Eternity Daily Bible Study
(A ministry of Eternity Christian Fellowship)

Walking In The Spirit - 46


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Topic: Spiritual Senses – Taste & Smell

Date: 22nd September 2009


Hearing and sight are remote senses but tasting is an immediate experience.  You actually put the food or drink in your mouth. You may only put  a little in at first to test it out, but if it is good you then consume it all. Thus taste has two aspects a) discernment of what is good to 'consume' spiritually and b) full participation in a spiritual reality:




1 Peter 2:2-3 MKJV  ..  desire the sincere milk of the Word, as newborn babes, so that you may grow by it;  (3)  if truly you have tasted that the Lord is gracious.


Psalms 34:8 Webster  O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.


The new believer 'tastes' God in order to ascertain if the Lord is good. When this is of course found to be true then he or she will lap up the milk of the Word. This then results in the new believer increasing in their trust of God and being blessed by Him.




Hebrews 6:4-6 MKJV  For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit,  (5)  and have tasted the good Word of God and the powers of the world to come,  (6)  and who have fallen away; it is impossible, I say, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify the Son of God afresh to themselves and put Him to an open shame.


Hebrews 2:9 MKJV  But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor, that He by the grace of God should taste death for all.


Jesus did not just dip His toe into death. He actually died. He tasted death for all. He was immersed in death. His 'tasting' of death was the full experience. He drained the cup of suffering to the last drop.


Those who 'tasted of the heavenly gift' and who 'tasted the word of God' are also partakers of the Holy Spirit and know the powers of the world to come. They are immersed in Christian spiritual experience  and are fully in the faith.  And when they taste it and reject it they are 'spitting God out' – which is an unforgivable sin. After losing all taste for God they cannot be renewed unto repentance.  Thus taste is like the other spiritual senses in that when it is inoperative it results in damnation for the person concerned.



The 'spiritual palate' has to be trained to feed on the right food such as the pure milk of the Word.  Our spiritual sense of taste needs to desire that which is truly desirable.


Psalms 119:103 MKJV  How sweet are Your Words to my taste! More than honey to my mouth!


Psalms 19:9-11 MKJV  (9)  The fear of Jehovah is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of Jehovah are true and righteous altogether,  (10)  more to be desired than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.  (11)  And Your servant is warned by them; in keeping them there is great reward.


John 4:34 EMTV  Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.


What the soul enjoys and desires, it seeks to acquire. If we enjoy spiritual things we will go after them.  On the other hand if they bore us and are 'tasteless' to us then we will run after the things of this world and this always results in spiritual catastrophe:


Psalms 78:26-31 MKJV  He caused an east wind to blow in the sky; and by His power He brought in the south wind.  (27)  and He also rained flesh on them like dust, and winged birds like the sand of the sea;  (28)  and He let them fall in the middle of their camp, all around their tents.  (29)  So they ate, and were filled to the full; for He gave them their own desire.  (30)  They were not turned away from their lust, but while their food was still in their mouths,  (31)  the wrath of God came on them and killed the fattest of them, and struck down the chosen of Israel.


Taste is important, even in the things of culture. If we enjoy the base and vulgar we will go in that direction. On the other hand we enjoy the good, the noble and the pure, our soul will be lifted up:


Philippians 4:8 MKJV  Finally, my brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are right, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue and if there is any praise, think on these things.


Colossians 3:1-3 EMTV  If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.  (2)  Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.  (3)  For you died, and your life has been hidden with Christ in God.


It takes time to acquire the taste for spiritual things. Television can seem much more interesting than prayer and intercession and a day at the beach much more appealing than going to church. This is why we need to gather together so that we encourage one another to love and good works:   Hebrews 10:24-25 EMTV  And let us consider one another for the stirring up of love and of good works,  (25)  not forsaking the assembling of ourselves, just as is the custom for some, but exhorting one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.



The sense of smell is related to the sense of taste in that the nose is placed directly over the mouth to control what goes into it.  If the milk is off your nose should detect it first and save your mouth from a terrible experience.  Just as taste and smell are related in the human body so they are related in the spiritual body.  In fact there seems to be a “ministry of sniffing things out...”


1 Corinthians 12:17-18 EMTV  (17)  If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling?  (18)  But now God has set the parts, each one of them, in the body just as He desired.


Hounds (such as bloodhounds, basset hounds etc) have exceptional senses of smell and can track people and animals for miles. And few machines can beat a dog at detecting bombs or drugs. Wine connoisseurs can sniff and taste a wine and know which vineyard it came from  and which year it was grown. Thus the people with the gift of spiritual discernment could be equated with the 'gift of smell' in the body of Christ.


When the gift of smell is damaged in some way people lead impeded lives and can even poison themselves or make them selves sick on food that should not have ever been consumed in the first place. Thus the spiritual gift of discernment / smell is a protective function that keeps the Church from being sickened by false teaching.  People with the gift of discernment help us to spot the 'rotten egg' or the 'rotten apple' before we 'eat' it!


To those with a properly functioning sense of smell Christ is the wonderful aroma of God:


Ephesians 5:2 EMTV  And walk in love, just as Christ also loved us and gave Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a fragrant aroma.


But to those who are perishing Christ and the gospel 'smell like death':


2 Corinthians 2:14-17 EMTV  (14)  Now thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and making known through us the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.  (15)  For we are the fragrance of Christ to God among those being saved, and among those perishing.  (16)  To some we are the fragrance of death leading to death, but to others the fragrance of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things?  (17)  For we are not as the rest, corrupting the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.


To sum up – the spiritual senses of taste and smell are used to discern good from evil so that our Christian lives become focused on the truly worthy things such as the pure milk of the Word.  They help us to 'pick and choose' between alternatives in life just as the corresponding physical senses help us to choose  in matters of food and drink. The spiritual senses of taste and smell can assist us in avoiding spiritual catastrophe and help us to refine our souls so that we truly desire the things of God.





John Edmiston (
Pastor – Eternity Christian Fellowship
Chairman/ CEO Cybermissions


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