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Sermon No: 834-A sweet smelling savour



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SERMON TOPIC: A sweet smelling savour

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 8 April 2012

Topic Groups: FINANCES

Sermon synopsis: Text: Philippians 4:18,19.
I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God.
But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

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A sweet smelling savour.

Text: Philippians 4:18,19.

I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odour of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God.

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

A sweet smelling savour.

We have looked at hearing the Lord.

We have looked at seeing the Lord.

We have looked at touching the Lord.

Last time we looked at the invitation; “Taste and see that the Lord is good.”

Today the title of my ministry is; “A sweet smelling savour to God.”

A sweet smelling savour.

"Smell," said Helen Keller, "is a potent wizard that transports us across thousands of miles and all the years we have lived. The odours of fruits waft me to my southern home, to my childhood frolics in the peach orchard. Other odours, instantaneous and fleeting, cause my heart to dilate joyously or contract with remembered grief. Even as I think of smells, my nose is full of scents that start to awake sweet memories of summers gone and ripening fields far away."

A sweet smelling savour.

In our relationships as humans our five senses are involved in a progressive way.

As mentioned last time, hearing and seeing can be done from a distance. We hear of someone that sounds interesting, but we first must see them to see if we find them attractive. Once we like what we hear and see, a successful relationship will progress to touch (holding hands, hugs) then to kissing and ultimately in marriage and intimacy which results in conception and birth.

The tasting in our relationship with the Lord is an invite from him, our part is to smell good.

A sweet smelling savour.

We bath regularly and brush our teeth and put deodorant on to make sure that we don’t smell and chase people away from us.

However, have you ever thought that your testimony as a Christian could be a stench that keeps people away from not only you but the Lord. (babies that stink have an excuse but we need to grow up, you are only young once, but you can be immature forever)

What about the Lord, do you as the bride of Christ want to be appealing to him or do you view your relationship with him as one in which he gives and all you do is receive?

A sweet smelling savour.

There is time in everyone’s life when they learn that their body was not created to have a natural sweet smell all the time.

Working with teenagers, especially at camps, we leaders notice quickly those teens who refuse to listen to their nose (and our constant advice) and go days without deodorant, and sometimes without a shower! Their body has a smell, but it is no longer a pleasing smell to me or anyone else around them. Their choices lead to the displeasure of others, yet they don’t seem to notice!

A sweet smelling savour.

The fragrance of a Christ filled life.

Have you noticed that many times Christians lead the same life, spiritually?

They may have heard that they need to be applying God’s Word (spiritual deodorant if you will), yet they refuse to take the time to do it, and as a result their lives become a sour smell to God instead of a sweet-smelling fragrance.

Just like others notice that a person showers, applies deodorant, and perfume or cologne, when a believer applies the right truths from the Bible, his or her actions become a sweet-smelling savour to God and others.

Ephesians 5:2

“And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour.

When a person chooses to live a life that is a sweet- smelling sacrifice to God, it pleases God, and like bees to pollen, others are attracted to the fragrance of a life lived for Christ.

A sweet smelling savour.

How Do You Smell?

(Which of these depicts you?)

The sense of smell is one of the powerful senses God has given us.

Smell alerts us to danger, such as, a building on fire.

Animals need the sense of smell to survive.

Smell tells us when someone else is around.

There are good smells like fresh bread out of the oven, and a new car. Then you have bad smells like sulphur or spoiled milk and other things, such as, stinky feet.

How do you smell? This is not a personal question about your body odour, but a inquiry into your spiritual aroma.

A sweet smelling savour.

Stench of Sin and Death.

Have you ever asked someone while driving down the highway, “What’s that smell?” Perhaps, you were passing by a sewage treatment plant, a paper factory or a dead skunk. Have you smelled the stench of a skunk. Skunks can spray a distance of six to ten feet. However, their foul odour can be smelled by humans for up to 2.5 miles.

Spiritually, sin can spray us with its stench of death.

