For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing.
2 Corinthians 2:15
Whenever the Romans won a major military victory they would celebrate with a spectacular parade. The commandinggeneral would lead the procession in a magnificent chariot, followedby his soldiers, musicians, and other officials. Then, soldiers wouldlead the defeated enemies through the city in bondage. As a part of the celebration, the Romans would burn fragrances on altars, filling the entire city with a pleasant aroma. Even those who could notwitness the triumphal procession could hear the victory music andsmell the pleasing incense. Everyone would know that their army hadbeen victorious.
The special fragrance came to symbolize victory toanyone who smelled it. Paul used this vivid imagery to describe theeffect that Christians should have in the world. According to Paul,God permeates our lives with the fragrance of the knowledge of Christ.Everywhere we go, our lives should demonstrate to others that Christis victorious. As unbelievers observe our lives, they should becomeaware of the victorious power of Christ. As other Christians witnessthe victory Christ gives us over our sin, they can rejoice in thetriumph of their Lord and gain confidence that Christ will bringvictory in their lives as well. The most compelling evidence thatChrist is alive and triumphant is His activity in the lives of Hispeople. It is a privilege to be the fragrance of Christ by whichothers learn of God’s life-changing power over sin. Your life ought tobe convincing proof that God continues to work powerfully in the livesof His people.