31 August 2011

The Savor of His Knowledge

Came across a passage that piqued my interest this morning. 

2 Corinthians 2:14 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 still have some questions about the verses that follow (15-16), where the Bible says that we are a sweet savor unto God of Christ, in them that are saved and in them that perish (the unsaved), to the one the savor of death unto death, and to the other the savor of life unto life. 

I have some thoughts on these verses.  I’ve read some thoughts on these verses.  And I’d like your thoughts on these verses.

But back to verse 14, notice three things.

1.  The savor of His knowledge is made manifest by us.

Savor is defined as the taste or smell of something.  A savor is a distinctive quality of something; or that which renders something valuable. 

Basically, the statement serves as a reminder that you, Christian, are the only Bible that some people will ever read.  Your life, your testimony, your witness will be the only taste of the knowledge of God that many people ever get.  You are a representative of Jesus Christ in every place that you go.  What the people you know (lost or saved) think about Bible Christianity will in a large part be determined by what you say and what you do.  Everywhere you go, you’re giving off an aroma for people to associate with the knowledge of God. 

And so the question is this: What kind of odor are you giving off?  What taste have you left in the mouths of those that know you represent Jesus Christ?  What is the distinctive quality of your witness, of your testimony, of your preaching?

2.  God wants us to make Him known in every place.

The statement is that we manifest the savor of His knowledge in every place (point # 1).  That’s the reality of the situation, and a great responsibility.

But is it not also true that God has commanded us to make Him known in every place, and is that not also a great responsibility?  Two applications here.
First of all, missions.  God is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9).  God is willing that all should be saved (1 Timothy 2:4).  Our commission is to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15).  Our calling is to teach all nations (Matthew 28:19).  Our commandment is to be His witnesses unto uttermost part of the earth (Acts 1:8).  God wants the savor of His knowledge made manifest in every place (2 Corinthians 2:14).  So what are you doing to reach the world with the gospel?

And secondly, our personal witness.  Paul made some amazing missionary journeys and made Christ known in a lot of places.  But He didn’t personally go to every place.  The statement here is that every place Paul went, He gave people a taste of the knowledge of God.  So the challenge for us is to be a 24/7 Christian.  To be a round the clock witness.  To take the knowledge of God everywhere we go.  To take the knowledge of God to the school house and tell the people there about Jesus.  To speak up for the Lord at the workplace.  To leave the clerk at the counter with a gospel tract.  To be His witness in your neighborhood.  To never go off duty.  To never miss an opportunity to give someone the gospel. 

3.  We need the power of God.

In light of this great responsibility – making manifest the savor of His knowledge in every place – the Bible says, “And who is sufficient for these things?” (verse 16).  The answer is in chapter 3, verse 5: “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.”

Looking more closely at 2:14, the wording points to the fact that only does God cause us to triumph in Christ (hallelujah) but that God is the one who makes manifest the savor of his knowledge.  He just uses us to do it.    

So I’m not dependent on my own ability, my own strength, my own power.  And good thing.  Because I am terribly insufficient.  I have a great responsibility, but I also have a great God who works in me both to will and to do of his good pleasure (Philippians 2:13) and always causes me to triumph in Christ (verse 14). 

Verse 17 says, “but as of God…speak we in Christ.”  I am to be a powerful witness.  I am to have a powerful testimony.  But God supplies the power.  So I need to walk with Him.  I need to yield to Him.  I need to trust in Him.  I need to obey Him.  And He’ll give me the power I need to represent Him properly (Ephesians 3:16-21).