to constantly be of that Spirit of love in spraying the sweet aroma of Christ, displaying those glorious fruits of the Spirit so that to all we are good ambassadors of Christ Jesus, not defiling his name through wickedness but through holiness rightly reflecting that which lives in us. And as we live and love, let men conclude what they may and let them smell Christ as they may, to some we shall be life unto life and to others death unto death; but to God our Father we are always the pleasing aroma of Christ which rises to his nostrils and causes His heart to rejoice and dance over us.