“Newcomers to the cult of Dionysus would go through a ritual in order to liberate themselves from their worldly constraints. The rituals included things like lots of intoxication, scourging yourself, music, and offerings. Participants would spread musk from the glandular secretions of animals around the ritual area as a fragrant aromatic offering.
Ephesian Christians needed clarity on the difference between the one true faith in the One true God and these other religions and cultures they had been steeped in all their lives. In the case of verse 2, Christ’s loving self-sacrifice is the fragrant aroma, one that we emulate as we love others.”