“For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish; To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?” 2 Corinthians 2:15,16
Suggested Further Reading: Acts 13:42-52
The Gospel produces different effects. It must seem a strange thing, but it is strangely true, that there is scarcely ever a good thing in the world of which some little evil is not the consequence. Let the sun shine in brilliance—it shall moisten the wax, it shall harden clay; let it pour down floods of light on the tropics—it will cause vegetation to be extremely luxuriant, the richest and choicest fruits shall ripen, and the fairest of all flowers shall bloom, but who does not know, that there the worst of reptiles and the most venomous snakes are also brought forth? So it is with the gospel. Although it is the very sun of righteousness to the world, although it is God’s best gift, although nothing can be in the least comparable to the vast amount of benefit which it bestows upon the human race, yet even of that we must confess, that sometimes it is the “savour of death unto death.” But we are not to blame the gospel for this; it is not the fault of God’s truth; it is the fault of those who do not receive it. It is the “ savour of life unto life” to every one that listens to its sound with a heart that is open to its reception. It is only “death unto death” to the man who hates the truth, despises it, scoffs at it, and tries to oppose its progress.
For meditation: There is hope for one in whom the law of God produces a sense of death (Romans 7:10); it is a fearful thing when the life-giving Gospel is rejected and hardens the dead sinner.
Sermon no. 26
26 May (Preached 27 May 1855)