From my reading in 2 Corinthians 2 in the One Year Bible New Testament.
In talking about his ministry Paul explained that his life and message got two primary reactions.
“Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume. And who is adequate for such a task as this?” 2 Cor 2:15-16
The Smell of Death
To those who reject Christ the good news is not good news.
The NLT study Bible says,
“Incense was scattered along the parade route of a victorious Roman general, and it was received in one of two ways. For the captives who were on their way to the arena and death, it was a dreadful smell of death and doom. For the victors, it was a life-giving perfume.”
The same gospel can either encourage someone or offend them. Many people don’t like the bearer of bad news, even if it comes with good news. In our culture people hate to be told that they are wrong.
Many people don’t like the idea of a God who punishes sin. But it doesn’t matter what our culture likes, God is who He is. It is the job of the minister to accurately share the whole truth and leave the results to God.
The “fire and brimstone” preachers of our day don’t make telling the truth about people’s sin any easier. In an attempt not to be lumped in with “the sign guys” some of us don’t talk about the consequences of sin at all!
But the true gospel requires us to tell the whole truth. Only the whole truth will set people free. If our lives and our message are true to the gospel then through God’s power there will be some who are given life through our message!
Paul shared a similar statement in his earlier letter.
“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Cor 1:18
To those who are being saved the good news is the greatest thing ever! It is life changing. We share because we know that even though many will reject us, some people’s lives will be changed if we faithfully preach the gospel.
Rejection is part of ministry, but seeing people’s lives changed is totally worth it!
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