Jeremiah and Ezekiel: A Fragrant Debate

Jeremiah: Ezekiel, have you ever noticed how Paul is like a human incense stick?

Ezekiel: A human incense stick? That’s a new one, Jeremiah. Are you suggesting he smells good?

Jeremiah: Well, in a way. You see, in II Corinthians 2:14-17, Paul talks about how God leads Christians to victory through Jesus, and he compares the spread of the gospel to the smell of incense at a triumphal celebration.

Ezekiel: Ah, I get it! So, Paul and the other preachers are like fragrant sacrifices, spreading the knowledge of Jesus everywhere they go. Quite the aroma therapy session!

Jeremiah: Exactly! And just like incense can be smelled far beyond its source, the gospel reaches places you’d never expect. It’s in the air, even if people aren’t always fans of the scent.

Ezekiel: That’s a brilliant comparison. Just like some people hate the smell of certain perfumes, some reject the gospel. But it’s still there, lingering in the air, whether they like it or not.

Jeremiah: Right, it’s like the message of Christ. To some, it’s a sweet smell of salvation, but to others, it’s the stench of death.

Ezekiel: So, when Paul says the gospel is like incense, he’s pointing out how it’s one message but perceived very differently. It’s not about God making people accept or reject it; it’s about how the message divides people.

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Jeremiah: Exactly! Just like Jesus said he came to cause division (Luke 2:34, John 9:39), the gospel separates those being saved from those perishing.

Ezekiel: And those perishing find it offensive, while those being saved find it thrilling. It’s like how the defeated in a war would find the smells of victory nauseating, but the victors would find it exhilarating.

Jeremiah: Spot on! And Paul’s role in spreading this message is a humbling honor. Imagine being part of God’s plan, teaching a simple yet profound message that changes lives.

Ezekiel: But who’s really up for such a task? Paul even wonders about this in II Corinthians 3:5-6. It’s a massive responsibility.

Jeremiah: Indeed. Paul emphasizes that gospel teachers aren’t just peddling God’s word like cheap merchants. They sincerely believe in what they’re preaching, offering an unadulterated message.

Ezekiel: Kind of like not watering down wine, huh? Paul insists on giving an honest offering of the gospel, unlike many others who corrupt it for their own gain.

Jeremiah: And remember, even back then, there were plenty of false teachers. True gospel teachers always kept in mind that God was watching them, speaking with Christ’s authority.

Ezekiel: Now, moving to the life-changing letters Paul talks about in II Corinthians 3:1-4. Some might think he’s boasting about his abilities, but he points out that the proof is in the pudding—or in this case, the Corinthians.

Jeremiah: Absolutely! The Corinthians are like a letter of recommendation written on Paul’s heart, visible to everyone. No need for self-promotion when the transformation in people’s lives speaks for itself.

Ezekiel: And Paul humorously mentions he doesn’t need to pat himself on the back. The impact on the Corinthians is his commendation.

Jeremiah: He even says they are a letter from Christ, written by Paul on their hearts. This isn’t a physical letter but a living one, shaped by the Holy Spirit to represent Christ.

Ezekiel: It’s like having a spiritual tattoo, isn’t it? It’s not about the ink or stone but the transformation within.

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Jeremiah: Exactly. The new covenant brings a greater spiritual impact, shaping people’s hearts and lives.

Ezekiel: Paul’s confidence comes from knowing his work was done through Christ, aiming people toward God. With such a guide and goal, how could he go wrong?

Jeremiah: True, Ezekiel. It’s a divine aroma that keeps on spreading, whether we’re ready for it or not.

Ezekiel: And with that, let’s just hope no one brings out the incense next time we’re in the middle of a debate!

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