In today s NT reading, Paul starts a “great digression,” dropping his narrative in verse 13 and picking it up five chapters later (7:5-7)! There’s a big change in tone between verse 13 and verse 14. What happened that Paul was able to shift from not finding peace to praising God?
In chapter 7, we hear Paul finish his story. He was finally able to connect with Titus, who told him that the truth of the gospel had won out in the hearts of the Corinthian church. There was repentance, there was care, there was restoration. Praise God!
This adds so much color to Paul’s word picture in 2:14-17: knowing the outcome underscores Paul’s assertion that the “aroma of the knowledge of Christ” changes everything. For those that are perishing, the gospel is a warning and a condemnation. For those that are being saved, the gospel is a life-giving fragrance — it stomps out sin, it allows healing in broken relationships, it helps us to focus on eternal things, where Christ has won the victory even though there are battles yet to fight here. 
This weekend, let’s continue the practice that pastor Craig speaks of: to preach the gospel to our hearts. Let’s allow the aroma of the knowledge of Christ to permeate us. To bring life into what is dead, to awaken what has fallen asleep. And then let us spread that aroma of the knowledge of Christ to those around us, wherever we find ourselves.

by Erik Brommers

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