Sermon:  Resurrection (pt 5): The Aroma of Resurrection

Summary:  Since Jesus rose from the grave, he leads us in victory, and the victory 
frees us and changes our character in such a way that we not only become the sweet 
aroma of Christ wherever we go, but we also become a letter of Christ and the 
radiance of Christ, attesting to his glory and character by our own lives that 
have been transformed by his power and presence.

Know:  Christian "conversion" is a real transformation into the character of Christ

Feel:  The drive to have the fullness of Christ in you radiate outward

Do:  Reflect on what it would mean to be the aroma, letter, and radiance of Christ 
in daily life.  List specific traits and activities that would be in line with this 
in your own  life.

Text:  2 Cor 2:14 - 3:18

Scripture Reading:  Col 2:13-15
1.  Do you like parades?
	a.  We enjoy them, our kids march in them
	b.  I even enjoyed being in military parades 
	c.  Remember the first veteran's day parade here in 01, I was impressed
	d.  Jesus himself has a parade, a victory parade, we will look at that
2.  Resurrection was Christ's victory over death
	a.  When victory comes, it changes the way things are
	b.  Before this victory, there was oppression
	c.  But now we are free from oppression
3.  Text speaks of how we are different - 2 Cor 2:14 - 3:18
	a.  Text speaks of the victory of Christ
	b.  It then describes how we have been changed by that
4.  We have been transformed in his resurrection.  How?  Ways:

I.  The Aroma of Christ (2:14-17)
	A.  There are some things difficult to describe with words
		1.  How do you describe a sunrise to a blind person?
		2.  How to describe an aroma to someone who never smelled it?
			a.  Usually compare it to another aroma
			b.  But it is not the same as experiencing it
		3.  Like Sierra Mist commercials - Its kinda like that
	B.  Paul describes this aroma with a familiar experience for his readers
		1.  The experience is a Roman victory parade.  Image in the scene
			a.  At the head is God riding triumphantly, he is the general
			b.  Next is his army.  That is us, his people
			c.  Finally are the prisoners of war at the back
		2.  Paul focuses on the familiar aroma one would have smelt 
			a.  Incense was usually burned at victory parades
			b.  For the victors, it would have been a sweet smell
				- For us, it is the aroma of life
				- God's victory through Christ is sweet
			c.  But for the prisoners, it is not a sweet smell
		3.  What is Paul trying to get across with this?
			a.  Through the resurrection, God has triumphed
			b.  Like an "aroma," we manifest this triumph in our lives
	C.  Why Paul use illustration of Aroma?
		1.  Aromas are a very vivid experience
			a.  They evoke memories
			b.  They evoke emotions and feelings
		2.  Like when you smell cotton candy, funnel cake, etc. - What do 
		     you think of?  -- Parade or Fair?
			a.  May be transported back to childhood
			b.  May think of walking around with parents
			c.  May remember the joy of the rides
			d.  Might remember the band marching down the street
		3.  Like when you smell a particular dime store perfume
			a.  May make you think of your great aunt who wore it
			b.  May have a flash of memory of her house, of her
			c.  May have a flash of emotion - Think of the content times 
			     you had at her place.
		4.  Aromas can evoke an emotional response - So can we
			a.  Sometimes you can tell who has just been in the room 
			     because the cologne is still lingering in the air
			b.  Kind of like that - We leave an aroma
	D.  So how do we manifest this aroma?  Through sincerity
		1.  Text says we do not peddle the word
		2.  We are sincere and humble Christians
		3.  People can smell an insincere Christian
		4.  People can also smell a sincere Christian 

II.  Letters of recommendation (3:1-6)
	A.  Paul calls the Corinthians “letters of recommendation”
	B.  What Paul mean?  
		1.  Need to understand what a letter of recommendation was
			a.  Modern letters usually outline accomplishments, 
			     achievements, and training
			b.  Greco-Roman letters usually highlighted character; 
			     achievements were much less important
		2.  Point:  The character of the Corinthians were a letter of 
			a.  Reflected favorably on Paul
			b.  More importantly, it reflected favorably on Christ.  
		3.  This was the point powerful kind of letter
			a.  v.3 - Written not with ink, but with the Spirit
				- Jn 3:5 - They were born of water and Spirit
				- Rom 8:13 - By the Spirit, they put to death the deeds 
				  of the flesh
				- Titus 3:5 - They were renewed by the Holy Spirit
			b.  v.3 - Not on tablets of stone, but on the heart
				- (v.6) Goes with Jer 31:31 
					-- God promised to enact a new covenant
					-- In this covenant, the law would be written on 
					   the hearts of his people
				- Jer 4:4; Rom 2:28-29 - Circumcision would be of the 
				  heart, rather than of the flesh
			c.  v.6 - Servants fot of the letter, but of the Spirit
				- Not merely about rules, but about transformation
	C.  ILL:  What if you were looking at new exercise equipment and the label 
	      says it is the best there is
		1.  Would a written label or advertisement convince you it is good?
		2.  What if a person promoted it as the best and he was 
		3.  What if it were a fit and buff person promoting it?  More credible
	D.  It is the same with us
		1.  What kind of people we are is a letter
			a.  We say God has triumphed
				-  We live that way, makes message more credible
			b.  We say God is good, we live that way
			c.  We say God is love, we live that way
			d.  We say there is a home in Heaven and this earth will 
			     pass away, so we live that way
		2.  What kind of letter are you?

