E-Free Church - Gaylord Campus
To The Church at Sardis
What can we learn from the letters Jesus writes to the 7 churches in Revelation?
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  • E-Free Church - Gaylord Campus
    1602 M-32, Gaylord, MI 49735, USA
    Saturday 5:00 PM
The CORRESPONDENT (3:1)

As we have seen, though not named specifically, the writer is Jesus as the description matches that of Jesus in Revelation 1:12-17

“Seven Spirits of God” = reference to the fullness of the Holy Spirit working in the church today (Isaiah 11:2 = Spirit is described as, “the Spirit of the Lord; of wisdom; of understanding; of counsel; of strength; of knowledge; and of the fear of the Lord”)

“Seven stars” = the angels of the 7 churches (Revelation 1:20)

Who is the angel? (an angel or the pastor)
The CHURCH (3:1)

“Likely started as outreach of Paul’s ministry at Ephesus (Acts 19:10)
The CITY (3:1)

Sardis was a wealthy kingdom (gold/silver coins first minted in Sardis) and center for wool production and the garment industry

Sardis was built on a hill 1500 feet above the valley below and had rock walls on 3 sides making it almost impregnable. The city could only be approached from the south via a steep and difficult path.

Due to its impregnable location, the people of the city became overconfident. Through carelessness, the city was conquered.

The city was destroyed in a earthquake in AD 17 but was rebuilt with the generous aid of emperor (Tiberius). In gratitude, the citizens built a temple in his honor. Hot springs near Sardis were celebrated as a spot where the gods manifested their power to give life to the dead
The CONCERN (3:1-2)

I know your deeds (full and complete knowledge)

The pattern in these letters is to give commendation fist; In this letter, Jesus reverses, giving concerns before the commendation

You have a name that you are alive but you are dead (Name = reputation; the outward appearance made it seem spiritually alive when Jesus call is spiritually dead; Many were not true believers)

I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of God (they were performing deeds (going through the motions)
The COMMENDATION (3:4)

There were a few true Christians (God has His remnant)

“Soiled” = “to stain, defile, smear or pollute” (this word would have been familiar to the people due to their dye and wool business)
The COMMAND (3:2-3)

Wake up/strengthen the things that remain which are about to die (“Things” is neuter speaking of things not people - They need to fan into flame the dying embers of the spiritual graces in the church)

Remember what you have received/heard and keep it and repent (They need to change their mind about where they erred and again establish a solid doctrinal foundation and then live by them)

I will come like a thief/you will not know what hour I will come (If not, Jesus will come to them in judgement with no advance warning)
The COUNSEL (3:5-6)

He who has ears to hear, let him hear (This is how Jesus closes each of the 7 letters - plural showing that it applies to all churches)

Clothed in white garments(Symbolizes salvation and purity; what the church is wearing at the Marriage of the Lamb (Revelation 19:7-9)
The COUNSEL (3:5-6)
I will not erase his name from the book of life (This does not teach that someone can lose their salvation

In John’s day rulers kept a register of the citizens of a city. If someone died/committed serious crimes, their name was erased

Christ here promises to never erase a true Christian’s names from the roll of those names (Revelation 13:8; 20:12-15)

Initially every name was in the book; When you die without Christ, your name is erased from the book of life
I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

On the contrary, Christ will confess every believer’s name before the Father, affirming that they belong to Him (Matthew 10:32-33)