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2 Corinthians - The Aroma of a Godly Life, Part 2

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell
The Truth Network Radio
April 19, 2024 4:20 am

2 Corinthians - The Aroma of a Godly Life, Part 2

Delight in Grace / Grace Bible Church / Rich Powell

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April 19, 2024 4:20 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. This is the second part of the message first preached on February 9th, 2014 at Grace Bible Church in Winston-Salem. 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 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? Because 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 this 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.

Do 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.

And it was only going to be a matter of brief time before he died. And he had some questions, some spiritual questions. He wanted some answers with regards to faith. And 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. And his response was this. If I surrender myself in faith to Jesus Christ, do you know what it'll 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, D.C., B.C., D.C., he encouraged his students to study nature. But he did so with a particular objective. He said, now 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. When the natural man is reminded of God, it is a stinging confrontation, and for those who will not believe, it is the aroma of death. No wonder they are repulsed by it. But not only is it the aroma of death to those who are perishing, it is the aroma of life to those who are being saved. In this sense, it is a fragrance. It is an attractive life-giving fragrance, meaning that God, for those who will believe, and God knows who they are, He is drawing them to Himself. And He uses you and me, our life lived for the audience of one. He uses that to draw people to Himself. God draws all kinds of people to Himself. And you and I need to recognize that as we walk through this life, as we are marching in the parade as a captive of Jesus Christ, and we are living for the audience of one, we are doing so in the context of all kinds of people. And we don't know exactly what's going on in their lives, but the people that we bump into day after day, we need to understand that there's things going on in their lives, and they might be one of these four people in one of these categories, the kind of people that God draws to Himself. First of all, God draws to Himself desperate people. And some people around you might not look desperate on the outside, but they are. Inside, they're reeling.

They said, I want something real, I want something true. Pat Summerall, for the last 45 years, has been the face and the voice of football and a lot of golf. Pat died in April of, I think it was April of 2013, utilized by John Madden, the famed football coach and commentator. Pat was an only child whose parents divorced before he was born, leaving him feeling empty and alone. And he became an alcoholic, living from drink to drink as his body broke down. During the 1994 Masters Tournament, that's golf, for those of you who don't know, it's like the Super Bowl of golf, Pat Summerall revealed this, I'd been getting sick a lot, throwing up blood, and I got sick again at 4 a.m. I looked in the mirror, saw what a terrible sight I was, and said to myself, this isn't how I want to be.

I said to myself, this isn't how I want to live. Pat spent 33 days at the Betty Ford Center in Palm Springs, but that did not answer his spiritual vacuum. And then he bumped into Tom Landry, his old football coach. Landry explained Pat's spiritual need and connected him with Dallas Cowboys Chaplain John Weber.

Pat's life was transformed, and he was baptized at age 69. God is drawing people to himself. He not only draws desperate people, he draws dissatisfied people. Dissatisfied people. Understand that as you walk in the course of the day, as you work in the course of the day, you might be surrounded, whether it's at work, at school, maybe even at home. You are living in the context, you might be living in the context of someone who is very dissatisfied with life. May not look it on the outside. They might, in fact, look very successful on the outside, but inside, they are extremely dissatisfied with what life has had to offer them.

For example, former New York Yankees slugger Darryl Strawberry, a household name, in baseball. He was explaining to a circuit court judge why he uses drugs. Quote, life has not been worth living for me. That's the honest truth.

You see, outside, he looked very successful. Inside, he was empty. He was completely dissatisfied. You see, God draws such people to himself, and we could very well be living and moving daily in the context of people who inside are empty and dissatisfied. Not all of them may be.

Some of them are just flat out distracted, and they're looking for their satisfaction and thinking they're finding it somewhere else. And you think, God, I don't need God. I've got something better.

C.S. Lewis is a key example of that. Listen to part of his testimony from his autobiography Surprised by Joy. Lewis says this, you must picture me, he was a student at Oxford, OK? You must picture me alone in that room at Oxford, night after night, feeling, whenever my mind lifted even for a second from my work, the steady, unrelenting approach of him of whom I so earnestly desired not to meet. 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 / 2024-04-19 07:17:01 / 2024-04-19 07:21:36 / 5

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