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Thursday, 17 October 2019

2 Corinthians 2 : 1-17

But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.” - 2Corinthians 2:14

Paul, the great Apostle, cross examines his own life and ministry with the difficulties he faced in evangelization and the internal struggles that rose within the church at Corinth. After careful evaluation, he finds out to his own astonishment, that the ultimate outcome is nothing but glory to God. In our key verse, he thanks God for everything and establishes God's glory in every given situation more affirmatively. He exclaims and finds various ways to put forth that thought to his readers.

'In Christ' - a favorable subject for Paul! Paul always carries this thought as an undercurrent in all his discussions. For this, the Holy Spirit has made clear to him the words written in the gospel - John 15:5: “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.” When Christ conquers a soul through the glorious gospel, He comes into that life and leads them triumphantly in this world diffusing the aroma of heaven through his or her life.

Paul remembers how Jesus has conquered his soul by striking him down with His bright light, on the way to Damascus (Acts 9) and henceforth used him mightily in the surrounding places and then to the ends of the earth. All through, we see that God led Paul triumphantly, diffusing the sweet aroma of gospel through him by his gospel proclamations and through his very life. In this way God had all the glory because Paul became a servant of Christ ever since he met Him first. Due to his complete surrender to Christ, he was led like a captive for God's glory. 

But this is not like in the world, where the captives are put to death by the conqueror. Christ the Great Victor leads His captives to give them life and life in abundance. This life is what diffuses the aroma of heaven through a captive’s life. When the world meets with these captives, they also encounter God through this conquering gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit. If one surrenders, then he or she will enter into eternal life in union with Christ. But there are some who reject the gospel. To them, this conquering gospel smells a clear death sentence. As we read in John 3:19“And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.”

This wonderful position in Christ is available for all who have joined themselves to Jesus Christ. Like a branch in a vine, we need to adhere to the vine for our sustenance in this dying world. Without Him we can do nothing. This great truth should drive us always to the feet of Jesus and by faith abide in Him, so that our life is shown forth to the outside world as a sweet heavenly aroma. For this to effect in our life, one thing we need to do—we need a complete unconditional surrender to Him and His cause. So as we meditate today, let us surrender our life like Paul and an allow the Lord to bring out the sweet aroma of heaven through our simple life here on earth.

Thought for the Day:

“Expect great things from God.

Attempt great things for God.”  

 - William Carey

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