The concept of the fragrance of Christ has come back to me time and time again over the last little while. It is a strikingly beautiful conceptualization.
A fragrance is a sweet, pleasant aroma. It radiates from the subject like a delicate aura. Whoever approaches the subject, gradually experiences more of this pleasing essence.
‘Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.’ Ephesians 5:1-2
Jesus is referred to as a fragrance a few times throughout the Bible. Our earthly aim is to imitate and emulate Him more and more. We want to reflect Christ’s nature. So much so, that we radiate the fragrance of Christ.
I love this image. To me, someone who walks their journey of life on earth, radiating the fragrance of Christ in all they do, is a person who shines with pureness of beauty that cannot be denied. They radiate peace. They demonstrate a quiet, gentle spirit. They are solid and grounded against the storms of life. Their foundation is strong. They do not harbour fear and worry. They consistently and persistently look towards Jesus, not allowing their gaze to stray.
Their actions enable them to emit the fragrance of Christ.
‘But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphed procession and uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life. And who is equal to such a task? Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, as those sent from God.’ 2 Corinthians 2:14-17
Here, Paul describes us as ‘the pleasing aroma of Christ’, in reference to living out and spreading the gospel of Christ. He speaks of it as an aroma which brings life and brings death. Life to those who receive it and death to those who ignore it. After all, there are always two sides – we mustn’t forget the ploys of the devil and the spiritual warfare which is ever present. Take heed to the aroma of life encapsulated in Christ.
How do we emulate and wear the fragrance of Christ in our day to day lives? How do we preach the love of Christ in our every day interactions? Not by word alone, but first and foremost, by action.
As Christians, we are scrutinized more than most. People love to catch us out! Be a vessel that emulates the nature of Christ in all that you do. Let your life be your testimony. Let your actions speak of the love of Christ.
I heard a pastor say recently,
“Breathe out the fragrance of Christ – let that be your gospel. Without saying a word. In how you act, and how you are. Be gentle in spirit.
Prayers are as incense rising to His throne.“
Use prayer as your weapon in spiritual warfare. Use prayer to resolve the daily concerns and problems you encounter – whether with work, family, health, friends, or other challenging situations. Look to Jesus for your answers. Don’t be quick-tempered. Be of gentle spirit. Not harsh, not contrary, not bitter, not resentful, not unforgiving, not defensive, not quick to anger and quick to start combat. Be of gentle spirit. Be of gentle disposition. Respond always with compassion. Be firm in Christ, but be of gentle spirit.
Breathe out the fragrance of Christ so that those around you see the difference. Handle your life differently. Handle your challenges differently. Don’t be worldly. Be of Christ.
Breathe out the fragrance of Christ.
Exude that sweet aroma in all that you do, in every situation you encounter.
Let that be your gospel.
This verse, sent to me recently, sums it up perfectly:
‘But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions: joy that overflows, peace that subdues, patience that endures, kindness in action, a life full of virtue, faith that prevails, gentleness of heart, and strength of spirit. Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.’ Galatians 5:22-23 (The Passion Translation)
Lord, I pray that we move forward letting this verse be the basis for our daily garments, our daily armour. I pray that those around us would experience the fragrance of Christ as they watch how we live our lives. I pray that this would prompt curiosity and a fervent seeking of Christ. I pray that those who have already found Christ, would not grow complacent, but would continually and persistently seek him with fervency. I pray that we would fix our eyes on Jesus and not let our gaze stray. I pray that in the most challenging of situations, we would continue to fix our eyes on Jesus, and emanate his sweet fragrance, even when it hurts and even when it is the antithesis of what we feel like doing. Lord, thank you for pouring out your abundant grace on us. In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.