2nd Corinthians 2:15-3:6

Home » Sermons » Jars of Clay » 2nd Corinthians 2:15-3:6

I’m going to invite you to Second Corinthians chapter two. Today we last week we we tailed off at the end of chapter two. And I’m going to pick up at the the very end of chapter two as we dive into chapter three. So Second Corinthians chapter two, we’re going to pick up in verse 15 and we’re going to talk about.

I think something significant for our culture today in light of of this passage. But I want to give you this thought as we dive into this section of scripture, 1962, which may be a little bit before some of our time. Right? 1962 we’re looking at 60 years ago here, Victor and Mildred Gazal published a revealing study of 413 famous and exceptionally gifted people called Cradles of Eminence. And you may ask, should I care about this? No, you should not remember any of that so far. But but I do want you know, they they published a study, 413, famous and exceptional gifted people.They spent years attempting to understand what produced such greatness, what common thread might run through all these outstanding people’s lives. And surprisingly, the most outstanding fact was the virtual, virtually all of them. 392 of the 413 had to overcome very difficult obstacles in order to become who they were. It was the reality of challenges that they face that gave them the opportunity to to excel. And, you know, when I when I think in light of just that study and here we are today as we dive into scripture, oftentimes when I get an opportunity to travel places sometimes and presents about Utah ministry, other parts of the country, and I’ll say to people, I think the strength of the Christian church moving forward, I think it’s in Utah.

And the reason I say that is because the Christian church, the mainstream Christian church is newer here. A lot of people that come to Christ are first generation believers. And to come to the Lord, for a lot of people, there are some significant adversity to putting their faith in Jesus. And when you when you’re talking about first generation believers, there’s a lot of challenges. People, I think, answer in their faith that if you live more in a region where Christianity is prominent, it becomes a part of the culture. Right. And and so people kind of raise up generationally in that. But when you’re first generation believer and and you might be the first Christian that comes to Christ within your family, you start you ask questions regarding why that faith should be essential and what’s the foundation of it, why you should even trust in it. And it becomes a strengthening point. Those challenges become a strengthening point to your faith, and it becomes very personal to you in that sense. And you are very well equipped and being able to defend in a loving way why you believe what you believe.

And when you look in First Corinthians or excuse me, second Corinthians chapter two, I don’t know if I said first Corinthians, but second Corinthians, chapter two. Paul, Paul, in this position, he’s he’s finding his faith challenged in his pursuit of Jesus, as well as the believers at Corinth. And he’s encouraging them how to how to live confidently in Christ. How in the midst of the challenges of the Christian life, can you be successful towards your goal and striving for Jesus, for His glory to the benefit of others in the world around you? Life has hurdles and and even in your faith there there are obstacles. And so how do you how do you live and succeed over those hurdles and in your faith in this world? And that’s where Paul he comes to in this passage. And he presents it really in three ways. He talks about he starts by talking about our position in the Lord, and then he he talks about our the problem that we face or specifically the problem he faces when we’re related to us. And then I was tempted to obliterate all this, to talk about our purpose, but I couldn’t do it. So we’re going to talk about our resolution. All right. See, as it starts in verse 15 four, we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing to want a fragrance from death to death to the other, a fragrance from life to life.

Who is sufficient for these things? Paul In this section of verses, he’s really building off what verse 14 was. Verse 14 gave this this big picture that now he’s taking it in a further in another direction. I’m not going to go back and explain verse 14 and again, we did that last week. But but he’s he’s he’s building off of that this idea of this aroma and this this fragrance. And he asked this question at the end, as he is, he relates us to being this aroma of Christ. He says, who is who is sufficient for this? And this is a very important question Paul is asking here. And I don’t want it just to lock away in your memory from it. I’m not going to explain a whole lot of what it means to be sufficient. But but to see that Paul is asking this question, who is who is qualified to do this, this very thing that I’m presenting to you as we conjure up this imagery of who you are in Jesus, this position you have in him as the aroma of Christ, he’s he’s asking this question as he represents God to this world, who is really qualified to represent God to this world. It’s an incredible thought. But but he he builds this question off, this thought, this, this, this idea of being an aroma and this fragrance for for Christ.

