“Christ Cologne”

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by Santosh Poonen

“God thinks of us as a perfume that brings Christ to everyone”
(II Corinthians 2:15 TLB).

Have you ever walked past someone who was wearing cologne? Notice how the perfume creates a sweet aroma not only on their body, but even in the air around them?

There is a spiritual principle embedded in the context of the verse above. If we are being led in triumph by Christ (v14), then our life will be a perfume to God amid an otherwise “smelly” world.

Here are a few challenging and encouraging thoughts from this practical example:

  • The spraying of the perfume happens in secret – that is, when the person is getting ready at home before going out. This is also true spiritually. God observes our lives in secret – who we are at home, for instance, when no one else is watching, or how we behave toward the people closest to us – and sprays the perfume of His approval on our spiritual being because of our faith in Him (Hebrews 11:1,2,6). The result is that wherever we go, even amid the oppressive heat and dust of a sinful world, people smell the sweet aroma of Christ.
  • The cologne is applied to the garments underneath, but permeates into the clothes worn on top. God sprays His approval over our hidden lives – especially our thoughts, motives, and attitudes. The result is that our outer persona – i.e., our speech and conduct – smells like Jesus.
  • The person wearing the perfume does not have to try to manufacture that smell when you come around them. In fact, without their even knowing that you were going to walk past them, the sweet smell still came forth. Likewise, our wearing the perfume of Christ is really proved by its radiating out from a Spirit-filled life, even when we’re caught off-guard in “sticky situations.”
  • The aura of sweet smell persists, even after the person wearing the perfume has left the room. Spiritually too, when we truly have the life of Christ in us, the effects are felt in the lives of the people with whom we interact, even when we’re not physically present with them anymore.

If the principle above applies to our individual Christian walk, then it must certainly also apply to our Church. If you read the verse above in its context, you’ll notice that Paul is writing to the church at Corinth about forgiveness, comfort, and reaffirming love within the Body (v7-8). So, this is how the Body of Christ grows. God is able to spray the perfume of His approval over us as a Church Body when He sees that we love each other – in secret, in our hidden thoughts, motives and attitudes, and in an un-manufactured, persistent way. Then, when others come into our midst, say, on a Sunday morning, they will “smell” it, without our having to behave any differently because they’re there.

Finally, just as it was with Jesus when He walked on this earth, for those who willfully choose to remain in their perishing state of sin or legalism, this perfume will only lead them further into that death. But, for those who are being saved from such bondage, the perfume is a breath of fresh air (v15-16).

This, in essence, is the uncorrupt message of Christianity (v17).

How much will you give for this bottle of “Christ Cologne”? Sit down and count the cost – it will cost you your whole life, but it will be well worth it!

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