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September 17, 2023

Christ Will Spread the Gospel Aroma through You

Passage: Galatians 5:25-6:10

During this past week, specifically Tuesday through Thursday, I

was blessed with the opportunity to attend the CLC West-
Central Pastor Conference. This conference, much like any other

year, provided for me the opportunity of Bible study, mutual
edification through advice, and fellowship with pastors from
around the Dakota and Rocky Mountain areas. And although it
was a very wonderful experience for me, I will spare you the
details save one event. During these conferences, typically
Wednesday evening, the host congregation holds a communion
service. At this year’s communion service, the guest speaker
delivered a sermon that I appreciated highly, and I think you will
too. It was based on 2 Corinthians 2:14-17, which reads as
follows: “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? 17 For we are not, as so many,
peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God,
we speak in the sight of God in Christ.” In this 2 Corinthians
text the apostle Paul speaks about himself and his fellow
minsters of the word as diffusers of the pleasant aroma of the

Gospel of Christ. And as this same Gospel of Christ has been
passed down for generations, the guest speaker for the
conference communion service bore a similar encouraging
message for his fellow pastors. He drove home in my mind and
the minds of the pastors there that they are, by God’s grace
alone, diffusers of the Gospel and its sweet-smelling aroma.
This pastor’s sermon effectively lifted the spirits of the other
pastors in attendance at the very least and praying that at the
very most the Spirit has used that message to fuel the pastor’s in
their work to carry the Gospel further, uplifting their members
with the comfort of Christ.
Now, why did I want to share this experience with you?
Although the sermon I heard this past Wednesday was mostly
addressed toward me and my fellow pastors, I believe it can be
extended further. I believe that not only myself by God’s grace
can be a diffuser of God’s sweet-smelling aroma of Christ the
Savior, but that you, those reading, may also be the very same.
After all, what is one of the pastor’s functions? To equip the
saints for the working of ministry. In order to share with you this
blessing then, we read our sermon text for today which comes
from a different epistle written by the apostle Paul, Galatians
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. 26 Let us not
become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are
spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering
yourself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another's burdens,
and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks himself to

be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let
each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing
in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For each one shall bear his
own load. 6 Let him who is taught the word share in all good
things with him who teaches. 7 Do not be deceived, God is not
mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For
he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he
who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. 9
And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season
we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10 Therefore, as we have
opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of
the household of faith.
Therefore, with the message before you, Christ will let the sweet
aroma spread, not just through me, but also through you. Seeing
this we pray...
Now, in this sermon preached at the conference, the guest pastor
was very empathetic with his fellow pastors. He knew the very
pains that they went through on a week-to-week basis. He knew
that many things racked their minds, things like “I didn’t have
time to give my sermon and class prep their due diligence,” or
“Why is so and so not in church? I’ve talked to them how many
times now!” or “why can’t they see that what they’re doing or
what they believe in is unscriptural?” or “what if something
happens to one of the members while I’m away?” Obviously,
there are many more thoughts that rack a pastor’s mind, and they
can be tough; but if I’m being completely honest, I wonder how
their hardships compared to the other diffusers of the Gospel
aroma who came before them. Take Elijah in our Old Testament

reading for example. He lived off of ravens and a brook; he was
directed to share God’s will with sadistic royalty, people with
the power to kill him, to show them that they were dead wrong;
he ran for his life; and his faith was put to test as he was
supposed to rely on a poor, Gentile widow to take care of him.
Or take the disciples of Christ, who dropped all to follow Him.
Imagine the anxiety that they were tempted with day after day,
anxiety that would bring them to shame if they were to consider
the words of the Savior in the Gospel reading for today
(Matthew 6:24-34). And, of course, imagine St. Paul, who wrote
the epistle of Galatians and many more. A further reading of his
epistles will show you what he went through as a diffuser of the
Gospel. Seeing all this, you could make a case that what these
men went through was worse than what many pastors today go
Now I don’t mean to bring this up as a pity party for myself or
any other pastor you meet. Here is the point: if the pastor goes
through this duress in his walk in the Spirit, is not his flock
going through the same pressures? If it is hard to be a diffuser of
the Gospel as a pastor, is it not also hard for the parishioner as
well? From my experience, I know only some of the temptations
and pains the devil has thrown at all of you, and I also guess that
there are pains that you’ve gone through that I don’t know
about. I won’t elaborate by example what you’ve gone through.
Instead, I make the same statement towards you that I did with
the pastors. If we’re being completely honest, I wonder how
hard the lives were of those Christian parishioners that came
before us. Take the widow from the Old Testament reading

(1 Kings 17:8-16) for example, how hard was life for her? There
was a famine in her homeland, her husband was dead, and she
was literally making one more meal and accepting her and her
son’s death! Also imagine those Jews in our Gospel Reading
who came to hear Christ’s sermon on the mount. Imagine their
shame after hearing, “why all this anxiety? You’re better than
birds and lilies, aren’t you? Do you not trust God to take care of
you?” And these Jews had undoubtedly more difficult lives than
we all. And imagine Paul’s audience. The audience of most of
his epistles lived in a time where Christianity at the very least
was vehemently and violently ridiculed, a time where the
mockers would do more than “cancel” on social media, but burn
houses, inflict violence, and feed to lions, while the Roman
emperor gave them the thumbs up.
So then, They, preacher and laymen alike, had it arguably worse
than any of us, and yet the aroma of the Gospel was spread by
both. Let’s learn from them that we may endure hardships and
still spread the Gospel; and although this is my greatest hope, I
fear that the strains around us may make us grow weary of doing
good and may make us lose heart. God doesn’t want this to
happen! For what happens if it does? If hope is lost, then the
charges of our Galatian’s text happen in reverse. Losing hope
makes the worst of a person. Temptations become much
stronger. Conceitedness consumes the mind much more easily. It
makes one bitter and unable to bear one another’s burdens. And
ultimately, it will lead both pastor and laymen alike to a life of
reaping to one’s flesh if that hope is lost. And reaping to one’s
flesh is not a sweet aroma, but a rotten one that reeks of death.

