II Corinthians 2: 14-16 & 3:5: 14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. 15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish: 16 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? 17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ. 3:5 Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.
A Roman would burn incense to his god. It was a good smell to some and to others it was a stench. The same is how people perceive/accept Christ. He’s a life-breathing fragrance to a believer but to the lost he’s not. We are to be a sweet fragrance for Christ. We can’t control the reaction of others to the gospel. It’s our job to present it. Some accept it while to others it is repulsive. We are to smell good. So…how do you smell?
Christ is sufficient to meet any need you’ll face. Let’s look at discouragement. It can come from many directions, many sources. There’s a lot of loose living among Christians. Let me remind you that not all church people are going to heaven. God’s people, those saved by his blood, need to live close to the Lord. When we see those who don’t, it can discourage us. Sickness, death, even aging brings discouragement. Christ can help if we let him. He knows what’s best for us; he’s never wrong.
Christ is sufficient in the hour of temptation. We all face it and, we can’t defeat Satan in our own ability. We’re no match for him. He’s not the cartoon character with a tail and pitchfork. He’s a real being. Jesus defeated him on Calvary, getting victory over death, hell, and the grave. Matthew 4 is the temptation of Jesus in the wilderness. He fasted 40 days and nights. He was hungry. Satan came to him and told him to turn stones to bread. Our best offensive and defensive weapon against Satan is the Word of God. That’s what Jesus used. He told him It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. Then Satan took Jesus and set him on a pinnacle of the temple. He told him to cast himself down and the angels would save him. Can you believe it; Satan quoted scripture to the Lord! Jesus told him It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. Then he took Jesus to a high mountain and offered him the kingdoms of the world if he’d bow down and worship him. Jesus said Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. Jesus was victorious, and he’ll help us withstand temptation. First Corinthians 10:13 reminds us. Temptation is common to all; you’re not being singled out when you’re tempted. But God is faithful. He provides the door to get out of and resist the temptation. Our job is to open it and go through. That’s how we escape it. He provides the way; we take it.
Christ is sufficient in the hour of sin. Luke 22 gives us the denial of Peter. He had been bragging that he’d stick with the Lord no matter what. Jesus told him the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me. The fulfillment and Peter’s five mistakes are recorded in verses 54-60. Mistake 1: he followed Jesus afar off. When we do that, we’re headed for trouble. Mistake 2: he got in with the wrong crowd. Again, when we do that, we’re headed for trouble. Mistake 3: he denied knowing Jesus. Mistake 4: the second denial. Mistake 5: the third denial. It was all fulfilled as Jesus said. Jesus turned to look at Peter and then Peter remembered his words. He went out and wept bitterly. We’re going to sin. We still fail. What do we do? First John 1:9 says we’re to confess it. When we do the Lord is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us. David’s sin found him out. Psalm 51 records his prayer for mercy asking to be cleansed.
Christ is sufficient in the hour of death. It’s coming one day if the Lord doesn’t come back for us in the rapture. The last enemy is death, but Jesus has already defeated it. Was Paul afraid when he was facing death. The chopping block was being prepared and he knew it. In Second Timothy 4:6 he said For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. He wasn’t afraid. To die. In Philippians 1:21 Paul said For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. That’s a good outlook. He knew death was better for the Christian. We gain heaven. That’s how we can say “death, where is your sting; grave, where is your victory.” Christ is sufficient when the hour comes for the child of God to die. Psalm 23 says that we walk through the valley of the shadow of death. To have a shadow there must be light. Jesus is the light in that valley and he goes through it with us.
Christ is sufficient in the hour of salvation. Jesus saved and changed Paul. He jailed and executed Christians, but one day God struck him blind on the Damascus Road. He was changed. He accepted the Lord as Savior. He knew works–his good deeds–didn’t save him. We’ll not get to heaven on our own merit. Jesus died and paid the debt for our sins on Calvary. We’ll go to heaven because we accept what Jesus did for us. The blood still cleanses from sin. It still changes lives today. Christ is still sufficient to save the lost souls of men and women.
He’s still the all-sufficient one. He can be that for you if you ask him into your heart and repent of your sins. Do that today.