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2 Corinthians - The Aroma of a God Life, Part 1

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
April 18, 2024 10:00 am

2 Corinthians - The Aroma of a God Life, Part 1

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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April 18, 2024 10:00 am

When we surrender our lives to the Master, our Messiah, God does a work that others will notice.  Our lives can be a pleasing aroma of Christ to all who see.  In today’s message titled The Aroma of a Godward Life,  Pastor RIch digs into 2 Corinthians 2:15-17 to show how His transformative work in His people proclaims Him to be worthy of worship.

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Welcome to Delight in Grace, the teaching ministry of Rich Powell, pastor of Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. When we surrender our lives to the Master, our Messiah, God does a work that others will notice. Our lives can be a pleasing aroma of Christ to all who see. In today's message, titled The Aroma of a Godward Life, Pastor Rich digs into 2 Corinthians 2, 15-17, to show how God's transformative work in His people proclaims Him to be worthy of worship.

Let's listen in. The natural man, meaning the person with the Adamic, sinful nature. When that nature is reminded of God, it is a stinging confrontation. And so as we live as the aroma of Christ to God, we live for the audience of one, that aroma to the natural man is a reminder of God and therefore a stinging confrontation. And the man who senses that aroma will respond in one of two ways. He will either repent or he will resist.

He will either surrender or he will stiffen like the NFL stiff arm right in the face mask. When the natural man is reminded of God, it is a stinging confrontation. And the aroma of the life lived for the audience of one can be perceived in two different ways, making it two kinds of aroma, two kinds of aroma. 1 Peter 2, verses 7 and 8. Therefore, to you who believe, he is precious. But to those who are disobedient, the stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone and a stone of stumbling in a rock of offense.

They stumble being disobedient to the word to which they also were appointed. See, as Kent Edwards says, Jesus is the great polarizer. It's as if all of humanity were iron filings laid out on a sheet of paper. And Jesus is the magnet.

Every single filing lines up either with the North Pole or the South Pole. Every person is either attracted to or repelled by the person of Jesus Christ because he's a magnet. The power and influence of his very being cannot be ignored. The aroma of God, it cannot be ignored. And so there are two kinds of aroma is very powerful. Senses are very powerful, aren't they?

God made them for a purpose and they do a lot for us. There's aroma here, example, the word of aroma is used versus a fragrance. Aroma is the idea of an order, of an odor, I'm sorry, it can be either agreeable or disagreeable.

Our senses are very powerful. For example, I grew up in South America and we had in South America, we had lots of tropical fruit, love tropical fruit. So I'm loving the availability of tropical fruit around here too. I just bought a bag full of avocados the other day. I just delight in avocado. You slice that thing up and just, and when I take a bite into the avocados, my kids hear me say this all the time, that takes me back. It takes me to a place and a time and a context of which I am very fond. Every time I bite into that avocado, and that's the power of sense.

And so it is a delightful, a very positive and good and pleasant thing there, like the idea of fragrance as opposed to an odor, which is a negative and repulsive thing. For example, our family moved back from the mission field in 1977 in 1980 when I was 15. So yes, you're starting to do the math now, okay. I went back on a summer missions trip back to Columbia, right to the area where I grew up. And we went up into the mountains and we made our own bricks and built a dormitory for a youth camp.

That was hard work. And one day I was famished, at least I thought I was. And I was, so I go to the kitchen and find this open can out on the counter of apricot glaze. And I said, I don't care what it is. I'm going to consume this thing, glug, glug, glug, glug, glug, glug.

By the time I was done, I was so sick of apricot glaze, I couldn't even smell the stuff for the next 10 years without getting sick, you see, because the smell of it took me back to something very unpleasant, okay. That's the power of sense. And this is what Paul is alluding to here through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The power of sense, for example, the same sun that melts the ice hardens the clay.

