In fact, God thinks of us as a perfume that brings Christ to everyone. For people who are being saved, this perfume has a sweet smell and leads them to a better life. But for people who are lost, it has a bad smell and leads them to a horrible death. No one really has what it takes to do this work.
·Our offering to God is this: [or For God’s sake; or To God] We are the ·sweet smell [aroma; fragrance] of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are ·being lost [perishing; headed for destruction].
Thanks be to God who leads us, wherever we are, on his own triumphant way and makes our knowledge of him spread throughout the world like a lovely perfume! We Christians have the unmistakeable “scent” of Christ, discernible alike to those who are being saved and to those who are heading for death. To the latter it seems like the very smell of doom, to the former it has the fresh fragrance of life itself. Who could think himself adequate for a responsibility like this? Only the man who refuses to join that large class which trafficks in the Word of God—the man who speaks, as we do, in the name of God, under the eyes of God, as Christ’s chosen minister.
In the Messiah, in Christ, God leads us from place to place in one perpetual victory parade. Through us, he brings knowledge of Christ. Everywhere we go, people breathe in the exquisite fragrance. Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life. But those on the way to destruction treat us more like the stench from a rotting corpse.
for we be the good odour of Christ to God, among these that be made safe, and among these that perish. [for we be the good odour, or savour, of Christ to God, in these that be made safe, and in these that perish.]