Rom. 6:23. Death is the wages of sin

Rom. 3:23. All have sinned, therefore, everybody stinks.

John 11:38-40. In the resurrection of Lazarus, who had been in the grave for four days, we learn that he was not just dead, but he stunk We are not just dead in our sins, we emit a foul odour to the nose of God. If we play with dead things we will start to smell like them.

Romans 8:1-2.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

A sweet smelling savour.

Let us examine an interesting passage of Scripture.

2 Corinthians 2:14-16.

But thanks be to God, who always leads us as captives in Christ’s triumphal 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?

Paul obviously had seen at least one Roman triumphal procession in his life. In the context, he is alluding to this tradition.

A sweet smelling savour.

After a Roman army would conquer a particular tribe or people, there would be a ticker tape parade.

The Roman senate would vote to give the conquering Army and General a Triumph parade.

First, rank upon rank of trumpeters would march by. Next came the older Roman senators, leading men of the city, such as, rich merchants, government officials, etc.

Then came the army with intermittent wagon loads of spoil taken in victory. Finally, the hero and conquering general came riding in a chariot while wearing the garb associated with Jupiter: purple and gold robes.

Alongside this procession were people swinging censers filled with sweet-smelling incense. Various bonfires would be burning here and there along the route. People would pour perfume into the flames so the smell of its fragrance would fill the air. Also, fragrant flowers would be cast by the spectators into the path of the parade and crushed by the hundreds of marching feet.

At the very end of the procession the enemy prisoners would be executed.

A sweet smelling savour.

Washing.

How do we remove the stench of sin and death from our lives? Those who have been sprayed by a skunk are told to soak in tomato juice. This is supposed to remove the smell. You can’t cover up the smell! You have to wash it away.

When sprayed by sin we must wash it way.

Psalm 51:7.

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; “Wash me, and I will be whiter than snow”

Isaiah 1:16-18.

Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight; stop doing wrong. Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.

Acts 22:16.

When Ananias came to Saul of Tarsus to tell him how to remove the stench of his sin he said, “And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord”

A sweet smelling savour.

Stay Clean.

After we have been washed, we can always go right back to the mud hole of sin and wallow in it. This is not only a possibility, it is most probable according to 1 John 1:8-10. Staying out of the garbage dumps of the world helps you not to stink again.

What can we do when we sin again?

1 John 1:7,9.

As a child of God and a Christian, you can be cleansed of your sins daily by repenting, confessing and praying for forgiveness. “But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. ... If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”

A sweet smelling savour.

Stay Clean.

Ephesians 5: 25-27.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

John 13:1-11.

It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

A sweet smelling savour.

Stay Clean.

John 13:1-11.

He came to Simon Peter, who said to him, “Lord, are you going to wash my feet?”

Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”

“No,” said Peter, “you shall never wash my feet.”

Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”

“Then, Lord,” Simon Peter replied, “not just my feet but my hands and my head as well!”

Jesus answered, “Those who have had a bath need only to wash their feet; their whole body is clean. And you are clean, though not every one of you.” For he knew who was going to betray him, and that was why he said not every one was clean.

A sweet smelling savour.

Aromatherapy.

Not only can Christ help us with our past problem, the stench of sin and death, but he can help us as Christians to emit sweet-smelling aroma that will be pleasing to God.

Aromatherapy means “treatment using scents.” It is used to relieve pain, care for the skin, alleviate tension and fatigue, and invigorate the entire body. It has been said that certain scents can help with the body’s digestion, respiratory, circulatory and excretory systems. Some smells can relieve headaches, ease depression, and even help to improve memory. Doctors have found that a life without fragrance can lead to heightened incidences of psychiatric issues, such as anxiety and depression.

A sweet smelling savour.

Aromatherapy.

The average human has the ability to differentiate 10,000 diverse scents. One Japanese firm reports that air scented with lavender cut keypunching errors by 21 %. Jasmine-scented air dropped errors by 33 %, and lemon in the air was even better by cutting errors by 54 %. Lavender reduces stress. Jasmine relaxes. Lemon stimulates. Odours do make a difference.

