As promised, this is the second part from this morning's post. I am sorry for splitting it into two posts, but I do think it will be beneficial. If you haven't read Part 1, please click here and read Part 1 before moving forward with this one.
Back to Ephesians 5:2: As we walk in Love, we are to do a few specific things: walk in love as Christ loved us; give ourselves as He gave Himself; and be a sweet smelling aroma.
2 Corinthians 2:14-16 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. (15) For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. (16) 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?
These three scriptures in 2 Corinthians are packed with things. First, God ALWAYS leads us in triumph over victories in Christ. We know our victory is in Christ because Jesus said apart from Him we can do nothing (John 15:5). The scriptures above also touch on the sweet smelling aroma we saw in Ephesians.
Do any of you use diffusers in your home, such as a scentsy or even scented candles? They are designed to send your selected fragrance throughout the room they are placed in to changed the way the room smells. So, not only does our victory sit in Christ and not anything of our own doing, God also diffuses the fragrance of HIM through us. What do people smell when they approach you? Has the fragrance, sweet smelling aroma of Christ, so permeated your heart, mind, and soul that all anyone can sense when they interact with you is the aroma of Christ? Has His love, grace, and mercy changed your aroma? It should have. To anyone that sees us we either smell like the path leading to life or we smell like the path leading to death. Whoa. Which aroma are you diffusing into the air around you? The aroma of your old man, or the aroma of your New Man?
Now, let's look at Ephesians 5:5:
Ephesians 5:5 For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.
Inheritance means an "heirship or a possession." Without changing our behavior and without imitating our Father in heaven, then we run the risk of losing our inheritance of the Kingdom. I said in the earlier post that this is a tough, difficult, hard life we live. Jesus never promised easy; He only promised He would be with us through every moment of this life. Sometimes we forget we are at war with a real enemy. We forget that we are to take up our weapon (The Sword of the Spirit) and we are to fight the enemy with the word. This includes ensuring our inheritance in the Kingdom. Paul said we are to crucify our flesh (Romans 8:13). Jesus said
Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me."
The cross is a symbol of His crucifixion. It was a violent, painful death. It can hurt to pull up, pull off, remove the deeds of the flesh that are preventing us from the inheritance that is ours. You know, the Word also says:
Matthew 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.
It is not any easy thing. Jesus said above that the violent take the Kingdom by force. Our obedience in moving through this life as imitators of God and as a people who desire to see the will of our Father fulfilled in this life, must be violent in our actions with this enemy that threatens to steal away from us what is rightfully ours.
Ephesians 5:6-7 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. (7) Therefore do not be partakers with them.
Our world is fulled with deceivers. There are those are intentional deceivers and there are those that are unintentional through their misuse and misappropration of the Word. We must always guard our hearts and minds so that we are not decieved. John said we are to test the spirits to ensure we are listening to the Holy Spirit and not a spirit that does not come from the Lord.
Just like any parent, there is punishment for disobedience. Disobedience in this context means obstinate and rebellious in unbelief. I know, what a taboo thing to say after all God is love. Yes, God is Love. God is Peace. God is Mercy. God is all things because in Him all things exist (Colossians 1:16). In fact, the Word goes on to say above that we are not to even be partakers with those who deceive. We are not to partake so we can remain obedient in the ways of Him. Deception skews what we know and what we practice. It leads us astray and off the narrow path that so few find (Matthew 7:14).
What does any of this have to do with walking in love as the City on a Hill? Out of God's love for us, everything else is borne. It is the first Fruit of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5. It is the greatest of the commandments. Out of faith, hope and love, the greatest is love. There is nothing we can do in the Kingdom, as an ambassador of the kingdom without first having love within us that mimics, or imitates, the Love of God that He demonstrated by sending His Only Son to lay down His life so that we all, those appointed that have believed, might find everlasting life in Him. How do we become that sweet smelling aroma without first having love? Jesus said
John 12:49-50 "For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. (50) And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak."
Jesus is our example. He also said that because Jesus knew the Father's command is everlasting life, He would speak just as the Father has told Him to speak. Jesus only spoke what the Father told Him to. He did what the Father told Him to do. We are to imitate that example. We are to imitate, as children, the things the Father says for us to do and the things we are to speak. That is how we become the sweet smelling aroma of the love of our Father, and how we walk in the Love of our Father, in a world that is lost and dying.
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