The Sixth Sense

Bible Book: 1 Peter  1 : 8-9
Subject: Faith; Christian Living; Joy in Christ
Introduction

God has endowed us with five senses: hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting, and touch.

 In the context of the Christian life, there is the sixth sense. It can be referred to as sensing, knowing, or hoping. It is the God-given sense of FAITH.  I believe that faith sees, faith produces, and faith receives.  In 2 Corinthians 5:7, Paul shared this same conviction.

2 Corinthians 5:7: “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”

The possibility of enduring tribulations victoriously is a reality based on the relationship of the believer with his Lord.  It is a relationship not based on sight, but on faith.

The people in 1 Peter had been beaten up, bruised, battered, run all over the country, and yet Peter is going to tell us in v.8 that they could see someone who was invisible to the naked eye, and not only see Him, but love Him and bless Him.

Sanford Bennett wrote, Sweet By and By

“There’s a land that is fairer than day

And by faith we can see it afar,

For the Father awaits over the way

To prepare us a dwelling place there.

In the sweet by and by

We shall meet on that beautiful shore.

In the sweet by and by

We shall meet on that beautiful shore.”

Samuel Stennett wrote, On Jordan’s Stormy Banks

On Jordan’s stormy banks I stand,

And cast a wishful eye.

To Canaan’s fair and happy land,

Where my possessions lie.

I am bound for the promised land,

I am bound for the promised land;

O who will come and go with me?

I am bound for the promised land.”

Charles A. Tindley wrote, We’ll Understand It Better By and By

“Oft our cherished plans have failed,

Disappointments have prevailed,

And we’ve wandered in the darkness,

Heavy hearted and alone;

But we’re trusting in the Lord,

And, according to His Word,

We will understand it better by and by.

By and by, when the morning comes,

When the saints of God are gathered home,

We will tell the story

How we overcome;

We will understand it better by and by.”

W. B. Stevens wrote: Farther Along

Tempted and tried, we’re oft made to wonder

Why it should be thus all the day long;

While there are others living about us,

Never molested, though in the wrong.

Refrain:

Farther along we’ll know more about it,

Farther along we’ll understand why;

Cheer up, my brother, live in the sunshine,

We’ll understand it all by and by.

Sometimes I wonder why I must suffer,

Go in the rain, the cold, and the snow,

When there are many living in comfort,

Giving no heed to all I can do.

Tempted and tried, how often we question

Why we must suffer year after year,

Being accused by those of our loved ones,

E’en though we’ve walked in God’s holy fear.

Often when death has taken our loved ones,

Leaving our home so lone and so drear,

Then do we wonder why others prosper,

Living so wicked year after year.

“Faithful till death,” saith our loving Master;

Short is our time to labor and wait;

Then will our toiling seem to be nothing,

When we shall pass the heavenly gate.

Soon we will see our dear, loving Savior,

Hear the last trumpet sound through the sky;

Then we will meet those gone on before us,

Then we shall know and understand why.

These are hymns written by believers that understood the “sixth sense.”  It leads to:

I. LOVING THE SAVIOR.  8

“whom having not seen you love”

A. A CONTRAST.

1 John 1:1-3: “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--  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--  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.”

The words used here point to the vivid recollection of the person of Jesus that John still had even in his old age.  For John, even 60 years later, those memories were permanently etched on his mind as if the events had just happened.  He uses terms that strongly affirm the physical reality of Jesus, for a spirit cannot be heard, gazed at, or touched.  John was an eyewitness of Jesus’ life.

Also, Peter fit into the same category. 2 Peter 1:16-18: “For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty.  For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."

And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.”

B. A COMPLIMENT (A Beatitude)

John 20:29: “Jesus said to him, ‘Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.’"

Jesus foresaw the time when such tangible evidence as Thomas received would not be available…when Jesus ascended permanently to the Father, all those who believe would do so without the benefit of seeing the resurrected Lord.  Jesus pronounced a special blessing on those who believe without having Thomas’ privilege.

C. A CONVICTION

The recipients of Peter’s letter had not seen Jesus, yet, because of the gospel, they love Jesus and believe in Him.  They love Jesus and put their trust in Him, even though they are unable to see Him in this earthly life.  The basis of belief is the message spoken by the apostles.