And it’s this powerful connection to your mind, the sense of smell when you think about the sense of smell. Some people say that that one of the most direct connections to your mind comes through the sense of smell, and it’s through the sense of smell that you can conjure up images of emotion and and memory as you as the sense of smell heightens that within your mind. And Paul is relating to that as he as he connects you to the idea of being an aroma and a fragrance of Christ. In fact, it kind of works like this. In verse, verse 14, he talks about the fragrance, the fragrance that we carry in Jesus. And then he specifically refers to you as an aroma before He goes back to the word fragrance again. And the picture works like this, that there is this fragrance in Jesus. And but the fragrance is very generic, right? It’s just it’s just like another way of saying, what’s that smell? Right? What’s that fragrance? And then he gets more specific in describing as an aroma which carries this thought of being sweet. There’s this beautiful, sweet aroma before he goes back to the thought of this generic fragrance again. And Paul is using this imagery to connect the Corinthians to maybe this thought. He’s saying to them, What kind of smell is Jesus to you? When you think about Christ.

It’s just this this fragrance. Or is it? Is it more than that? Is there an aroma to Jesus? Smell has a powerful influence in the mind. I think I’ve learned this multiple ways, just living life. I remember when season when she first became pregnant with our first kid and and we get to that place where it’s time to pick something to eat and of course, being pregnant and not always having the strongest of stomach, she didn’t want to go to her places. And so she would leave it up to me to decide. And of course, I’m going to pick my favorite restaurants. And so I do. And then we go to eat at my, my favorite restaurants. And, and then while we’re there, all of a sudden she gets ill from eating at our favorite restaurants. And I just I learned something there about pregnancy sick that once you eat something being pregnant sick at a at a restaurant that your husband might call his favorite. You can never go there again because your emotions of smell have now overpowered that. And so it’s permanently banned. And so I’m finding ourselves in her first pregnancy, all of my favorite restaurants just getting knocked. It didn’t take long before I realized when she says, pick your favorite restaurants, I’m not doing that. I’m picking yours because I don’t want I don’t want to ruin mine anymore.

So, so so there’s this this way that that smell has this this power over over the mind or maybe even in your life, you might be able to walk into a room. And then all of a sudden, this this smell just captivates you. And it takes you back to a place where or maybe it’s someone’s cooking just reminds you of of your your mama’s cooking when you were little, right? And you just instantly you’re transported back to that time. There’s this connection with that food and what it was as a child growing up in that home. And it just it reminds you of of home as a kid. And you have that that strong connection there. Or maybe maybe it’s a perfume that that someone you love used to to wear. And all of a sudden you smell you smell that. And it takes you back to that that person, that presence, the way you felt before them. The sense of smell. It’s powerful and it’s its connection. Good or bad. For some, the smell of Jesus, if I related it to that, is like being pregnant. Sick, right? But for others, as Paul says, it’s this the sweet aroma that reminds us of our our state of being spiritually hungry. And and then we find Jesus. And it’s incredible what he delivers into our lives. Why does Paul bring this up? Well, he’s saying this passage, he’s he’s not trying to force the unbelieving world to Jesus, but he’s saying, as he shares Jesus, that for this church to remember what they had in Christ, because right now they’re being challenged in that.

