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Thursday, December 1, 2016

Scented Letters (2 Corinthians 2:15, 3:3)

"For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing . . . You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts."



Women have been known to send lovers perfume-scented letters which leave the recipient with no doubts concerning the contents of the letter. Paul used two analogies, an aroma and a letter, to describe the witness or message of the Corinthian believers to those around them. The components of this living letter are:
  • Paper/tablet of stone - the heart
  • Ink - the Holy Spirit of the Living God
  • Writer- Christ
  • Message - Reconciliation
  • Recipient - The world
The fragrance is one of triumph, not necessarily triumph over every daily battle, but the triumph of Christ over sin and death. Even in the midst of sorrow, loss, and despair the believer rejoices when there is no earthly reason to rejoice; they live upright lives in an upside down world as they live Spirit-dominated lives. Their lives perfume a stinking world  with the aroma of Christ in a world filled with hopelessness and despair, in a world where some are irresistibly drawn to Him in reconciliation while others are repelled.

We need to ask ourselves as others read or view our lives "What message about God are we delivering to others?" Are our lives a personal, scented love letter to the world or an impersonal bulk advertisement postcard?


Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
2 Corinthians 2:5-6:18
  • What impression does "the fragrance of the knowledge of him" leave on others?
  • How does the ministry of the law differ from that of the Spirit?
  • What happens to those who are made alive by the Spirit?
  • What role does "the god of this age" have in this world?
  • What two analogies does Paul use to describe the Christian and the hardships he faces in this world?
  • What do these analogies teach about life? about the human body? about the Spirit?
  • What is the ministry of reconciliation and what is the believer's role in this ministry?
  • What role does suffering play in Paul's life?
  • What does this tell you about the ministry of reconciliation?
  • How does your view of God affect how you live and the close and contractual relationships you develop?
Turning truth into prayer
Ask the Lord to show you areas in your life where you are marring His message of reconciliation.