Sunday morning my pastor preached a sermon on 2 Corinthians 2:14-15. I want to share a long part. This is not the entire sermon. This is just part of the sermon.
I did my best to it word for word from the CD. I did leave out a little in a few places.
2 Corinthians 2
14 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. 15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16 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? 17 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.
“Paul is speaking of his own ministry of preaching the gospel of Christ. He is speaking of himself as being a part of this triumphal procession.”
“The New International Version imagery is correct here. This is a triumphal procession such as they had in those days after a military conquest.”
“It is interesting that Paul compared the gospel and the spread of the gospel of Christ to a victorious procession. That would imply a previous triumph or defeat of enemies. So the gospel is the good news that there has been a war and Christ has emerged triumphant and victorious.”
“This knowledge of the victorious triumph of Christ is to spread everywhere so that all men can partake of this victory and rejoice in it and reign with the triumphant Christ. Because He is, triumphant He is now ruling over his enemies.
“The gospel gives men the opportunity to join this triumphant Christ and recognize him as supreme ruler now and enjoy his benevolent reign.
“That’s a wonderful way to think of the gospel, isn’t it?
“Something has happened leading up to this procession. A triumphant procession is a celebration of a march through a city proclaiming, shouting, extolling, and singing the praises of a victorious general …
The Romans were famous for this…
There is no doubt that is the picture presented.
“Paul goes on to say that we are to God the aroma of Christ. This is speaking about the amount of incense burned in the street by the people lining the street and by the people who are a part of the march. This is also suggestive. The Bible speaks of the incense of our prayers and praise.”
“The shouting is over the victory of Christ. This is something that has already taken place. They are not shouting over something that is to happen in the future when they celebrate a triumphal procession but of something that has already been completed.”
“Captives that are enemy combatants are also in the parade. They come along and chains and are treated with contempt and are now slaves of the victorious people.”
“Paul used that situation of a triumphal victorious army celebrating its victory with a lot of incense being burned in the celebration as a picture of the Gospel’ s triumph wherever he went.”
“This of course would include us because God leads us in triumphal procession in Christ we are not looking for victory. There has already been one.”
“We are not searching for, praying, for, begging for a victory. We are celebrating a victory wherever we go. Our General has defeated every foe and is reigning supreme. We have submitted ourselves to Him and are enjoying life and liberty and freedom from all oppression and deliverance from all those enemies who attacked us and held in bondage all these many years.”
“There are other places where Paul presents the Christian life as a combat, but you have to put this in there too. If there is a combat going on, it’s a mopping up operation. The real victory has been won.”
“We are celebrating. We are being led along in a triumphant procession everywhere in Christ. That is what the Christian life is, a triumphant procession from onr victory to another.”
” If there is a triumphal procession then we know that a victory has been won. There would be no triumphal procession if there had not been a general who has conquered an enemy and won a decisive and large victory.”
“The fragrance that is spreading everywhere in this procession is the knowledge of Christ; knowledge of Him. This fragrance that is spreading everywhere has two effects. Those who receive this knowledge come alive. This knowledge is a message that is being spread everywhere like a fragrance, and this message brings people to life in Christ. That is [the effect on] those who receive this gospel.”
[There is a second effect this message has.]
“There are always those who reject this message. To them it is a fragrance of death.”
“It is sometimes [difficult] to explain the opposite results. It is not because of the inherent nature of this fragrance, this knowledge of Christ. It is because of the reaction of the people, whether they receive it or not. Whether you receive the fragrance of the knowledge determines whether you live or whether you die.”
“We should not be thinking the gospel is successful only for those who receive it. It is also successful for those who reject it. It spells their doom. There hasn’t been enough emphasis on this an our day. People say that because the gospel is the good news we need to preach the Good News and leave out anything that is bad about anything. That is not true. The gospel is a pronouncement of good news to those who receive it, but to those who reject it, it is a pronouncement of their doom.”
5 He said to them,“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved,but whoever does not believe will be condemned.
” Everywhere Paul went he had two [results] from the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ. There were people who were brought to life by it and rejoice and entered the triumphal processionin as it were celebrating Christ’s victory marching with Him.
There were those who rejected it. Those opposed Paul and sought to kill him, thought to oppose his message, rejected his message, were angry at it. Both Jews and Gentiles. This had the effect of ensuring their doom. It wasn’t the Gospel that doomed anybody. It was their rejection of it that doomed them.”
