“Till sin be bitter, Christ will not be sweet.” ~ Thomas Watson (The Doctrine of Repentance)
Chocolate! What a smooth, wonderful, creamy, satisfying, rich, delectable nugget of delight! It’s melting texture to the tongue is so exquisite it leaves you desiring more. White, dark, milk, sweet, semi-sweet, cookies, brownies, pies…Wait…what was the topic? Oh yeah…Sweet.
“Sweet” is used many times in the Old Testament in reference to the burnt offerings that were offered up by God’s people…sweet fragrance, sweet aroma, sweet savour.
Leviticus 2:2(AMP) And he shall bring it to Aaron’s sons the priests. Out of it he shall take a handful of the fine flour and oil, with all its frankincense, and the priest shall burn this on the altar as the memorial portion of it, an offering made by fire, of a sweet and satisfying fragrance to the Lord.
Numbers 18:17(NKJV) But the firstborn of a cow, the firstborn of a sheep, or the firstborn of a goat you shall not redeem; they are holy. You shall sprinkle their blood on the altar, and burn their fat as an offering made by fire for a sweet aroma to the Lord.
Mmmmm…from an earthly fire to the Divine’s nostrils. Sweet, indeed!
I’ve spent a lot of time camping and one of the best parts is the evening spent talking, eating, laughing, recounting the days events, etc. There’s nothing like that sweet aroma that waifs up from a campfire…with or without S’mores.
In the New Testament, there is no doubt about Christ’s all sufficient blood sacrifice. That “sweet savour” is final when it comes to our salvation. However, the working out of our sanctification requires some effort on our part.
Proverbs 9:10(MSG) Skilled living gets its start in the Fear-of-God, insight into life from knowing a Holy God.
Philippians 2:12-13(ESV) Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
John MacArthur said…
This is not a fear of being doomed to eternal torment, nor a hopeless dread of judgment that leads to despair. It is rather a reverential fear, a holy concern to give God the honor He deserves and avoid the chastening of His displeasure. Such fear protects against temptation and sin and gives motivation for obedient, righteous living.
When we practice “obedient, righteous living”, we also are a sweet aroma to Him…
2 Corinthians 2:15(MSG) Because of Christ, we give off a sweet scent rising to God, which is recognized by those on the way of salvation—an aroma redolent with life.
And God’s words should be sweet enough to spark a Holy and burning desire for Him…
Psalms 119:103(ESV) How sweet are Your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Oh brothers and sisters in Christ…May we recognize the bitterness of sin and continue this journey, walking forward in righteous obedience, to the sweetest of the sweet…Jesus!