1 "And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: 'The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. "'I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.
2 Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God.
3 Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.
4 Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy.
5 The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels.
6 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'
Sardis: Snap out of it! — Revelation 3:1-6
We begin with Jesus addressing a church in a city called Sardis, apparently known as “a most flourishing and famous city”, a place where on the outside, everything looked great.
I. Snap out of it (v.1b-3)
A church with a good reputation! Known for being alive! Jesus however, says: “...but you are dead.”
An ever-present danger for churches. For Christian communities. To be filled with people who are surrounded by the gospel, bible teaching, but spiritually dead.
Jesus tells us in verse 3: “Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent.”
How do we repent? By remembering. How can we do this?
God has continually given His people instruments, ordinances and means of grace designed to hold out the Gospel to us. From the Old Testament to the New.
- The Word of God (read, taught, sung in songs and hymns)
- Ordinances like Baptism, the Lord’s Supper, Worship, the Lord’s Day, etc.
- Fellowship of Church community (see Psalm 133; Acts 2:42-47)
-Personal (and Family) worship (see Matthew 6:6)
The question is whether we’re taking hold of these things we have received!
II. Stand your ground (v. 4-5)
The Belgic Confession (1561), a document of Christian teaching, says in Article 27: “This church has existed from the beginning of the world and will last until the end [...] this holy church is preserved by God against the rage of the whole world, even though for a time it may appear very small to human eyes—as though it were snuffed out.”
Jesus encourages those who were not spiritually dead to persevere!
Conclusion (v. 6)
Will you hear?