When you read the above verse, what single word or phrase leaps off the page? Is it ‘Thanks be to God,’ or, ‘leads in triumph,’ or simply, ‘Christ,’ or ‘fragrance?’ For me, the word that makes this verse commanding, energizing the rest of the passage is the word ‘always.’
I like Noah Webster’s definition from his 1828 dictionary. In it he defines the word as: ‘Perpetually; throughout all time; as, God is always the same.’ Isn’t that just perfect? If we haven’t already realized it, we should be thankful to God always because He always leads us in triumph of Christ. That should give the enthusiastic and committed born-again believer a great deal of peace, especially in light of the next two verses from the same chapter.
For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? 2 Corinthians 2:15-16
See the big picture lest you become discouraged. While it is true that we are the fragrance of Christ to some, to others we are the aroma of death. ‘Aroma of death?’ Where is the triumph in that; the previous verse proclaims that God always leads us in triumph.
This is the place where we must shift our focus; we must take our eyes off others and turn them back to Jesus. The triumph is not the transformed sinner; the triumph in this scenario is the Christian who is submitted to do His will. My friends, we are God’s enduring triumph! God’s triumphant when we are obedient; what happens beyond that is not reckoned into this equation. This is tremendously freeing!
So when we share a testimony or bear witness to Christ Jesus, the burden (we lay on ourselves) has been lifted. The victory was claimed by God when we simply obeyed. We can now freely share our faith having the weight-of-consequence removed from our shoulders. While it is true that to some we will always stink, to God we will always smell magnificent. Praise be to God!
Quoting the Old Testament, the Apostle Paul declares in Romans 10:15, ‘How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!’ For good reason the passage does not read, ‘How beautiful are the feet of them that win converts.’ We’re called to make disciples for certain, but no where in the Bible does God lay a guilt trip on us regarding success in that endeavor. Whatever the result we are always led in triumph! Don’t for get that.