Summary: Sardis: The Church of the Dead

Sardis: The Church of the Dead

Revelation 3:1-6, "Write this letter to the angel of the church in Sardis. This is the message from the one who has the sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars: "I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive--but you are dead. 2Now wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is at the point of death. Your deeds are far from right in the sight of God. 3Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly and turn to me again. Unless you do, I will come upon you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief. 4"Yet even in Sardis there are some who have not soiled their garments with evil deeds. They will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. 5All who are victorious will be clothed in white. I will never erase their names from the Book of Life, but I will announce before my Father and his angels that they are mine. 6Anyone who is willing to hear should listen to the Spirit and understand what the Spirit is saying to the churches.

Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright © 1996 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers.

Thirty miles southeast of Thyatira in Asia Minor lay Sardis. Sardis was well known for many reasons. This city was well known because it was a crossroads to five of the major trade cities in Asia Minor. This crossroads connected it northwest to Thyatira, and Pergamos; west to Smyrna fifty-four miles; east to Phrygia; southeast to Philadelphia, and finally southwest to Ephesus. Sardis was also known for its wealth as a result of its commercial trade. Sardis was a center for the woolen industry. The people of Phrygia also known for being great sheep-masters would bring their goods along with their costly dyes to the markets of Sardis.

It is in this wealthy environment that the Christians lived with the appearance of godliness, but in truth there hearts were far more content on what they could achieve. True peace shows itself on the outside; the direct response to the decisions that we make on an everyday basis, and even more showing where our heart lies thus revealing our relationship to God to a watching world. The Gospel of Christ is all about transformation from peace being on the outside; to peace being on the inside. This is the message that Christ addressed to the Christians of Sardis to move from peace on the outside, which was caused by Sardis being a rich city to having peace on the inside. The peace of Christ is not a mere exercise; it is the fruit from, which obedience is bred into the depths of our character; affecting every area of our lives; yes, even our decisions.

Vs.1, “"Write this letter to the angel of the church in Sardis. This is the message from the one who has the sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars: "I know all the things you do, and that you have a reputation for being alive--but you are dead.

“Sevenfold Spirit of God”

It is significant but for any reason that the number seven is used here in these verses; if not because seven in the Bible is the sign for completeness, but the Apostle John identifies the fullness of the Holy Spirit through the number seven. Isaiah 11:2 gives reference to this. Isaiah 11:2 says, “And the Spirit of the LORD will rest on him- -the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.” Zechariah 4:1- 10 also gives reference to this the seven-fold spirit of God. Zechariah 4:1-10 says, “Then the angel who had been talking with me returned and woke me, as though I had been asleep. "What do you see now?" he asked. I answered, "I see a solid gold lampstand with a bowl of oil on top of it. Around the bowl are seven lamps, each one having seven spouts with wicks. And I see two olive trees, one on each side of the bowl." Then I asked the angel, "What are these, my lord? What do they mean?""Don’t you know?" the angel asked. "No, my lord," I replied. Then he said to me, "This is what the LORD says to Zerubbabel: It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the LORD Almighty. Nothing, not even a mighty mountain, will stand in Zerubbabel’s way; it will flatten out before him! Then Zerubbabel will set the final stone of the Temple in place, and the people will shout: `May God bless it! May God bless it!’ "Then another message came to me from the LORD: "Zerubbabel is the one who laid the foundation of this Temple, and he will complete it. Then you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me. Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand. For these seven lamps represent the eyes of the LORD that search all around the world."

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