The church in Corinth. They’ve lost their identity or started to sort of dissipate in in the beauty of of the presence of what Christ means in their their lives. And they’re spiritually, I would say, homesick for Jesus. And they don’t even realize it. And Paul is connecting this to the idea of smell. It’s like an homesick being homesick. It’s an interesting, interesting thing. Do you know that it’s it’s possible to purchase candles based on the region for which you’ve come from in life, that that gather together smells that are specific to the area that you live, so that when you light that candle, it reminds you of home. So that you can have that connection to sort of alleviate that, that homesickness. And I think this is what Paul is saying to the believers. Look, there’s this fragrance of Jesus that goes around just this generic smell. And for some people, that aroma becomes about death because they have this distaste of Jesus. But for others. For others, it’s this the smell of life. It’s this place of being home. It’s to recognize what what Jesus is for you and the. The life he brings for you. Now. I think even in my life, I’ve lived in Utah now for for 17 years.

And occasionally you’ll get that little taste of being being away from where you grew up of of of homesickness. And I find that when I’ve traveled back, when I’ve traveled back to to be around the people that I’ve loved and the place that I grew up, just to reattach to that that my homesickness is not necessarily attached to a place. And I don’t really experience that much, but but it’s not really attached to a place. And I think probably because this is what I discovered with homesickness, rather, rather what it’s attached to is more of a of a memory. It’s attached to a specific people and a specific time and place during a specific moment that was impactful in my life. Because what you have to happen as you as you go back to that is that people have changed and things have moved on. And where people were in that moment, they’re not there anymore. It’s like as you move across the country, when you go back, you expect people to sort of stay frozen in that time period. But they all they all got older and different. But what Paul is saying is the sweetness of Jesus works like this. He never changes. He’s the same God. And you remember what that’s like? What is that? What is that aroma to Christ and you? It’s so significant for for the soul and what it needs and and being able to attach to that moment.

And, and Paul’s just conjuring up this image for, for the Corinthians to just go back there because life has this way to kind of kind of pull you from that and just beat you down and present you with obstacle after obstacle that you just lose sight of that. And all of a sudden Paul’s just saying, let’s just savor the goodness of what Christ is. And and then he starts to introduce to the to the reason why is because there is this this problem that we’re facing in verse 17. Paul starts with that problem. The answer to Blake, number two in your notes is this The problem is being pressured to detour. That there is a system that the world wants to present and the system is to to detour you to you and pressure you out of that position in Jesus. And he says in verse 17, then 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. I mean, He’s actually going to present to us three different ways that that people are deterring the church in Corinth from Jesus. They’re trying to rob their joy of what they have in Christ. And he says one in verse 17, and he says, the second one in verse one and two, and then the third argument in verse, verse three.

But here he starts. He’s saying, look, you don’t really the motives of people that may be coming to you with God’s word and trying to lure you into a different message through God’s word, saying they’re talking about a Jesus, but it’s a different Jesus. And their intentions are not pure. And they’re their motivations. They’re peddlers of God’s word, but they’ve got to they’ve got a different motive than what Jesus is about. And he’s saying, well, let’s just let’s just appreciate the sincerity of what this is. And, look, we’re sincere in what we’re doing as well. Here at Alpine Bible Church, like our hearts, we want it to the motivation behind what we do. We want it to be pure in Jesus. And we want to live as a church that desires to give itself away for the cause of Christ, for His glory, to the benefit of others. We don’t want to be about a megachurch. We’re not here to bolster someone’s identity, to to to make them become some sort of celebrity in Christ. Who could care? We could care less about that. Just want the purity of Jesus. From the aroma of Christ to be rich within our souls. To connect to that, to not deter from that, to say that Jesus is more than enough and I am just content and Christ. And Paul is warning the church here in this moment, look, people are coming to you and they may even present it in a Jesus esque way.

