Christians are a sweet essence of Christ. The best thing one can do for himself or herself is to know exactly who he or she is. In the book of Hosea 4:6, God laments that His people perish because of lack of knowledge. It becomes even more of a trouble when people don’t know that they don’t know.
Pauls in this portion of scripture tell Christians who they really are. Before he, Paul, tells his story, he appreciates God’s assistance for helping Christians overcome at all times. The New International Versions say ‘But thanks to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ…’ It must be noted that Paul had not seen these Christians before, but he writes the letter and tells of God’s assistance to triumph.
Defining a Triumphal Procession
Johanson’s commentary on the triumphal procession declares that the church at Corinthian had a clear understanding of what it meant. Triumphal processions were troops that came from a won battle. The captain of the army would be on board a chariot that separated the victorious troops and those that lost. The victorious would be in front and the defeated would be tied and following at the back. During the procession, volumes of essence would be burnt to draw attention from residents to come out of their houses to watch the procession. The essence would smell so strong and go a long way such that even those that were too far would know from the smell that their troops had won the battle.
The context on this portion of scripture is that Christ Jesus the Lord is the triumphant one. We Christians follow the triumphant one. He, Jesus Christ, has triumphed and not us. Paul himself is following after Christ who is on the chariot from His victory over all mankind. When Paul was conquered on his way to Damascus, he then followed this chariot. After that, Paul became a slave for Christ.
An example of Jesus Christ’s triumph is His victory over death. The grave could not keep Him. However, Christ’s triumphant procession is different because after you have been conquered, Christ does not tie you like they did but you are set free and follow Him willingly. All evil targets drop and His plans take over. The good news is that Jesus Christ triumphs over people’s lives even today, He can do it even over your life as you read this article.
God uses us, in all parts of the world, to spread His sweet essence of knowing Christ. Just as the essence was used in the olden days, God uses Christians. Christians should burn the essence in communities and everywhere in form of demonstrating a Christ like life. People should know that you are Christ’s own from your deeds, behaviour and through the words that you say. Your will should be conquered.
When you are conquered by Christ, God puts His sweet essence in your life. Your sweet essence first appeals to God (Verse 15) and to the people you live with. God is quick to smell a sweet essence even when people haven’t. God did the same in Paul’s life. When people rejected Paul, Ananias for example, God confirmed to Ananias that Paul had been converted already and now was a chosen vessel. God gets to know immediately when a person coverts to Christianity. Jesus says that Angels of God rejoices at one sinner that repents of his/her sin (Luke 15:10). Therefore, God knows and sees everyone who is in the triumphant procession.
Christians should know that non-believers or the community may resist Christianity if the sweet essence is not evident to those that claim to be Christ followers. God trust Christians to be a sweet essence in communities. Christians should stop gossiping, insulting others, hurt others with hard words, etc. the community is tired of Christians that only carry Bibles but not living a sweet essence life.
May it be true for Christians to preach the Gospel through an upright life. Today people want to see the Jesus Christ that changes lives, through the changed lives of Christians. That is what can lead to closure of Bottle Stores and non-Christ like social practices.
Knowing God is not knowing His works but meeting Him. Meeting Him is meeting Him through giving your life to His will. This is spiritually defined as joining the triumphant procession.