The Scent of Christ

I sometimes help my granddaughter with her nightly bath. We use a “calming lavender” scented shampoo and my hands carry the smell on them for several hours afterward. I put my hands to my nose and breath in her sweet fragrance and it always brings her face and her smile to my mind. I offered my hand to Poppy one day so he could get a sniff and he smiled and said, “That’s my Joy-Joy!”

Paul said that believers are “the aroma of Christ’ and we “spread everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him” (2 Corinthians 3:15, 14). Just as my hands bore the scent of my sweet Joy, the life of the Christian should always bear the scent of Christ. When we come close to people they should be able to say, “That’s Jesus!” This is not like perfume we dab on ourselves and it doesn’t come in a pretty bottle. It’s not something you spray on for special occasions. You can’t wash it off or mask it with Chanel No. 5. It is the ever-present aroma of the believer and is part of our witness wherever we are.

The perfume of Christ will not be sweet to everyone. “Among those who are being saved . . . [we are] the fragrance of life. But to those who reject Him, “to those who are perishing . . . [we are] the smell of death” (v. 15,16). How can two people inhale the same aroma and have such different responses? Because the olfactory receptor in the believer is the Holy Spirit who recognizes the fragrance as life. Those who do not have Jesus do not have the Holy Spirit and it is a noxious odor that points to their condemnation before God. Believers love to be reminded of the gift of eternal life. Unbelievers do not want to be reminded of the death that awaits them.

That begs two questions I’ll leave you to ponder today. What fragrance are you bringing to those around you? What does Jesus smell like to you?


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