Sacrificial Scents

“Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1-2

Have you ever heard of an Odor Judge? I had not heard of the official title until I googled “armpit sniffers.” Do you know what an Odor Judge is now? Actually, people with sensitive noses have gross jobs but usually get paid very well for their efforts in sniffing armpits, breath (human and dog), and various paper products.

In Ephesians 5, we see a sacrifice (Jesus Christ) being offered up to God. Christ’s sacrifice is one of love and self-abandonment for the sake of God’s plan for the salvation of men! His sacrifice is described as a fragrant offering—sweet smelling. The fragrance of this incredible sacrifice of Christ is a sign of acceptance from God. Ultimately, Christ is the greatest example of obedience to God’s plan and the result was a sweet smell to God.

My sacrifice has a much different odor. I say this for two reasons. First, I am a sinner. My heart naturally does not want to serve Christ in obedience. I would rather do my own thing—and I have for much of my life. Even as a Christian, I can’t imagine the stench of my “sacrifice” to God. I messed up (sinned) in high school, college, after college, and so on. I sin every day and still fight sin. I will be that way until I die. Not great news, huh? Second, I need God’s forgiveness through Christ’s sacrifice. The sin that I love to do, fight to do, wait to do, lie to do—it is forgiven by my God! It is amazing that among so many failures, God still loves me. Through my failures Christ offers forgiveness. Now, I am free! Free to live in a way that pleases God and honors the sacrifice of Christ.

What about you? Usually the sin of impurity is dark and heavy. We carry it around under a forced smile and seek for God’s hand in our life. We wonder if God will ever use us as intended. We become fearful of the future and assume that God is unloving and will reject our plea for restoring. That is the perfect plan of Satan. He wants you to be guilty. He wants you to fail. He wants you to think you are stuck. He wants you to be satisfied with a mediocre, sinful life. Who is the answer to this problem? God. Maybe you are carrying around a load of relentless guilt. I would encourage you to seek out a godly person in your life who will help you overcome the “stench” of sinful habits with care and biblical guidance. The funny thing is, you know if this is you. You love God, but search for answers. You seek God, but cry out to Him in your loneliness. This is not new. You are not an exception. Look outside yourself to the obedient sacrifice of Christ, and claim His perfect work as the power to overcome your sin and guilt—this is your obedient sacrifice to God—and you will be a sweet smell to Him!

–Mr. Ryan Dupee
Clearwater Christian College

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