But they’ve got an ulterior motive behind why they’re doing what they’re doing. But but you need to pursue it with the sincerity of Christ. And he’s saying, look, in our lives, we recognize this and we walk with this, that we’re commissioned by God that is sacred. And in the sight of God, we speak in Christ that we are accountable. There is nothing more important than the message of Jesus and what it renews within the soul and the purity of that message and keeping that message pure. That’s what redeems lives. That’s what brings the the goodness of Christ into this world. And that’s what we we need to be about. And he goes into verse one. Then he further elaborates, What’s happening here? He says, Are we beginning to commend ourselves again? Are we? Do we do we need a some do letters of recommendation to you or from you? See Paul’s coming back to this church. And and they’re saying to Paul, they’re trying to really discredit Paul in this church. And they’re saying to Paul, well, Paul, look, we got other leaders coming now. And and what we need from you is a letter of recommendation to validate who you are. And Paul and this woman saying, are you are you really kidding me? Do you need me? Do you need me to go to that? You need me to present some kind of piece of paper to tell you who I am.

Like I’m a letter of recommendation like you do when we come with some kind of diploma that says to you, I’m something great. Like we, we know how those work in our culture. I mean, we know how it works in our culture. You can come, anybody can get a letter of recommendation of some friend that says there’s something special. I mean, you can get a diploma and says that you’re really smart at books, you know, studying and answering questions. But at the end of the day, is that really what gets it done? Is that really what it’s about? You can find that you can hire someone simply based on a diploma and a letter of recommendation. And they got the emotional intelligence of a two year old. Is that really what’s going to do it? It’s what Paul’s is saying to the church, and what’s been introduced into this church is this group of leaders that are charismatic and really from that, some armchair quarterbacks. Often saying charisma without character leads to an implosion. Let me say it with it. Within our own culture, our culture just flocks around people of charisma that have no character at all. Pulsing. Really. You’re really attracted to these charismatic leaders that I’ve got to come back to you and validate who I am.

And then with these charismatic, charismatic leaders, these armchair quarterbacks that are just lobbing and hurling insults at Paul. Not really doing anything for the gospel, but certainly tearing things down. Contrary to Christ. Paul then goes on and he says in verse two, he says, You yourselves are our letter of recommendation written on our hearts to be known and read by all. So rather than just give you a meaningless piece of paper. Church. How about we just stop for a minute and we. We look at what God’s done. Just look at what God’s done. I mean, it’s been incredible. To think in Corinth. Before this, there was nothing. And now you become the testimony of the presence of God working. You don’t need people of charisma. Any people with character and commitment towards this cause of Christ with sincerity. That’s what we needed the end of the day. Those will be the people that carry the mission of God forward. And Paul, when he describes this, he’s saying, look what God has done. Your letter of recommendation written on our hearts, Paul, saying, look, we saw it. We saw what God did in your lives. We’re not going to forget that it’s this pleasing aroma of Jesus. And not only did we see it, it’s known by everyone. It was it was demonstrated in your life. This is much greater than just simply writing it down on a piece of paper.

We get to experience the goodness of God collectively together. That’s far more powerful than simply just writing it down. The experience of Jesus. You cannot deny what God has done and what He continues to do because lives continue to be transformed in him. And so in verse three says this and you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. Not on tablets stone. But on tablets of human heart. They’re trying in these moments. Paul’s really getting ultimately to to what the whole argument is. They’re trying to discredit Paul. To ultimately introduce religious living. Now. That’s the way our culture works, even today. Since the days of Paul. And even before that. If you don’t like what someone’s saying, you can’t discredit the truth of what they’re saying. You malign the person. And as you malign the person and that discredits them and gives you an opportunity to present something else. And this is exactly what they’re doing to the Apostle Paul. First they start to attack Paul to then challenge the message that Paul presented in order to bring about a religious statement or a religious way of living. That’s what they introduced the church. He’s saying the spirit of God is what’s giving you this. And it’s not on tablets of stone, but on tablets of of human heart. And they’re going back to the idea of Exodus 34, which we’re going to we’re going to talk about more next week.