And so, how are we to remain diffusers of the sweet-smelling
Gospel aroma? How are we to do that with our pains and
anxieties on top of that? Christ offers us the answer in our
Gospel reading, “Seek first the Kingdom of God!” And what is
that again? It is the Gospel, the Good News that Christ has saved
us from sin and death and the power of the devil, ruling in our
hearts! This message of sweetness, the aroma of salvation, is
what saves us; and it dwells in us because the Holy Spirit puts it
there by the hearing of His word and the receiving of His grace
in the sacraments. The Holy Spirit by the kingdom of God given
to you in the Gospel, shows you that the pains of this life cannot
consume you! This is most certainly true, for Christ has taken
care of the worst of your troubles.
Seek first the Kingdom of God! And notice how Jesus goes on
by saying, “everything else shall be added unto you!” In the
Gospel, the sweet smelling aroma, we will survive and aid
others during life’s hardships. If you would like an illustration,
how about our Old Testament reading? Elijah told the widow
that by the promise of God and His Word the flour and oil
would not run out. What else did God promise in His Word?
The sweet-smelling aroma of Christ and His salvation. The
Messiah was promised by the same Lord; and as Elijah, the
widow, and her son waited for the bread to be made, smelling
the fresh aroma of baked bread made from ingredients
mercifully provided by God; they perhaps were reminded of the
message of God’s Gospel kingdom, to them the sweet-smelling
aroma of the coming Messiah that would save them all from sin,
death, and devil.

And so, what about us? Of course, the Kingdom of God, the
sweet-smelling aroma, is our deliverance as well. And as a
minister of the word, I would love to share this reminder of
Paul’s direction, “Let him who is taught the word share in all

good things with him who teaches.” Let us share in that sweet-
smelling, Gospel aroma that Christ has delivered us from the

worst possible problem! Christ will let the sweet-smelling aroma
spread among us! He will guide us in this word together, and
through each of us will let us exude this wonderful smell of
God’s Word.
We then, not just me the pastor, but you the congregant, diffuse
this Gospel. We, by the Grace of Christ Jesus our Lord, live and
walk in the Spirit, for Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit in His Word.
And in the manner of diffusing the Gospel, let us walk down
Paul’s charges in Galatians by seeing how we share the Gospel
and do so only because Christ loved us first in the same way:
Number one: “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass,
you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness,
considering yourself lest you also be tempted.” Fellow believers
in Christ, Christ Jesus considered Himself and was never led
into temptation so that He could restore us in a spirit of
gentleness and take away our trespasses on the cross. By this
same Gospel of Christ, the Spirit lets the Gospel aroma come
forth from us to lead our fellows to conviction of their sin and a
comfort offered in the same forgiveness given in Christ. And the
Spirit does it also in a spirit of empathy, giving us a watchful
eye on ourselves in the process.

Number two: “Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law
of Christ.” Fellow believers, Christ bore our burdens in His love
towards us, by giving up His life to take away the burden of our

sins. By the same Gospel, the Spirit once again makes the sweet-
smelling aroma exude from us to fulfill the Law of Christ, and

what is that again—the Law of Christ? It is to bear one another’s
burdens, however they may manifest among you and your
neighbor, by showing them the Kingdom of God and its
deliverance in Jesus.
Number 3: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for
whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8 For he who sows
to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to
the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” Fellow
believers, Christ sowed the Spirit and His implanted word in
Your heart. He cleansed your heart with His blood and showed
you that with the waters of His baptism. He nourished your heart
with His Word in bread and wine, body and blood, in His Holy
Food. He has sown into your heart the Kingdom of God so that
the sweet-smelling aroma of the Gospel may go forth from you
that you may sow to the Spirit. And in doing so, as Christ has
given to you everlasting life, so you will give the same message

of everlasting life to those around you by sharing the sweet-
smelling aroma of Christ Jesus.

And finally number 4: “And let us not grow weary while doing
good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. 10
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all,
especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Fellow
believers, Christ went through hell to give us Heaven. He died to

save us and then rose again in glory and ascended into Heaven
all for you. There is hope for you, there is deliverance from all
your earthly pains. In this hope that you have, the Gospel aroma
will go forth from you, doing good to all, especially to each
other--the household of faith. The Spirit causes us to share that
same comfort and hope Christ and His kingdom. And this is
done with the sure hope given in Christ that one day we shall be
reaped, taken to the realm of endless bliss and perfection.
Finally, brothers and sisters in Christ, that sermon of my fellow
pastor was very good, too good to not share it with you. I want
you who are taught to share in all good things with myself, the
one who teaches. I want you all to share the same Gospel
comfort, the same Gospel aroma of Christ Jesus our Lord. And I
also want you to share the same privilege that Christ will let the
same aroma of salvation spread, not just through me, but also
through you. Amen.