Hebrews 11: 7 By his faith he (Noah) condemned the world.
2 Cor 2:15 -16 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are an aroma that brings death; to the other, an aroma that brings life.
A blog by Kevin Nunez (http://kevinnunez.org/2011/10/18/christ-like-fragrance/) resonated with some thoughts I was challenged with last night while reading Hebrews 11. Is the life of the church an affront to the world and its values? Noah’s faith was an obvious contrast to the times in which he lived. His faith highlighted the lack of faith, and rebellion amongst his neighbours.
Living in an era of appeasement and conciliation this attitude seems alien. Yet, unless the world in which we live is confronted by its rebellion against God there is nothing for it to repent from, and believe in.
I don’t believe this requires fire and brimstone preaching. In fact, I believe the onus is on us to become that pleasing aroma. Rather than concentrating on the world we should be concentrating on our faithful obedience. Why, for example, is it that rate of marriage break down is as high in the body of Christ as outside it? How can we be a pleasing aroma when many of our marriages stink! There are a host of other areas where the church (read Christians) reflects the world rather than Christ: lack of love for our neighbour, gossip, environment, consumerism, selfishness … add the myriad of other areas that come to your mind.
A friend once said, when speaking of the Salvation Army,”The reason that they are respected is because they are tough on themselves and easy on everyone else.” He added, “Most churches and Christians, are easy on themselves and tough on everyone else.” Unless we become tough on ourselves, our lifestyle, wordstyle and lovestyle then we wont be that condemnation of the values of the world or that pleasing aroma that attracts people to repentance and faith.
Paul asks, “Who is equal to such a task?” Then he reminds his readers that we are in Christ. “In Christ” our words and actions should confront the world, but as Christ also did for us, we should offer life, hope, a kingdom and eternity.