It is one thing to remove a bad smell. It is important to replace it with a new fragrance. Christ is the new fragrance in our new lives as Christians.

Christianity is not just putting off the “Old man” it is putting on the “New Man”

A sweet smelling savour.

Aromatherapy (Continued)

Just how does a Christian smell? We are recognized by how we smell! Do you smell like dead fish? If so, you must be a fisherman. The Christian emits (in a figurative way) the very smell of Christ’s sweet sacrifice. It comes out in our attitudes, actions and words. As we travel through life, we are sending a sweet -smelling fragrance to God in a world that otherwise stinks. For example, if someone around you stinks, your image is created of that person. Stinky people usually don’t have many friends.

A lot of people make the mistake of trying to cover up that smell by doing good deeds or by fighting some cause.

Our righteousness is as filthy rags in his sight (terrible to look at & they stink)

A sweet smelling savour.

Christ’s offering is fragrant and acceptable to God.

We see this in at least two places in the New Testament.

Ephesians 5:2.

Walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Hebrews 5:7.

During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.

Here, we have evidence of Christ’s offering on the golden altar of incense and the sacrifice on the bronze altar.

A sweet smelling savour.

Prayer Is a Fragrant Incense to Heaven.

Psalm 141:2.

Let my prayer be set before You as incense, The lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice.”

Revelation 5:8.

The saint’s prayer brings an odour like incense before the throne of God. “And when He had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints”

Sadly much of what Christians categorize as prayer is just a shopping list of self-centred requests and at time demands from the Lord without spending time in his presence to be still and hear his voice.

A sweet smelling savour.

Sweet-Smelling Worship.

Another way to keep smelling good before the Lord is to worship Him in an acceptable manner.

In Genesis 8 we see Noah coming out of the ark 377 days after the flood began. First, he built an alter to God. Much as the smell of perfume makes for an enjoyable physical atmosphere, there are a number of things that we are told are sweet-smelling to God in the spiritual realm.

Genesis 8:20,21.

Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and took of every clean animal and of every clean bird, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the Lord smelled a soothing aroma. Then the Lord said in His heart, "I will never again curse the ground for man's sake, although the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done”

Was it that the Lord was pleased by the aroma of a burning animal? No. The Lord was pleased by Noah’s heart of worship and his offering of worship to Him.

In Leviticus chapter 1 alone, the Levitical burnt offering is said to be “a sweet savour, an offering made by fire unto the LORD” on three occasions.

A sweet smelling savour.

Sweet-Smelling Worship.

Matthew 26:6-13.

And when Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, a woman came to Him having an alabaster flask of very costly fragrant oil, and she poured it on His head as He sat at the table. But when His disciples saw it, they were indignant, saying, "To what purpose is this waste? "For this fragrant oil might have been sold for much and given to the poor.'' But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them, "Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me. "For you have the poor with you always, but Me you do not have always. "For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial. "Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”

This woman took her best, most expensive, perfume and poured it out over Jesus to anoint Him. Jesus knew her heart and that it was love that prompted her to do this?

A sweet smelling savour.

Giving is an act of worship.

We worship when we give to the work of Jesus Christ. That is why it smells sweet to God. Do you please God by giving to his work as an act of worship? When you drop your offering into the offering plate, are you consciously doing it as an act of worship?

Hebrews 13:15,16.

The sacrifice of giving pleases God. The words "well pleasing" are used regarding the sacrifices here, "Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased." We please God both with our lips and our giving.

A sweet smelling savour.

Philippians 4:10-19.

I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength. 14 Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles. 15 Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; 16 for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. 17 Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account. 18 I have received full payment and have more than enough. I am amply supplied, now that I have received from Epaphroditus the gifts you sent. They are a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, pleasing to God. 19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

A sweet smelling savour.

The free will offering given is pleasant to God, but bear in mind.

Heart attitude (motive) is more important than what we sacrifice.

