For many years when I was asked if I had a favorite Bible verse I would quickly respond with Paul’s words from his letter to the Corinthian church recorded in 2 Corinthians 2:14. I love the way that the verse reads in the King James Version of the Bible: “Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.” I love the assurance of ALWAYS being triumphant in Christ. But there is much more going on here with Paul for which we, too, can be thankful.
Here is the scripture in a broader context from the English Standard Version of the Bible:
2 Corinthians 2:14-17 (ESV) – 14 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. 15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, 16 to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.
During his reign as Consul of the Roman Empire Julius Caesar (100 BC – 44 BC) re-birthed the city of Corinth restoring it to a level of grandeur that had not been experienced in over one hundred years. Corinth was a city of great commerce and diversity populated by people from all over the Mediterranean. Corinth was open to all types of religious belief and practice. Paul spent more than a year and a half there founding and growing a strong Christian church. But after Paul’s departure, some in the church allowed pagan ideas and practices to become an accepted and tolerated part of their Christian worship. This grieved Paul so greatly that it brought him to tears.
While Paul was openly discouraged, he was not in any way defeated. He was proud of those followers who held strongly to their faith in the face of doctrinal adversity. He thanked God profusely for leading his faithful followers in triumphal procession, spreading the fragrant aroma of Christ to everyone. What a blessing to know without question that Christ always leads us in triumphal procession!
Lord God Almighty (El Shaddai), our Sustainer, our Provider, we offer our Thanksgiving Praise to You for ALWAYS leading us through Christ in triumphal procession. May we go about our lives spreading the sweet aroma of Jesus to everyone. Lord use us as men and women of sincerity to lead others to Jesus. Amen and Amen.
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