Title: Christians Smell like Christ
Focus: We as Christians must subject ourselves to inner transformation by the Spirit which will enable us to glorify our Lord.
Function: To motivate the hearers to allow the Lord to change their hearts to have a Christ like nature.
Text: 2 Corinthians 2:14 - 3:18
Intro: 1. Review: What a Christian must know-Christ; What a Christian must teach-Christ 2. This weeks lesson is about what a Christian must be 3. Text: 2 Cor 2:14 - 3:18. As Christians, We are several things: I. The Aroma of Christ A. Some things are hard to describe 1. eg: Describe read to blind person 2. How to describe aroma to a person 3. Have to have first experienced it B. Paul describes this aroma with a familiar experience 1. Roman victory parade a. God leads us in his triumph, he is the general b. We are his army he leads c. Prisoners of war follow at the back of parade 2. Paul centers on the aroma a. Incense was burned at victory parades b. To us who are being saved - aroma of life c. To the pow's - aroma of death 3. What is Paul trying to get across with this? a. God has triumphed b. We "manifest" that triumph in our lives c. We manifest it to both saved and lost C. Why does Paul use illustration of Aroma? 1. Some things you can't explain, you have to experience them 2. Aroma's invoke emotional response (good or bad?) 3. ILL: Smell of new fatigues in Basic Training a. 2 years later, I smelled it again when got new field jacket b. Could hear the T.I. yelling, see bald head in formation 4. Maybe you have similar experience (a perfume, think of mom) 5. We evoke a response as an aroma evokes a response D. In order to evoke response of aroma of Christ, 2 things 1. Not "peddling" word (kjv-corrupt) - Word negative connotation - ie: We are not hucksters selling some cure all miracle oil 2. Sincerity a. Some people say sincerity is not enough - Heresy! God has always wanted sincerity! - Worst sin is "doing" without "being" b. A person who says and does right thing without sincerity will stink - repulsive c. People can smell an insincere Christian II. Letters of recommendation (3:1-6) A. Paul calls the Corinthians "letters of recommendation" 1. Some preachers carried letters of recommendation 2. Paul did not, his ministry spoke for itself B. What Paul mean? Understand what a letter of recommendation was 1. Modern letters - outline accomplishments, acheivements, training, and character 2. Greco-Roman letters highlighted character. Accomplishments and abilities were less important 3. Not only they letter for Paul, BUT A LETTER OF CHRIST a. Paul is stressing the importance of Christian character b. Shifts focus off himself and onto their transformation 4. Paul takes off on the importance of transformation a. Not with ink, but with the Spirit - Jn 3:5 - Born of water and Spirit - Rom 8:13 - By the Spirit, put to death deeds of flesh - Titus 3:5 - Saved us by...renewing by the Holy Spirit b. Not on tablets of stone, but on the heart - (v.6) Goes with Jer 31:31 - New covenant (on heart) - Jer 4:4; Rom 2:28-29 - Circumcision of the heart c. Not of the letter, but of the Spirit - Not about rules, but about transformation 5. Who is responsible for transformation, Us or Spirit? a. Eg: Jericho - Who caused the Walls to fall? b. Eg: Exodus, God or Moses' rod split the sea? c. ILL: Spirit like a Pulley system, inscrease power, but you have to pull, or it do no good C. We are still talking about Aroma of Christ 1. Aroma of Christ only comes about through inner transformation 2. ILL: Bought O.J. at quick shop a. Spoiled, bad aroma b. Looked same on outside, until I opened it. 3. We are a letter of Christ is same as being Aroma of Christ D. What kind of letter are you? 1. What kind of character at school? Work? Home? 2. What do people read? - Jealousy, strife, greed, selfish ambition to be popular? - Dishonesty, gossip? 3. Are you a letter of Christ, or a letter of self? III. The Radiance of Christ (3:7-18) A. Paul compares glory of new covenant with glory of old covenant 1. Must read O.T. carefully (Ex 34:29ff) 2. Moses covered his face "after" speaking to the people 3. Paul uses this to make his point B. Comparisons 1. Ministry of Death (on stones) Ministry of theSpirit (on the heart) 2. Engraved on stones Engraved on the Heart 3. 11 - Fading Glory Glory remains (greater glory) 4. 13-18 - Veiled fading glory Remaining glory is unveiled 5. 18 - Due to this, we are being transformed into his image (glory) 6. Explanation 1. Moses saw God on mountian, his face shone - Came down and taught of God 2. Jesus with God on mountain, he was "transfigured" - Came down and taught of God - Heb 1:1 - He is the "radiance" of his glory 3. (v.16) - Turn to Lord, veil taken away - Veil over Moses face, veil in temple??? - Can not see God, but can see the Lord Jesus - John 1:14 - We beheld his glory 4. Since we have seen his glory, what happens - We are "transfigured/transformed" (same word) - We become the radiance of Christ C. ILL: How a "radiator" works 1. Radiator empty pipes 2. Have to have hot water to radiate heat D. In order to be radiance of Christ, have to be transformed 1. Change from inside out, as Jesus specifically taught a. Mt 23:26 - Clean inside of cup b. Mt 23:27 - Whitewashed tombs 2. Our transformation is to be to the bone Concl: 1. Being a Christian is about "being" Aroma of Christ; Letter of Recommendation; Radiance of Christ 2. Do you let off an aroma, or odor? 1. Sweet aroma of victory over "wrong things", or still doing them? 2. Have you transformed your heart, or just the outside 3. Does your heart let off the rotting odor of self-centered greed, judgementalism, anger, bitterness, holding a grudge, hate 4. Does your hear let off the sweet aroma of love, forgiveness, kindness, patience, gentleness, self control?