no sufficiency in ourselves, all sufficiency in Christ

When I came to Troas to proclaim the good news of Christ, a door was opened for me in the Lord; but my mind could not rest because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I said farewell to them and went on to Macedonia.

But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads in every place the fragrance that comes from knowing him. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things? For we are not peddlers of God’s word like so many; but in Christ we speak as persons of sincerity, as persons sent from God and standing in his presence.

2 Corinthians 2:12-17

What Paul says here was certainly beyond him and us. None of us begins to have in ourselves “the aroma of Christ.” It’s not like all we have and are is bad. We have our foibles, weaknesses, even propensities to sin, along with good points from being God’s image bearers. But what is spoken of here is referring to Christ himself, and Christ’s presence with, through, and in us by the Spirit.

Again this is not something we can conjure up ourselves. Our goal is to be in the presence of Christ and then something of that presence will come to others. We don’t want people to see us, but only Christ. For that to be the case, we need to see Christ ourselves, as we seek to faithfully go about our daily tasks, and grow in Christ-likeness through the fits and starts, progressions and setbacks, in everything. Sincerely seeking to live as those who follow Christ. Along with others. In and through Jesus.

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