1 Cor 13:3.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

Obedience Is better than sacrifice.

1 Samuel 15:22

“Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the LORD? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.

Leviticus 26:27,31.

“And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me; . . . I will not smell the savour of your sweet odours”

Living Sacrifice

In the Old Testament times, animals were sacrificed. Dead animals will not do anymore. Today, we as Christians are the sacrifice.

Romans 12:1.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service”

A sweet smelling savour.

Proverbs 27: 9.

“Oil and perfume rejoice the heart; so does the sweetness of a friends counsel that comes from the heart.”

Do you love your brother’s enough to tell them that they smell or their breath stinks.

Ezekiel 3:18-21.

When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood.

“Again, when a righteous person turns from their righteousness and does evil, and I put a stumbling block before them, they will die. Since you did not warn them, they will die for their sin. The righteous things that person did will not be remembered, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the righteous person not to sin and they do not sin, they will surely live because they took warning, and you will have saved yourself.”

A sweet smelling savour.

A fly in the ointment

Meaning

A small but irritating flaw that spoils the whole.

Origin

These days ointments are chiefly for medicinal use - just the thing for rubbing on that nasty rash. In earlier times, ointments were more likely to be creams or oils with a cosmetic or ceremonial use. Literally, ointment was the substance one was anointed with. There is considerable anointing in Bible stories and it isn't surprising therefore that this phrase has a biblical origin.

Ecclesiastes 10:1 (King James Version) has:

"Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour."

A sweet smelling savour.

We tend to overlook and ignore “small sins”, but Jesus spoke of the false doctrine of the Pharisees as leaven, and just a little has a great effect.

Even in the Jewish Passover leaven symbolizes sin and has to be removed completely from the house.

Song of Solomon 2:14,15.

My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely. Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom. .

A sweet smelling savour.

Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Dead flies - Any putrefaction spoils perfume; and so a foolish act ruins the character of him who has the reputation of being wise and good. Alas! in an unguarded moment how many have tarnished the reputation which they were many years in acquiring! Hence, no man can be said to be safe, till he is taken to the paradise of God.

So doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour; a good name is like precious ointment, valuable and fragrant; sin, which is folly, is like a dead fly; not only light and mean, and base and worthless, but hurtful, deadly, and the cause of death; and what may seem little, a peccadillo, or, however, one single act of sin, may injure the character of a wise and honourable man, and greatly expose him to shame and contempt, and cause him to stink in the nostrils of men.

A sweet smelling savour.

Thus the affair of Bathsheba, what a slur did it bring on the character of David, so famous for wisdom and honour, for religion and piety? and the idolatry of Solomon, the wisest of men; Jehoshaphat, that good king, entering into affinity with Ahab; and pious Josiah going to war with the king of Egypt, contrary to the word of the Lord; with many other instances.

This teaches how careful men eminent for gifts and grace should be of their words and actions; since the least thing amiss in them is easily discerned, and soon taken notice of, as the least speck in a diamond, or spot in fine linen, clean and white.

One of the names of Satan is Beelzebub, the lord of a fly; who, by his temptations, solicits to sin and folly, which produce the effect here mentioned, and therefore to be shunned as a deadly fly in the ointment.

A sweet smelling savour.

Before Israel existed, God "smelled" the smoke of animal sacrifices as an "odour of sweet smell."

For example, one the first things Noah did when he left the ark was to offer many animal sacrifices to God (Genesis 8:20,21).

After Israel existed, incense played a key, important role in Jewish worship.

There was an altar of incense used to burn incense in the tabernacle and later the temple (Exodus 30).

On the day of atonement, if the most holy place was not filled with the smoke and aroma of incense before the high priest entered, he died (Leviticus 16:13).

Some "smell" had to mask the stench of sin when God's people approached Him.

Throughout the entire Old Testament, smells and aromas were an extremely important part of worship.

To honour God, you had to approach Him with sweet, soothing aromas.

Only the right aroma could remove the stench of evil in sinful people.

A sweet smelling savour.

