New Creation
From You Version

What does it say? 

To believers, the gospel is the fragrance of life. To those outside of Christ, it has the smell of death. 

What does it mean? 

Verse fourteen is an analogy of Christ as a Roman general leading his followers through the city, burning incense to signify victory. The smell was either sweet or a stench, depending on one’s loyalty to the general and his cause. Likewise, one’s response to Jesus results in either life or death. For followers of Christ, life on Earth leads to eternal life in Heaven. But the gospel of Jesus also means future judgment for unbelievers, leaving the aroma of death. Paul doesn’t view his responsibility to preach the gospel as a profession but as a God-given task and privilege. 

How should I respond? 

What kind of inner reaction do you have while hearing or reading about the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus? If you are a follower of Christ, you feel acceptance and gratitude rather than condemnation. Your response to the message of Jesus is the single most important decision you’ll ever make. How have you responded? When you stand before Jesus, He will be either your victorious general or your judge. Like Paul, it is every believer’s privilege to tell the story of Jesus. To whom is God prompting you to share the gospel?

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