2 Corinthians 2
But I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to you in heaviness.
2 For if I make you sorry, who is he then that maketh me glad, but the same which is made sorry by me?
3 And I wrote this same unto you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all.
4 For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you.
5 But if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part: that I may not overcharge you all.
6 Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many.
7 So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.
8 Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.
9 For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.
10 To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;
11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.
12 Furthermore, when I came to Troas to preach Christ's gospel, and a door was opened unto me of the Lord,
13 I had no rest in my spirit, because I found not Titus my brother: but taking my leave of them, I went from thence into Macedonia.
14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.
15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:
16 To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?
17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.
Christ is the one who releases the fragrance of the knowledge we have of Him everywhere we go. Paul reminds us we smell like the aroma of Christ’s offering to God as we work both for those who are being saved and for those who are perishing (see vs.14-15).
One of the things I loved the most, as a missionary in the Philippines, were the wonderful aromas coming from the tropical flowers and fruits. And each day we had an opportunity to thank the Lord for so much beauty.
Not far away from the campus is a trash dump. It reminded me of the Apostle Paul’s contrast: “We are the fragrance of Christ to those who are being saved, and smell like contagious dead persons to those who reject our message about Christ and are perishing” (see vs. 16). Just like a trash dump, it is not difficult to tell the difference between the smell of flowers as opposed to the smell of trash. Thus Paul counsels us to continue to smell like the fountain of life to those who believe, and to those who are being saved.
Michael W. Campbell
Associate Professor of Religion
Southwestern Adventist University
Keene, Texas USA