There are many people who don’t like garlic because of one notorious attribute: the smell. People notice when you have been eating garlic, or at least a lot of it. The aroma seems to pour out of every pore in your skin. There is no controlling it; you simply give off this smell wherever you go following such a meal.
It seems that the impact of the gospel in our lives is like eating garlic. If the gospel is alive in us, we should smell like love to our neighbors; we should be able to pass a ‘smell test.’ The Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 2:14–16 writes, ‘But thanks be to God, who … manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life.’ The gospel, in Paul’s word, has a distinct aroma….
…..It is easy to read the Bible as a collection of God’s activities throughout history, but the Bible is a narrative birthed out of dynamic relationships. The aroma of the gospel is mediated through these relationships as people do life together. Attitudes, character qualities, and even service are experienced in daily interactions, in faith communities including churches.
May it be that others recognize the aroma of Christ in us. And if we find we smell bad, may God grant us the grace to acknowledge that, to repent and seek forgiveness as Christ washes us with water and the Word.
Dr. Bogunjoko comes from the ECWA Church in Nigeria, a denomination which SIM helped to plant. Just about 120 years after three pioneer SIM missionaries set foot on African soil, God has chosen a Nigerian to be the first non-Western International Director to lead SIM. This is to be highly commended for its bold statement of the future direction of the global mission movement.”