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The Scriptorium

Dead - Almost

Doin' OK? Really?

Revelation 1-3: The First Facet

Week 3, Friday: The Church in Sardis

Jesus was blunt: The church in Sardis was dead. They had abandoned faith in the Gospel (v. 3) and were not inclined to the good works that accompany salvation (v. 2). Still, even in this dead church, there were a few – very few – people who still had faith in the Lord. That small remnant was apparently enough to spark the hope of revival.

Read Revelation 3

Meditate on Revelation 3.1-6
1.      Here Jesus introduces Himself as the bringer of the Holy Spirit and the ministers of His holy Word. Why was such an introduction appropriate for this church? Do churches today need to be reminded of Paul’s instruction in 2 Corinthians 7.1? Explain.

2.      How can a church have “a name that you are alive” but be “dead” at the same time? What kinds of “works” (v. 2) would indicate such a condition?

3.      “Remember therefore how you have received and heard…” (v. 3): “how”, not “what”: What does Jesus intend by this? They were calling themselves Christians so, presumably, they remembered “what” they should have remembered. What’s the significance of that “how”?

4.      “If you will not watch…” Whose duty is it to watch over the health of the local church (Heb. 13.17)? How should they do that?

5.      What does Jesus promise those who overcome in Sardis? What warning is implicit in this promise?

My Reflection
Jesus and the Spirit search the mind and the heart, as we have seen. Elders and shepherds are supposed to watch over the souls of those in their care, as we’ve also seen. What is your responsibility in keeping watch over your own soul, and how do you practice that self-watch?

The Glory of God
Give some examples of works that would be “perfect before God” (v. 2) because they refract His glory to the world?

Glory to Glory
What opportunities for doing works perfect before God are you likely to have today? How can you prepare to make sure that, when the opportunity arises, you will make the most of it (Eph. 5.15-17)?

Review Revelation 2.29. The Spirit speaks to the churches, sometimes to commend, sometimes to warn, sometimes to motivate with promises, sometimes to instruct and convict. If the Spirit were to speak to your church today, what would be His primary message?

Closing Prayer
O God, why have You cast us off forever?
Why does Your anger smoke against the sheep of Your pasture?
Remember Your congregation, which You have purchased of old,
The tribe of Your inheritance, which You have redeemed—
This Mount Zion where You have dwelt.
Lift up Your feet to the perpetual desolations.

Psalm 74.1-3

T. M. Moore

The book of Revelation is the culminating episode in the story of God’s covenant. To learn more about that covenant, and to discover the way it integrates all of Scripture into the Gospel of Jesus Christ, order a copy of T. M.’s book, I Will Be Your God, by clicking here.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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