But that’s the portion of scripture where God wrote the Ten Commandments on stone. And thinking out of all of the things that you can write down, I think the probably the the most powerful thing that’s been written down is what God wrote down on the Stones. He’s saying you want to go back to religion of stones. Rather than what. What God has has written on your heart. And, you know, in this moment, Paul could have spent all kinds of time defending himself. Right. He could have said as he’s being attacked and as they’re there presenting this religion, he could have gotten this place now where he starts to defend himself. And he certainly had the position to do that. I mean, in Philippians chapter three, verse five and six, he says he’s the Hebrew of Hebrews. And verse, verse five, he says that in verse six, he says, I asked to the law. He was blameless, or he lived it perfectly. If anyone understood what this religious living could have been about or should have been about, it was the Apostle Paul. And when it comes to the idea of of learning what’s on tablet. I mean, Paul was the most learned individual of his day. If anyone was qualified, it was Paul. And he was probably overqualified for that type of living.

And it’s not to knock learning or to say it’s it’s not important for us. I think even God’s word is important to us. Like we should be in pursuit as believers and being lifelong learners. But Paul is making the argument here that. That’s not what set you free. That’s not what set you free. And this is exactly why Paul doesn’t take the bait in defending himself. Because he understands it’s not about him. In fact, the way that he describes it here, he’s saying as they’re attacking him, introducing this religion, he says he says in verse three, it’s a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink, but the spirit of the living God. He’s saying, look what we’ve taught to you. It’s it’s been written. It’s a letter from Christ, written by the Spirit and all. All that we are. Or just the delivers of that message. We’re just the ones that presented it to. It’s not about me. It’s about him. That’s even for us in this world. When people when people disagree with maybe your stand in Jesus is not about arguing for you and defending you. It’s about coming to what Jesus said and saying, What does Christ say in this text about who He is and acknowledging what what Scripture says about Jesus? And so Paul’s completely in in the middle of this this problem that they’re presenting as they’re attacking Paul and introducing this religion.

And Paul is saying, look, it’s not an issue about me because I’m not the answer. It’s about Jesus, which is what makes the aroma so important. Which then Paul here, he gives us the resolution and this resolution for a moment. It’s going to look very important to the first century. But I want you to know, this has a tremendous amount of application for our lives today. This is brilliant where Paul goes on this passage of scripture. But but your your resolution here, the blank in your notes is this the resolution is Christ alone? Resolutions. Christ alone, he says. He says in verse four, such as the confidence. That we have in Christ toward God. Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything that’s coming from him. But our sufficiency is from God. It was made a sufficient to be ministers for a new covenant, not of a letter, but of the spirit for the letter kills. But the Spirit gives life. Paul At the end of this verse, verse six, the very end, he’s saying, look, when you try to merit your life and what you boast and. What it produces is death. Religion produces death as well, Paul says. The letter of the law kills you. The Old Testament, the 613 Commandments. It wasn’t intended for you to obey that in order. In order that you can find a life. You can’t find life in the 613 Commandments.

What you find in the 613 Commandments is condemnation, because as you try to live that out in your life, you realize that you can never achieve it. That’s why some of the most miserable people in this world are religious people, because you find them all of these laws that they’re trying to achieve in this world and they can’t attain to it. And all they hear over and over, you’re worthless. You’re a failure. You can’t make it. And push it down and down and down and joy is gone. Now, that’s not to it’s not to say that the religious law isn’t important in the Old Testament. In fact, in Galatians Chapter three, Paul makes the argument to the significance of what it represents, because within it we see the holiness of God. You see the the beauty of who God is in it. He says in verse 21, that is the law. Then, contrary to the promises of God, certainly not. For. If the law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would have been indeed by the law. Meaning, if religion was the answer, then we would have kept it as the answer. Right. But then he says this. But the Scripture imprisoned everyone under sin. That’s what the law did. It imprisoned you. It trapped you. So the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. Now. Before Faith came, we were held captive under the law, imprisoned until the coming faith would be revealed.