” The Word of God in any form will do one of two things. It will make people better or it will make people worse. ”
“‘Make them worse? It will do everybody some good.'”
Therefore,since the promise of entering his rest still stands,let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it. 2 For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us,just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them,because they did not share the faith of those who obeyed..
“The word preached did not profit them. It was not mixed with faith in them who heard it.”
“For those who reject the word greater darkness takes place. No one can remain neutral.”
“No one can say, ‘Well if that’s for you that’s fine, but I think I’ll take some other way,'”
“Christians of today are more comfortable with that. Christians of today think, ‘Well, the Lord will open their eyes.'”
“There doesn’t seem to be an urgency that this person is making a choice and are turning from light to darkness and preferring the darkness to the light.”
“That choice has just as great of consequences as a person who turns from darkness to light and receives the message but for the worse, of course, not for the better for the worse.
“The gospel, the knowledge of Christ, like a fragrance of incense being spread everywhere does have this effect.”
” It is one of the reason they, unbelievers, would still like to shut us up and force us to submit to ungodly things. It is because we are a prick in their sides. We rub them the wrong way because they want to have pleasure in sin without conscience. They want to have pleasure in iniquity but without anyone having the audacity to insinuate guilt upon them.”
“So the homosexual community hate us with a passion and the lovers of iniquity love the homosexuals, not because the lovers of iniquity are righteous or because they are standing for freedom. The wicked love the homosexual because they too hate righteousness. Anyone who proclaimed righteousness is their enemy because it upsets them that someone should suggest that they are wicked; that they are ungodly; that they are perverts. They hate us for the knowledge of Christ left in us no matter how watered down that knowledge is.”
“They think and they wish, ‘ If we could read our cells of these people, we could pursue our pleasures without the guilt.'”
“You may ask, ‘you think they really think this way or are you just making this up?'”
“I’m not making this up. This is just what the Playboy philosopher Hugh Hefner has been saying for many decades.
“‘Please get to work having sex with whoever we want whenever we want. There’s a barrier to pass through that has been created by the Judeo Christian religion. Centuries of that has put guilt on us so that we can’t enjoy the rightful pleasures that are ours. So along with our freeing our souls from this guilt, we have to suppress these people and overcome them.'”
“There is a real battle going on.”
“Abortion is important to them for this reason. They can get rid of the human being that is produced by their lust. They can go on with their lives, they can continue to whore around, they can continue to have sex outside of marriage without any consequence.”
“Just the fact that there are people who are pro-life, who oppose abortion in any form is guilt to them. It messes up their party and spoil their fun to some degree.
” The knowledge of God in any aspect has this effect whether it is the gospel or the truth of God’s word about anything. It pronounces and foreshadows these people’s doom. It tells them that they are doomed for what they are doing.”
“They [the unbelievers] hate the knowledge of God and this reaction to the knowledge of God hastens their doom and ensures their doom is greater than it would have been had they not known.
” Jesus said that about Capernaum and all the miracles done there. ‘You people are going to have a harder time at the day of judgement then the people of Sodom and Gomorrah because if they had heard what I am preaching they would have repented long ago. So your not repenting and believing my message is ensuring a greater doom, a greater judgement, then the people of Sodom and Gomorrah will receive.'”
22 But I tell you,it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. 23 And you,Capernaum,will you be lifted to the heavens? No,you will go down to Hades. [a] For if the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom,it would have remained to this day. 24 But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you.”
” All of the gospel that has been preached in this country has had the same effect as what I am preaching about here from Paul. It is not that the gospel hasn’t been successful. It has been successful BUT SUCCESS DOES NOT MEAN EVERYBODY WILL BELIEVE THE GOSPEL.
” It means as Paul says here, doom for those who don’t receive it. That is one of the effects the gospel has.”
“Of course in our country the more the knowledge of God that has been sent forth the greater the doom will be for the people of the United States.
You might say, “‘ Well, Pastor, we’re not as bad as those other countries.'”
I beg to differ about that but even if you were right, THERE IS NO GREATER SIN THEN AN OUTRIGHT REJECTION OF THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD; NO GREATER SIN.”
The people who have greater light and rejected their rejection of the gospel has greater consequence than those who have lesser light and rejected it.
Hebrews 2:3 how shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation,which was first announced by the Lord,was confirmed to us by those who heard him.
“How shall America escape the judgment of God on this score alone.”