John 17:20: "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word.”

It is based, not on physical sight, but on a spiritual relationship and what the Word of God has taught me about Him.

2 Corinthians 4:18: “While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

Endurance is based on one’s ability to look beyond the physical to the spiritual; beyond the present to the future, and beyond the visible to the invisible.

This is not love at first sight, but love at “heart sight.”

Three Ways of Seeing Christ:

1. Eyewitness -  through the Incarnation

Note: (1 John 1:1-2)

2. Faith – represented by those who live between His ascension and return.

Note: (1 Peter 1:8-9)

3. Sight – represented by those who will see Christ at His return.

1 John 3:2: “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”

“love” – places the emphasis upon a deep devotion, which prompts a gift of ourselves to Christ for His gift of Himself to us.  It refers to a love that is called out of one’s heart by the preciousness of the person loved.  But even the preciousness of the Lord Jesus would not have made these individuals love Him if God, in salvation, had not produced in them that divine love which He Himself is, with which to love Him.

It is the “fruit of the Spirit” – love - (Gal. 5:22)

1 John 4:10: “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

Romans 5:5: “Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”

God has implanted within our hearts evidence (Romans 8:16) that we belong to Him.  Although they had not seen Jesus, their love for Him is genuine.  They never saw the Lord Jesus with the physical sense of sight, but what a vivid portrait of Him did the Holy Spirit paint for them on the canvas of their spiritual vision.  It was a clear-cut conception of the Lord Jesus, which the Holy Spirit had given these saints through the Word of God.

Romans 8:16: “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,”

THREE GREAT TRUTHS:

“To know Him is to love Him”

1. Study God’s Word

Ezra 7:10: “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel.

2. Be Submissive to God’s Holy Spirit

James 4:7: “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”

3. You Will Have Spiritual Vision as God’s Saint

Matthew 5:8:

“Blessed are the pure in heart,

For they shall see God.”

II. BELIEVING IN THE SAVIOR.  8

“Though now you do not see Him, yet believing…”

Love and faith go together; when you love someone, you trust him.

Romans 8:28: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

“See all things working” - No!

“Know all things working” - Yes!

Believing means surrendering all to God and obeying His Word in spite of circumstances and consequences.

PISTIS is the Greek word for believing which derives naturally from love.

Romans 10:17: “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Great thing about Bible study is that the more you study about Him, the more you love Him, and the more you love Him, the more you study about Him!  It is a beautiful cycle.

Faith, with the object being Christ, plus the written Word of God gives us a present, personal knowledge of Him, even to the point of loving Him.

III. REJOICING IN THE SAVIOR.  8

“You rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory” – the fiery trials that believers have endured will benefit God by bringing Him praise, honor, and glory eternally (v.7)

The possession of joy is always dependent upon living in a vital relationship with Christ, sin destroys your joy.

“Rejoice” – is a word expressing deep emotion.  It is a spiritual joy that is so deep and personal that it cannot be adequately formulated in words.  It is “full of glory” or glorified.

This inexpressible joy is really a little taste of heaven that God permits us to enjoy while we are still here on earth.

“Unspeakable” (inexpressible) – a compound of laleo (to speak), ek (out) and a meaning no, which negates the word.  Not speaking out; it denotes a joy which may be experienced but is of such a nature as to defy adequate verbal expression.

“full of glory” – indicates that his filling with glory happened in the past and that the results continue indefinitely into the future.

Do you see what is being conveyed here?

It is what I call “getting happy”

IV. RECEIVING FROM THE SAVIOR.  9

“receiving the end of your faith, the salvation of your souls”

In one sense, Christians now possess the result of their faith, a constant deliverance from the power of sin.  In another sense, we are waiting to receive the full salvation of eternal glory in the redemption of our bodies.

Romans 8:23: “Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.”

The consummation of your faith, that is, the final salvation of your souls.

We can experience today some of that future glory.  Charles Spurgeon used to say, “Little faith will take your soul to heaven, but great faith will bring heaven to your soul.”

Peter urged his readers to exercise love, faith, and rejoicing so that they might experience some of the glory of heaven in the midst of suffering now.

From the initiation of salvation, man keeps on receiving the fulfillment of his faith, the salvation of his soul.