You see, it's not the sun that changes. And so with this aroma of a life lived for the audience of one, that aroma is to some people a fragrance, to other people an odor. Well, let's first of all, he says here in verse 16, to the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, meaning the one who lives for the audience of one is the aroma of death to them. It is repulsive. It is condemning.

Why is that? It's not a character flaw in the person who is the aroma. It is that the message that aroma is to them something that they find repulsive. There's an example of this in Scripture. We find it in Hebrews chapter 11 and verse 7 where it speaks of Noah. What did Noah do? God warned him, Noah build an ark. There's going to be a massive flood. And Hebrews 11 says, and Noah moved with godly fear. Right? Noah moved with godly fear, meaning God said do it and what God asked him to do was, let me see, normal or abnormal? Highly unusual. But Noah moved with godly fear.

Why? He was living for the audience of one and there were many people around him and you think maybe they ridiculed him a little bit. Noah what are you going to do with his boat Noah? Noah says there's going to be water.

Where's the water going to come from Noah? Noah moved with godly fear. He lived for the audience of one, Hebrews 11 7, by which he condemned the world.

You see that? It wasn't a character flaw in Noah. It's not because of his character flaws that he was odious to the people. It was him living for the audience of one. To them, it was condemning because they would not believe.

You see how that works? About four years ago, I had the opportunity to meet with a gentleman in the triad community here. He was a pillar in the community. He had been retired for some time. He had been in the medical industry and research, highly recognized. He was dying and he knew he was dying.

It was only going to be a matter of a brief time before he died. He had some questions, some spiritual questions. He wanted some answers with regards to faith. He wanted to know, he wanted to be able to gain some kind of security, some kind of assurance. What is the afterlife going to bring?

How do I arrive at a faith that will get me to the afterlife that I want? Gave him the gospel of Jesus Christ. His response was this, if I surrender myself in faith to Jesus Christ, do you know what it will mean? It will mean that by doing that, I have condemned all my loved ones to hell. What a thought. What a thought.

You see, that's the power of truth. The aroma of death to those who are perishing. Epicurus was a Greek philosopher in the third century BC. He encouraged his students to study nature, but he did so with a particular objective. He said, study nature to liberate us from the belief in gods, in the immortal soul, in the afterlife, and so make it easier for us to live in this life. You see, in Greek mythology, there's a great deal of superstition with regard to meteorological and astrological phenomena, right?

That's the activity of the gods, and the people lived in fear of the gods, trying to appease them, wondering what are they going to do to me if I don't appease them? And Epicurus said, you know, if we get rid of that element, we don't have to be afraid of it. So, study nature. Become what is known today as a materialist.

What does a materialist mean? All that there is, is matter. There's nothing supernatural, there's no metaphysical, everything is material. Study nature, and by doing that, you will rid the idea of the supernatural, of gods, of the afterlife, and therefore, you'll be able to live more comfortably in this life.

Sound like anything going on today? The Cure, and this is by Ben Weicker in his book, Moral Darwinism, the cure for our anxieties resides in a view of nature and natural science that by design, ironically, would completely eliminate any possible divine influence, and beyond that, eliminate the immaterial soul. For those who believe that they are completely extinguished at death, certainly have no fear of judgment. Could it be, asks Weicker, that much of the impetus keeping materialism as the reigning view of science today is moral in origin?

To be blunt, materialists often suppress evidence of intelligent design because they realize that the world they comfortably inhabit would be completely undermined if materialist cosmology were overthrown by the notion of an intelligent designer. Now let's first of all, he says here in verse 16, to the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, meaning the one who lives for the audience of one is the aroma of death to them. You've been listening to Rich Powell, the lead pastor at Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. The Delight in Grace mission is to help you know that God designed you to realize your highest good and your deepest satisfaction in Him, the one who is infinitely good. We hope you'll join us again on Weekdays at 10 a.m.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-04-18 10:06:55 / 2024-04-18 10:11:24 / 4

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