After the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, those who trust Christ are the soothing, sweet smelling aroma that God "smells."

In 2 Corinthians 2:14-16, Paul used a known experience to teach a powerful point.

But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things?

A sweet smelling savour.

In the time of crisis a Roman general took several Roman legions and attacked the enemy.

When the war ended, the victorious Roman general and his troops would return to the city of Rome.

To honour the general and to celebrate the victory, Rome would have what they called the triumphal march.

The whole city would line the parade route.

The streets were lined with burners that produced clouds of incense.

All the defeated, condemned captives were paraded through the streets with the general and his troops.

To those captives, the clouds of incense were the horrible smell of death.

To the victorious Romans, the clouds of incense was the wonderful smell of victory.

A sweet smelling savour.

In Paul's illustration:

God organizes the triumphal march.

Christ is the conquering general.

To all people who accept Christ's liberation and salvation, the incense is the aroma of freedom from sin and death.

They have been freed.

The smell is the sweet smell of holiness and purity produced by liberation from the power of evil.

To them, Jesus Christ is the aroma of life.

But to all people who love ungodliness, evil, and the unholy, the incense is the aroma of certain death.

They are the soldiers of evil marching to their eternal deaths.

They hate holiness, and purity, and Christ, and God.

To them, Jesus Christ is the aroma of death.

We sinful people get used to the smell of evil, but the holy God never does.

We humans get so accustomed to the smell of common evils that we do not "smell" them.

The ungodliness that we classify as horrible has an awful odour.

The ungodliness that is common place all around us has less odour all the time.

The ungodliness that is acceptable does not even have an odour.

The ungodliness that we find pleasurable actually smells good to us.

A sweet smelling savour.

Consider some illustrations.

To many Christians, homosexual acts, prostitution, rape, forced human bondage, incest, abortion, murder, and violent crime have a horrible odour that really turns most Christians off.

Many can't stand to be around "those kinds of people."

Many believe the gospel cannot help "those kinds of people."

To many Christians, adultery, "living together" arrangements, "one night" stands, white collar crime, recreational drugs, and gambling have some odour--but the odour is not that bad.

It would be bad to do those things openly.

But if we can do those things secretly and quietly with "the right people," its okay--“ no big deal."

A sweet smelling savour.

To many Christians, deceit, greed, jealousy, selfish ambition, and hate do not have an odour, but those who wrote the New Testament, who understood Jesus and his teachings said:

Deceiving a person insults God (Matthew 5:33-37).

Greed is idolatry, an act of worship to a false god (Colossians 3:5).

Jealousy and selfish ambition are ungodly arrogance (James 4:14).

Hate nourishes murder and destroys eternal life (1 John 3:15).

To many Christians, "getting high" on alcohol, "getting high" on recreational drugs, entertainment that is sexually stimulating, unholy experiences that give pleasure, vulgar language, and immoral jokes actually smell good.

"Those things are just a part of life."

"If they don't smell bad to me, they cannot possibly smell bad to God."

A sweet smelling savour.

In the Judaism of the New Testament and the early centuries beyond, a man could divorce his wife but a woman could not divorce her husband.

A few exceptions were allowed.

In the exceptions, the woman could not actually divorce her husband, but she could demand that her husband divorce her.

If my memory is correct, there were five circumstances in which a wife could force her husband to divorce her.

I remember one clearly.

If her husband's occupation was tanning animal hides, she could demand a divorce.

Tanning animal hides was a process that involved horrible odours.

The stench was so penetrating that the odour actually permeated his skin.

Literally, the odour could not be washed off--no matter how much he cleaned himself, even when he could not smell the odour, he still stunk.

If his wife could not tolerate the odour, she could demand a divorce.

A sweet smelling savour.

We lived in West Africa for four years.

After three years, some of our African friends felt close enough to us to be quite honest instead of kindly polite.

Once we asked them what was the most difficult thing they did with the missionaries.

They said the hardest thing they had to do was visit us in our homes.

Shocked, we asked why.

