The Five Senses have always intrigued me. How wonderfully we were made by our Creator and the things He has given us are so very complex and mind-boggling. We depend our senses every day to do even the most mundane tasks. My favorite thing about the senses that God has given me is that I can use them to grow closer to Jesus. Take the book of 1 John for instance…
[1Jo 1:1 NKJV]
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life–
John is speaking of the LORD here. The only One who was from the beginning. We know that he is not speaking of creation, but rather relation, as the thrust of this book is centered around a right relationship with the One who authored all beginnings. From a point in history John declares a sensual knowledge of the LORD, speaking to the things which the senses have known. Notice what we have heard. The auditory senses, or the sense of hearing is addressed. When Jesus walked the earth as a man He spoke what His Father gave Him to speak. The Apostles, including John have a unique place in history as being those who physically heard the LORD. Today, we can hear the LORD through His eternal Word and by the Spirit of God which lives in us. The Bible teaches in Romans 10:17 that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Â And again, we know that as believers in Christ that we are His, because He said in John 10:27, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”
John also points out the sense of sight. The unique things that the Apostles were priviledged to witness with their own eyes were astounding! I would have loved to have seen the LORD performing the many great wonders that He performed. John and his fellow disciples were eyewitnesses to the accounts recorded for us in the Word of God. But even so, they only got a taste of what we all shall experience in the age to come when we will all see Him in His glory! One of the interesting Scriptures in the Bible that gives me a great deal of joy is the priviledge that I share with you and others who were not eyewitnesses to Jesus while He was walking the earth.Â Jesus said to the Apostle Thomas in John 20:29, â€śThomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.â€ť What an encouragement as a believer today.
And then John touches on the tactile senses (pardon the pun). To have been able to touch Jesus in His physical body would have been amazing! John had the wonderful experience of laying his head on Jesus (John 13:23,25). Mark 5:29 records the account of a woman who had an issuance of blood for 12 years, and by merely touching the garment that Jesus wore, she was healed of her infirmity. And so to have touched Jesus would have been so incredible, and yet today we have an even greater privilege; we are daily touched by Jesus. As believers, the Holy Spirit lives in us and we have the awesome joy of having our lives ministered to by Jesus Himself as He pours into our lives daily.
[1Jo 1:2 NKJV]
the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us-
Not only did the Apostles get to see the Christ as He walked upon the earth during His earthly ministry, but they also bore witness to the resurrection of Jesus. It is from this profound viewpoint that they are able to declare the hope that all believers eagerly await. We long for His return so that we too might taste in the resurrection from the dead. Now we are born again into a spiritual transformation when we surrender our live to Jesus, and still we have the anticipation of a physical resurrection where we will adorn glorified bodies that are incorruptable. Oh what a day that will be to exchange our flesh suites for robes of righteousness!
[1Jo 1:3 NKJV]
that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship [is] with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
I often marvel at the fact that every time we share in communion together, we are taking communion with not only those who are a part of the fellowship gathered together at the church, but those in the body who are gathered around the world. Not only those, but also those from time past and those in the future! We share in the same communion that Christ took, and the same communion the Apostles took! Our holy communion is woven through the fabric of time and touches all who share in their love for Jesus. It is our love for Jesus and for one another that allows us to have fellowship with the Apostles and to our LORD and Savior!
[1Jo 1:4 NKJV]
And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.
We know that Apostles penned their letters, some through anÂ amanuenses who wrote as the Apostle dictated; however, we understand that the writings of the Apostles were directly the result of the Spirit of God moving through them to pen God’s Word. The books of the Bible are meant to be the sufficient resource for all who believe in Jesus. Because of the faithfulness of the Apostles to write what the LORD gave them to write, our joy is full. Because God honors His Word, and preserved it for us today, we have confidence that this instruction manual for Christian living is perfectly sufficient for us today! This gives us inexpressable joy!
[1Jo 1:5 NKJV]
This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all.
Again, Jesus lived out the Message before the Apostles. This Gospel has been declared through the ages and now we see as they saw. God is the light, there is no darkness in Him. His light shines down the corridor of time and radiates from His being. We look to His light to see and we walk to the light. One day, we will be surrounded by the Light as heaven in all of its splendor is illuminated by the very Being we worship and adore; Jesus!
[1Jo 1:6 NKJV]
If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.
To be a believer is to walk in His Word. We can say that we are Christians but if we do not keep His commandments we declare that we do not love Him. As believers we adhere to His Word and genuinely desire to please Him. We are aware of our proclivities to sin and steer clear of the things that would cause us to stumble. When we fall, we are quick to seek forgiveness and repent.
[1Jo 1:7 NKJV]
But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
We share a unique privilege with the saints of old to behold the Light of the World. Jesus is the One who unifies His body. We are knit together with saints throughout history. The unifying factor is the blood of Jesus that washes of our sins. The Word of God tells us that if we confess our sins that He is faithful to forgive us of our sins and cleanse us of all unrighteousness (see verse 9).
[1Jo 1:8 NKJV]
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
Romans 3:23 makes it clear that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. The last place that anyone wants to be is position of being self-decieved. It is one thing to be the victim of a con-artist, but when the con-artist is ourself we are to be pitied above all. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me, but what if the fool is the one being fooled? That is what happens when we are foolish enough to say that we have no sin.
[1Jo 1:9 NKJV]
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
This the one thing that gives us hope. Our confession is not merely like that of a child whose parents tells him to “say you’re sorry” to a sibling that we have wronged. Our confession to the LORD should be from a humble and broken place. When we realize that we have committed a sin against the LORD (who is really the only one we sin against), we need to keep that account short. He is the only One who can forgive, for He alone is righteous.
[1Jo 1:10 NKJV]
If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.
Again, we are sinners. When we are haughty and say we have no sin, then we are saying that His blood is not necessary. I don’t want to be standing around you when the lightning strikes. Listen, if you are honest with yourself you will recognize that you are a sinner. Even Billy Graham was a sinner! We must recognize that we are sinners and lay that sin at the feet of Jesus. We must repent of our sins and seek to live according to His Word. If we fail to recognize our sinfulness, and we have a self-righteous view, then we are self-decieved and in danger being judged. Listen, God will judge everything according to the standard of holiness. It is Christ’s blood that covers us. When we stand before the Judge, we don’t want to be the redeemer of our own sins. We will always fall short. Give up your sin to Jesus, and be forgiven and cleansed, or trust in your own righteousness and discover that your righteousness is worthless.