Maybe you are like me. When you were a kid, maybe the smells and aromas of the world were a bit, shall we say, intense? Maybe when some kid got sick in the hallway (was I the only one who had a principal announce to the entire school that someone had upchucked?) Maybe while sitting in the backseat of the car you would be overpowered by the scent of a freshly killed skunk. Maybe you would bury your nose deep into the cushions of the car until you could smell that aroma no longer.
My son, Andrew, had quite the nose when he was a young. He would smell something bad and one thing would come out of his mouth: What’s that smelly???
The funny thing is that as I have gotten older my sense of smell has decreased. Not only that, but the more you are surrounded by a smell, the less you smell it. You might call it olfactory fatigue. The smell just seems to go away.
Is that the way it is with the aroma we give off spiritually? Paul tells that we have two aromas. The first is an aroma of death. This makes sense since we were dead before Christ saved us. We carry this smell of death with us. I think we notice it as children, but the longer we carry it with it, we no longer even notice the smell of death upon us.
However, when Christ rescues us from death, we carry the aroma of life. Life exudes from us. We carry the smell of life. The difference is I don’t think this aroma brings the fatigue of death. People notice it. You smell it. It’s difficult to not notice it.
We all carry an aroma with us. It will be the aroma of life or the aroma of death. Which one are you carrying?
What’s that smelly you are carrying?
Today in my recap of John, I am focusing on two verses: John 20: 30-31. John winds up this chapter with a summary of why he wrote this gospel and in turn gives us a good reason for how we should go about sharing the Gospel with others.
First, John says that Jesus did many other things than what was written in this particular Gospel. Sometimes, I think, we believe that we see everything that Jesus did for those three years that he performed his public ministry. If we stop and think about it, we should realize that we really just get snapshots of certain things Jesus did. It makes me wonder what other specific things He taught the disciples and what other amazing miracles He performed. The important thing is that I remember that what is written in John and the other Gospels is what God wants us to know about the life of His Son. That is enough for me.
Next, John sets up why he wrote what he wrote. He wrote this so that his readers would believe. He wasn’t writing a piece of fiction. He wasn’t simply writing a historical account. Josephus did that by mentioning Jesus in his history book. John wrote the Gospel of John so that his readers would believe that Jesus is the Christ.
Believing was a central theme from the beginning of the Gospel. In chapter one, John wrote that those who received Christ and believe in His name would be children of God.
In John 3, those who believe in Him will not perish but have eternal life.
In John 10, those who are not His sheep do not believe. It seems that His sheep believe.
John writes what he writes so that his readers will believe. Believing is the first step.
John wants his readers to believe that Jesus is the Christ. By believing this fact, his readers would have life.
Again, along with believing, life is a central theme of John’s Gospel.
In chapter 1, John says that in Him was life.
In chapter 3, those who believe will have eternal life.
In chapter 6, He is the bread of life.
In chapter 8, He is the Light of life.
In chapter 10, He came so that the sheep would have life, and have it abundantly.
Jesus came so that we would have life. Eternal life. Abundant life.
This is John’s aim. That we would believe. That we would have life in Christ. Eternal life in Christ. Abundant life in Christ.
This should be our aim in sharing the Gospel. Not that people would join our churches or our classes or fellowships. But that they would believe and know Christ , who gives them life.
Most of my posts are based on questions that I ask myself. I don’t consider myself all that different from most people, so I believe that these questions are applicable to everyone else. Here are three questions that I think we should all ask ourself from time to time and perhaps ask others.
Do I want to be saved from my sins or the penalty of my sins?
Too often we trample the gift of salvation that God has given us through His Son.
We accept His free gift of salvation, but we don’t want anything to change in our lives. We want to say, “Thank you, Lord. Now, I’ll go about my business.”
We want to be saved from the penalty of our sins. However, we don’t want to be saved from our sins themselves. After all, we’re forgiven, right?
Do I love God or the life He has given me?
Which is more important to us? God Himself? Or the life He has given us?
Do we simply want this special life where we are blessed by marriage, family, job and whatever else we can think of? Or is God our ultimate aim?
Do I love life or the Life?
There is an old Country song that says,”Everyone wants to go to Heaven, but nobody wants to die.”
Jesus said that He is the Life.
Paul said that to live is Christ, to die is gain.
The question is are we holding so tight to this life that we don’t want to truly know Life?
The stone was rolled away.
Death has no more victory.
Death has no more sting.