Perhaps the greatest travesty in the history of Protestant, biblicist, conservative evangelical churches is our confusion in giving off “an aroma of death unto death” when thinking we give off “the aroma of life unto Life.” What is the litmus test against this confusion?
A. To realize YOU (“self”) are not sufficient to give off the proper fragrance. (V. 16)
B. To note the proper fragrance is defined as “KNOWLEDGE OF HIM,” and it is “the aroma of Christ [reconciling us] to God” (vv. 14-15).
That is, we cannot be scented with the fragrance, which attracts people to Christ, unless we are exuding relational knowledge of Jesus (who reconciles is to God) at every turn. There’s a humility in that (e.g. I’m the one in need; others are deserving of more honor than me).
In application: If we are not exalting Christ in order to favor of our non-essential, denominational, pet doctrines and particular brand of ‘Churchianity,’ then we are merely “peddlers” of our own opinions, and we stink like rotting corpses to everyone & to God.
(2 Corinthians 2:14-17)