Summary: Letters to the Churches
Letters to the Churches
1. Letters to the Churches
a. The Lord is making certain command on these first century churches.
b. Christ is the head of these churches
c. Each Church was to read what was said to the others
2. Spiritual threats to the Churches
b. Judaizing heresy
d. Loss of Zeal
3. The Churches resembled the cities they lived in.
(1) Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
(2) I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
(3) And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name's sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
(4) Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
(5) Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
(6) But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
(7) He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
I. The Church in Ephesus (1-7)
a. The Command (1)
i. The Citizens
1. This is the second letter to the Ephesians.
a. The Apostle Paul, founded the church and labored there over three years (Acts 18
2. Ephesus “was the major city of the great Roman province of Asia which embraced a large area of what is now Asia Minor.” (Coffman)
ii. The Correspondent
1. “He that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand”
a. Faithful Christian workers are held in Christ protective care.
b. “It is the honour of God that he knows the number of the stars, calls them by their names, binds the sweet influences of Pleiades and looses the bands of Orion; and it is the honour of the Lord Jesus Christ that the ministers of the gospel, who are greater blessings to the church than the stars are to the world, are in his hand. He directs all their motions; he disposes of them into their several orbs; he fills them with light and influence; he supports them, or else they would soon be falling stars; they are instruments in his hand, and all the good they do is done by his hand with them” (Matthew Henry).
2. “Who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks”
a. The “golden candlesticks” are the churches.
b. Christ is pictured as having a part in the fellowship of the churches.
b. The Commendation (2-3)
4. Can’t bear evil men
5. “didst try them that call themselves apostles….and didst find them false”
1. “didst bear form my names sake”
2. “hast not grown weary”
c. The Chastisement (4-7)
i. The Counsel
ii. The Command
iii. The Conclusion
(8) And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;
(9) I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
(10) Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
(11) He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.
II. The Church in Smyrna (8-11)
a. The Command (8-9)
i. The Citizens
ii. The Correspondent
b. The Content (10)
i. Their Advance
ii. Their Anguish
iii. Their Adversary
iv. Their Alarm
c. The Conclusion (11)
i. The Plea
ii. The Promise
(12) And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;
(13) I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.