III.  The Radiance of Christ (3:7-18)
	A.  Paul compares glory of new covenant with glory of old covenant
		1.  Read the account from Exodus 34:29-35
		2.  Moses put a veil over his face after being in God's presence
		3.  Paul uses this to make his point
	B.  Point:  The glory of New Covenant of Christ in the Spirit is greater than 
	     the Old Covenant and is in us
		1.  Paul compares the two
			a. v.7,9 Ministry of death & condemnation vs. Ministry of 
			     the Spirit & Righteousness
			b.  v.7 Engraved on stones  vs.  Engraved on the heart
			c.  v.11- Glory faded  vs.  Glory remains
			d.  v.11,13 Veiled & fading away vs. Unveiled and remaining
		2.  v.18 - We are being transformed into glorious image of the Lord
			a.  We behold his glory, it changes us
			b.  Being in his presence changes us
				- Kind of like Moses who was in God's presence and 
				- Kind of like Jesus on mount of transfiguration, in the 
				  presence of God, he was transfigured, changed
			c.  Being in the presence of God changes us
		3.  v.16 - When we turn to the Lord, the veil is taken away
			a.  The veil hid the glory of God on Moses' face
			b.  There was another veil at the temple that kept people 
			      from the presence of God
			c.  Mt 27:51 - When Jesus was crucified, the veil at the 
			     temple was torn in two
			d.  We can be in God's presence, and his glory changes us
	C,  ILL:  We become "radiators" for God
		1.  Working at Nettie Hartnett, noticed school is heated by radiators
		2.  How do they work?  Basically a series of pipes
		3.  Hot water runs through them, and transfers heat into the air
		4.  Would not work unless there is water in them
	D.  What does it take to radiate the glory of the Lord?
		1.  Need to be filled with all the fullness of Christ
		2.  When Christ is in us, in our pipes, we radiate him.  How?
			a.  Through the character of Christ.  What kind of character?
				- Righteous, holy, devoted, good
				- Merciful, gracious, forgiving
				- Kind, compassionate, caring, thoughtful
				- Above all, love for God and for others
			b.  What are the resulting actions?
				- Righteous and holy - Not participating in evil or
				  questionable activities
				- Notices the nobodies - Such as the widows 2 cents
				- Forgiving - Such as the woman caught in adultery
				- Compassionate - Such as taking the time to ask the 
				  father of a demoniac about his son's condition and 
			c.  And the list goes on
		3.  The character of Christ and the resulting actions demonstrate:
			a.  The aroma of Christ
			b.  Letter of Christ
			c.  Radiance of Christ

1.  Christ triumphed at the tomb (inv)
2.  Christ now leads us in victory
	a.  This changes everything
	b.  It changes who we are and what we are like
3.  We are the very aroma of Christ, letter of Christ, and radiance of Christ
4.  Questions:
	a.  Am I an aroma of Christ?  Or am I some other kind of odor
	b.  Am I a letter of Christ?  
	c.  Do I radiate the character of Christ?

Small Group Questions:  The Aroma of Resurrection 

Summary:  Since Jesus rose from the grave, he leads us in victory, and the victory frees 
us and changes our character in such a way that we not only become the sweet aroma of 
Christ wherever we go, but we also become a letter of Christ and the radiance of Christ, 
attesting to his glory and character by our own lives that have been transformed by his 
power and presence.

- What aromas are most pleasing to you?  What are most repulsive?

Explore (2 Cor 2:14 - 3:18)

1.  What points does the text make in using the analogy of "aroma?"  What sorts of things 
might an aroma evoke?  How does this compare with what the Corinthians should evoke?

2.  In what ways were the Corinthians a "letter?"  What does this indicate about who they 
were to be or what they were to do?

3.  Why did the Corinthians have "unveiled faces?"  What point(s) is this trying to get 
across concerning their daily lives?

4.  The text does not explicitly say what "beholding as in a mirror" means.  What might 
this mean, and how would the Corinthians have done this?

5.  What do all these analogies have in common?  What do they communicate about the 
nature of the Christian life?


6.  Which analogy do you relate to the most and why?

7.  What would it take for you to be an aroma of Christ?  A letter of Christ?  The radiance 
of Christ?

8.  What things in your life detract you from being an aroma, letter of radiance?

9.  List some very specific things you can do to apply this lesson.