So then the law was our guardian, until Christ came in order that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian or under the law. The argument is this and Paul makes the same argument in Romans three saying, is the law bad then if it condemns us? No, it’s certainly not bad. It’s not bad because it reveals the holiness of God and a really revealing the holiness of God. It helps us recognize that we can’t live up to that standard and ultimately we look for a rescue. And that that guardian that law worked to keep pointing us to that rescuer until ultimately that rescuer came. And who is that rescuer? It’s Jesus. That’s Jesus. Something entirely new for your life. Then he refers to it in this passage and in second Corinthians chapter three verses 4 to 6. He’s saying, You have now this new covenant, this new way, this new place, this new identity. It’s not religious living. It’s Jesus living. It’s walking in his spirit. It’s separating yourself from this law because it’s no longer a guarding over you, but now stepping into to Christ. That aroma of Jesus. And so it’s on that backdrop that Paul says this and this is where now you can attach all the way back to chapter two. But he says this such is the confidence, if you want to.

Where do we have confidence that we have through Christ toward God, not that we are sufficient in ourselves. Remember the question He asked at the very end of a verse 16. Who’s sufficient for these things? When we think about the aroma and the fragrance that we have in Christ and being able to represent Christ in this world, who who in the world could could even think that we deserve a position to represent God. It seems arrogant. Why would I even begin to think that I could do such a thing as it’s pleasing aroma of Jesus to this world who is sufficient to even do that? And now He makes this argument. Where does this confidence come from? Not that we are sufficient in ourselves. It’s a claim. Anything is coming from us. But our sufficiency. It’s from God. Who was made a sufficient. To be ministers of a new covenant. Not of the letter, but of the spirit. For the letter kills. But the spirit gives life. I love how Paul says it. We have confidence. We have confidence. This word confidence means really with faith con with evidence faith. It’s faith. We’re with faith. This is this is what gives us the strength to endure and the ability to live Christ in this world. This is this is where we get this confidence. It’s not in ourselves. This is so important because when you think about the challenges that we experience in in this world, I find that people in this in life today, they’re looking for a place to find an identity and a confidence and a purpose and a and a meaning.

And and Paul is saying for us, this is where it comes from. This it’s not that we are sufficient in ourselves, he says in verse five. He’s helping his culture in this day. He’s seeing where it’s bankrupting its religious systems. And he’s saying that is not that is not where you find confidence. That is that is where you find death. We find our sufficiency not not in ourselves. And Paul’s Day. You see now in these verses what they were peddling right in verse 17, he’s saying, look, the motives you need to look at, the motives. There’s there’s motives behind what people are doing, what they’re trying to peddle to you. We’re sincere in what we’re about. It’s the sufficiency in Jesus. That’s what we need to find ourselves. But they have something else they’re peddling. And what they’re peddling is this religious law. The Ten Commandments. The Old Covenant. And you know, I think in our culture today, we try to find relevancy to what Paul is saying here as it relates to us. It’s a little bit of a leap between the Ten Commandments that Paul’s talking about here and writing on Stone versus what we experienced today.

Because I think in our culture, you know, people could probably say the word Ten Commandments and have a general idea of what we’re talking about in that regard. But if you ask them to name them, I doubt very many people can name past two in our culture today. So when we think about okay, so so when Paul is talking talking about living religiously here, how does this connect to us? I would say in our world today, the world still promotes a system of religion. It’s just not listed under the Ten Commandments, like we’re like they would be used to in polls to the the world around us still promotes a way of finding a religious system to to discover yourself. It’s the same trick. From Paul’s day, it’s just morphed in different identities. And we talk in terms of religion. What we mean is any system of rules that people use to to look in you to find a new identity and answers towards value and meaning for your life. Any system this world gives to you that says to you, look, here’s here’s another way of living your life, a new standard of rules that you can go by in order to reinvent yourself, to have this new identity, which will give you worth and value and meaning. If you would just if you would just align with this, then you’ll you’ll find the holistic purpose for which you were created.

