The fragrance of God
Those people belong to this world, so they speak from the world’s viewpoint, and the world listens to them. But we belong to God, and those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us. That is how we know if someone has the Spirit of truth or the spirit of deception. 1 John 4:5-6 NLT
Christians are surrounded by forces that are motivated to bring them down so that they will be rendered ineffective in living the life that God gave them. So, John reminds them of the one who is in them, for He “is greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4:4). The spirit of this world is hostile to those who has the Spirit of the Lord in their lives. If a person is not grounded in the truth of God’s Word, he or she can become an easy prey to the spirit of the world who is persuasive, thus, “speaks from the world’s viewpoint.” The false teachers will claim that they come from God but once they open their mouth to promote their false teachings, those who belong to Christ will know that they are not from God for the Holy Spirit will help them discern false teachings. The enemy had no superior forces over the believers for the One who is in them is stronger than the spirit of the world. As we “take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,” we can overcome the wiles of the devil (Ephesians 6:17). John says from the text, “those who know God listen to us. If they do not belong to God, they do not listen to us.” Those who do not know God will reject His teachings and the gospel. We who belong to God are His representatives to this world, therefore we should not avoid or minimize our duty to tell people about the Lord. ‘‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?... So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ” (Romans 10:13-14, 17). Thanks be to God that we can spread the fragrance of God as we tell others about Him and His gospel. “Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God. But this fragrance is perceived differently by those who are being saved and by those who are perishing. To those who are perishing, we are a dreadful smell of death and doom. But to those who are being saved, we are a life-giving perfume” (2 Corinthians 2:15-16).