Respectfully, they replied, "You people smell so bad. The odour is almost more than we can take."

How ironic! We bathed every day, used deodorant every day, we used lotions, and we put on clean clothes every day.

We had showers; they did not. We could afford deodorant and lotions; they could not; we could afford to buy enough clothes to change frequently; they could not.

Yet, we were the ones who smelled so bad they had trouble coming into our homes.

We did not stink to us--we smelled good to us. Yet, we smelled awful to them.

Why? Because of our diet.

Missionaries ate a lot of meat; we could afford to.

They could not afford meat very often.

When you eat a lot of meat, your body secretes offensive odours in societies where most people do not eat meat.

A sweet smelling savour.

The spiritual truth:

Every human stinks to God. Sin makes us stink. There is enough evil ingrained in all of us to make each of us give off a horrible odour to God. Our diet included evil every day of our lives, and the evil makes us stink to God.

Only one thing can remove the odour: God's forgiveness administered through Jesus' cleansing blood. When a person trusts God's acts in Jesus' death, the blood of Jesus removes the odour. God will remove the odour from any person who enters Jesus and lives in Jesus.

"Preacher, do you know what is wrong among Christians?

I'll tell you what is wrong. We have a huge behaviour problem in the church."

A sweet smelling savour.

I certainly agree that Christians have a huge behaviour problem, but that is not the foundation of our problems.

The foundation is this:

Too many Christians do not trust God. They were not baptized because they trusted God. Trust had little to do with their baptism. They did not want a holy or a pure life. They still do not want a holy or a pure life. They love some forms of evil. They want the smell of evil, not the smell of purity and holiness. To them, the greatest option in all life is to smell like evil and stay out of hell.

When you look at your personal holiness and purity, are they more important to you today than a year ago? Is your purpose to "get used" to the smell of evil in your life? Or, is the purpose to let God cleanse you every day of your life so that you have the smell of holiness and purity?

David Chadwell

A sweet smelling savour.

One day while walking along the wharf in Panama City, I saw a sign that read: "Old fishermen never die; they just smell that way!“

The sign reminds me of carnal Christianity that always has the smell of death about it. It stinks. It has a repulsive odour.

We have an idiom in the English language that says, "Something does not smell right here.“ However, there is something refreshing when a beautiful young woman comes into a room wearing an elegant fragrant perfume. The aroma does not over power you, but when she leaves the sweet fragrance lingers on for a while.

So it is with genuine Christianity. Those who love the Lord Jesus emit a lovely aroma.

That distinctive sweet smell is the Spirit of God bearing His fruit in the lives of believers. There are Spirit-filled congregations all around the world that have that distinctive fragrance of the presence of Christ filling them. It is a rich bouquet of the fruit of the Spirit.

A sweet smelling savour.

Your only likely brush with death has been in a hospital where leaking body fluids are immediately contained and quickly flushed away. The floors are scrubbed with disinfectant. The plastic coated mattresses are washed. Air conditioning runs night and day to drag out the first stench of death and disease.

Little wonder you would have no knowledge of how death smells in our isolated world today. We (today) don't even smell rotten tomatoes very often. You have probably never chanced upon the mortal remains of a dead cow sacrificed so that a tender rump roast might grace your plate. Little wonder then you cannot imagine a smell that smoulders on still and magnifies in the eddies of air. I have slaughtered my own deer, cows, pigs, and chickens for meat. I have watched men bleed to death. With my bare fingers I have cleansed wounds crawling with maggots. I have operated on cows and horses. I have sewn dogs up and even sewed up a skunk or two that weren't the least bit happy with my generosity. And yet, the stench of death is something so much stronger it overpowers me, especially if it emanates from the remains of a human being left long untended.

A sweet smelling savor.

So I ask you again.

What do you smell like?

Have you done what God’s Word instructs us to?

James 4:4-10.

You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favour to the humble.”

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you.

Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

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COPYRIGHT INFORMATION

Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV:

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (www.Lockman.org)




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