Over and over. Our culture has done it, just like Paul saying in the first century. People have come into Corinth. They’re saying, don’t listen to the apostle Paul. Here’s a new system. And if you follow this system, you know, it’ll give you a new identity and a new worth. And you could put your your confidence here in Paul’s saying there. There is. No sufficiency in this. Your soul isn’t found free in laws of living. Rather it destroys you. And the gospel is something entirely different than that. They? In our culture today. People, I think, are hungry. To feel important. To know they matter. To discover some sort of identity that makes them feel this way. And they will step into anything the world presents. Just to feel that wholeness. And Paul is saying. In church. As people try to discover that in in anything your culture tries to present, whether it’s in wokeness or some sort of sexual orientation identity. You have something so sacred in the gospel to present. An entirely different alternative for another identity altogether. That’s not the system of trying to prove your worth. That’s Jesus. That’s Jesus. And here’s the beauty of Jesus. While these religious systems of performance are presented to people and they’ve got to strive within those that struggle to try to to try to demonstrate to to their social group or whatever they’re in, that they might be worth loving.

That there is Jesus who has come to completely deliver them from all of this. And it’s not the system of rules. It’s Jesus who is coming and Jesus who is who’s died under the law that you could be set free. It’s a laying down of you entirely and embracing Christ in this this new identity and everything that Jesus has done for you. It’s no longer having to wage a war in the the worldly systems of life around you to prove anything. Because of everything Christ has proven on your behalf. Paul sang Let go of it all. Die to all of it. And find an entirely new identity in Jesus. Let him shape you. Let him renew you. Don’t take a detour into the things of this world. I don’t only trap you in this other system. And you’re going to get to the end and you’re going to labor and you’re going to recognize that within your soul you still feel broken. Don’t you remember the aroma of Christ? He’s come to deliver you and to set you free and to lead you in this triumphal procession. That’s what he says in verse 14, that you can you can live out your new identity completely other and different than anything this world has to offer in Jesus because of everything that Jesus has done for you. Where does our confidence come from? That’s efficiency is not in ourselves. But our sufficient place is found in Christ to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter of some law that the world presents, but in the spirit who gives life.

It’s resting in the goodness. Of Jesus. For Corinth. The temptation came to them to let go of that. Guys for us in Jesus. That is the temptation that we face every day. Things this world to distract us from something completely other and different. And Jesus, where every day we have the opportunity to lay ourselves down and let Christ lead our lives as we find ourselves made whole in Him and our worth and our value and our meaning completely secure in Jesus. Let me end with this illustration. In. In Greece, there was one of the favorite events in their Olympic Games. It was a relay race for the running of the torch. In fact, in the original Olympic Games, there were multiple races that involved torches where we may make much of our torch things that we do today when we have the runs before the Olympic game, the runs we run before the Olympic Games, and we light the big cauldron at the end. I totally butchered that. Don’t don’t get the runs. But if you run. But when you think in terms of of of. Of the Greco-Roman games when they would run with these torches, the goal was they would run a race. And it wasn’t about who finished first, but it was rather about who crossed the finish line first with their torch still lit.

And they would run run this race and they would do this relay race with the with their torches and whoever crossed the finish line first with that torch lit and there was celebration. And then they would take that torch and they would light the spectators torches and illuminate the beauty of the games. And when I think about that story, there’s a beautiful connection to the life of a Christian. Man. What Jesus wants to see with you is that the fire that he lit within you. To continue to run that race. And across that finish line. And that your light would just continue to illuminate the next generation for his kingdom and His glory in this world. And for us, it’s to rest in this message. To remind ourselves of the aroma of Jesus. To not be tempted in the things of this world as if they have something to offer. Because we recognize it’s just another religious system written another way that always results in bankruptcy. But in Christ. In Christ. I am forever secure and I am I am of worth not because of me proving anything, but because of what Jesus has proven on my behalf. And every day, regardless of the message presented to me from the things of this world, I choose Jesus that other people may find the freedom in Him to.