Summary: How does Christ see us as the church? He has made us with a purpose, and how He sees us demonstrates that purpose.
Introduction -- In Alaska the mosquitoes are horrible during the summer. Most people wonder why God created them. But we know that God had a purpose for them, and for us! If we can see ourselves as god sees us, it helps us to understand our purpose in life.
Background -- Revelation is a symbolic book, but much of the symbollism is explained in the book itself. In Revelation 1:20 Christ tells John that the seven golden lampstands are the seven churches. We know that God does not see churches as buildings, but as people. So we can understand how Christ sees the church, that is us, through this passage.
We first learn that in God’s eyes we are precious. We know this becasue:
A. Gold - the lampstands are gold.
1. Gold is the most valuable metal, then and now.
2. The lampstands are those that were placed in the Tabernacle and Temple of the Old Testament.
3. Those golden lampstands were made of pure gold - the most valuable resource. We know that our faith is seen as precious as pure gold that has gone through the fire.
4. The lampstands were of one piece of gold, so the church should be one.
The gold for the lampstands was beaten, so our faith is strengthened as we go through trials, and we become more usable and even more precious to God.
B. God’s -- we are precious becasue we belong to God.
(Illustration - an old wooden desk sold at auction for millions of dollars becasue it once belonged to Napoleon. A cigar box sold at auction in New York for close to a million dollars becasue it once belonged to John F. Kennedy and sat on his desk in the Oval Office. These common pieces were deemed valuable becasue of who owned them -- we are more valuable becasue we belong to God.)
1. We were bought with a price - the price of Christ’s blood. We belong to Him.
2. We are the possession of Christ. We may not like thining of ourselves as property, but if we have to belong to anyone, it might as well be the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!
Not only are we precious in god’s eyes, but we have a purpose.
A. Light -- the purpose of the lampstands was to send forth light.
1. The lampstand were at times the only source of light in the Tabernacle and Temple.
2. We are to be the Light of the World (Matthew 5).
3. Not only should we shine for Christ, but He should shine through us. We should be a reflection of Him! As Moses radiated when he had been in the preence of God, so we should radiate the love and presence of Christ!
B. Look Beautiful -- lampstands also added beauty to the buildings.
1. We are to make the world a more beautiful place. We do that by showing the beauty of Christ in our lives.
2. Every bride is beautiful becasue she knows she is loved, we should be beautiful as the bride of Christ becasue He loves us.
III. Power -- the lampstands needed a power to produce light - oil. In the Bible oil is a picture of the Holy Spirit. He is our power. But in order for us to meet our purpose and shine, we need to:
A. Remove Obstructions - the priests needed to remove whatever there might be that clogged up the lamps and kept the oil from reaching the wicks.