Revelation 3:1-3

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John opens up to the church at Sardis in the same manner as He does to others – with a description of Jesus. The “seven spirits of God,” seem to refer to the Holy Spirit of God in the fullness or totality (with seven being the complete number). And “the seven stars” are determined to be the Seven Churches. The idea is the fulness of the Spirit was in His possession as He guided these seven churches toward the end of the age. To the church at Sardis Jesus has very little good to say. He will admit they have a few who are “worthy” but He pretty much maligns the spiritual condition of this particular church. “You are reported to be a church that is alive” but Jesus makes the reality clear by adding: “And art dead.”Obviously, the believers in Sardis were in serious spiritual trouble – so much that Jesus calls them DEAD without any sort of qualifications. But He is speaking to them with instructions as if they were capable of responding. This is biblical evidence that “spiritually dead,” in the scripture, does not mean absolutely incapable of responding freely to His calls to either receive Him or repent: that there is, in fact, something in all of us – even in our most destitute conditions – that allows, even demands, that we respond. With the exception of a few believers here in Sardis, it seems that these folks had all the outward pretense of the faith, but were inwardly full of dead dried bones. Jesus tells them to be watchful. The command is, “Strengthen the things which remain.” To God everything that remains of anything that is valuable and has merit, we ought to strive to strengthen such. No matter how ugly or bad or disastrous a situation might get in an individual’s life, there is hope, there is a glimmer of redemption, there is a chance for new life – in this life or in the next. Some sort of Godliness remained in the Church at Sardis and as long as this was the case, there was hope. So He tells them to strengthen that which remains – which has to be LOVE. “Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent.” It is always well for Christians to call to remembrance the day and their veiws and feelings when they gave their hearts to the Savior, and to compare those views with their present condition. Repent in regard to all that in which they have departed from their views and feelings when you embraced the gospel. I will come on thee as a thief. In a sudden and unexpected manner. This is often the way in which God comes to men in His heavy judgments. Long beforehand, he admonishes us of what must be the consequences of a course of sin, and warns us to turn from it; but when sinners refuse to attend to His warning, and still walk in the way of evil, He comes suddenly, and cuts them down. But even in a place so depraved, and where religion had so much declined, there were a few persons who had kept themselves free from the general contamination. Which have not defiled their garments – meanning they had not defiled themselves by coming in contact with the profane and the polluted. They were like persons clothed in white walking in the midst of the defiled, yet keeping their raiment from being soiled. They have shown themselves worthy to be regarded as followers of the Lamb. They have the character to which God has promised eternal life. “I will not blot out” means, that the names would be found there on the great day of final account, and would be found there for ever. The redeemed will be, thereore, secure. Check out our Website