2 Corinthians 2:12-17

In 2 Corinthians 2:12-17 Paul explains what he did on his way to Macedonia. Paul was interested in ministering where God was opening doors.  The only way our work for God will be blessed is when it is His plan, not ours. I love the statement that ‘what God originates, God orchestrates’. And that is what Paul was doing when he went to Macedonia. He was going through the door of opportunity that God opened. “When I came to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ, even though a door was opened for me in the Lord, my spirit was not at rest because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I took leave of them and went on to Macedonia.”

Even though there was an open door, Paul felt he could not do all that he needed to if he did not have Titus there.  Paul did not regard himself as a one-man show, he knew he needed other people with him and beside him. But even though he didn’t have his key people with him, Paul is still grateful because he knows God can make good things happen no matter what the situation. “But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.” More than anything, he wants the Corinthian Christians to know he is following Jesus Christ as his General.  More than any plan he may declare to the Corinthian Christians, Paul’s plan is to follow Jesus Christ.

Paul knows that we are the chosen to be used by God to reach the world. It’s hard to understand why He chooses to work through very fallable and sinful people to share the Gospel, but it is His plan to save the people around us. “For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient for these things?” In Paul’s mind, this fragrance is like the knowledge of God, which people can smell when the triumph parade rolls by.

Paul wraps up this chapter differentiating his ministry from others who are ‘peddlers’ who water down the Gospel for their own benefit rather than servants who God has called and anointed to carry out His commission. “For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ.” Paul is clear that he and his band of brothers were sincere – pure and transparent messengers from God. Barclay says, “It may describe something which can bear the test of being held up to the light of the sun and looked at with the sun shining through it.” Paul and team were the real deal when it came to being God’s messengers.

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