22 Aug. 2 Corinthians 2:12-17

22 Aug. The sweet-smelling perfume that brings life

"When I came to Troas to preach the Good News of Christ, the Lord gave me a good opportunity there. But I had no peace, because I did not find my brother Titus. So I said goodbye to them at Troas and went to Macedonia."

"But thanks be to God, who always leads us in victory through Christ."

"God uses us to spread his knowledge everywhere like a sweet-smelling perfume. Our offering to God is this: we are the sweet smell of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are being lost."

"To those who are lost, we are the smell of death that brings death, but to those who are being saved, we are the smell of life that brings life."

"So who is able to do this work? We do not sell the word of God for a profit as many other people do. But in Christ we speak the truth before God, as messengers of God."

          (2 Corinthians 2:12-17)

 

 

Paul's writings are sometimes difficult to follow because he uses complicated metaphors interspersed between mundane reporting of facts.

In this short passage, Paul starts by telling the Corinthian believers some basic factual information about how he came to be writing to them from Philippi. When he arrived in Troas after leaving Ephesus, the people were fully prepared to hear the Good News about Jesus. But he was deeply concerned because he couldn’t find his fellow-worker Titus (who was bringing him news of the Corinthian believers). So he sailed over to Macedonia immediately, where he found Titus at Philippi (see 2 Corinthians 7:6-7).

He follows this by comparing Christ’s victory over death with a Roman general’s victory parade. He sees Christ as a victorious soldier who has conquered death and who brings the evil powers who have submitted to him to be displayed as captives in his victory parade before God.

Paul then switches to another metaphor, comparing the message of salvation and eternal life in Christ to a sweet-smelling perfume that takes away the bad smell of a body that is decomposing after death.

Paul concludes this section by re-stating that he is not making money by preaching. He is self employed (as a tent-maker) and provides for all his own needs. So he speaks the truth - not to make a living, but because he is a genuine messenger of God.

The photo shows a small alabaster jar that would have been used to carry perfume in Paul's day.

You can read more from Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/paul-explains-his-revise…/


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