- Paul says, "Thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour (sweet aroma) of his knowledge by us in every place." (2:14)
God Himself does two things in the life of the submitted believer. First, He causes us to triumph in Christ. Paul explains to the Roman church, "In (tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, or sword) we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." (Romans 8:37) We do not reach this level of freedom in and of ourselves, it is a work of God as we believe and submit to the truths of the gospel. Praise Him! Put your hope in Him, no matter the circumstance! Trust His promises, no matter your feelings.
So He causes us to triumph. Second, He makes manifest the sweet aroma of his knowledge every where we go. The Greek word for "makes manifest," also translated "diffuses," means to render apparent. As the Strong's concordance explains, "it is an external, outward appearance, of an internal disclosure that has preceded it." Do you catch this amazing truth? As we--children of God on High--listen to His voice and submit to His teaching, He will do a work within us. That work will be made apparent to the world. His powerful work within will seep out, and the world will smell the fragrance of Christ. This is fact. Praise Him!
This second truth is especially encouraging when you wonder if those you love--maybe those who do not know our Lord--really see the work of Christ within you. His sweet aroma will be made manifest. As verse 16 explains, "To (those who are perishing--without Christ) we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to (those who are being saved) the aroma of life leading to life."
God does all of this. He is the One who brings victory. He is the One who leads to repentance. Thanks be to Him!