Summary: This afternoon we will take a look at the church that is alive and faithful; a Church that focuses on reaching people about Christ; a church that focusing on the teaching of Christ; a church that love one another; a church that hold on to the truth.
MESSAGES TO SEVEN CHURCHES-3
Philadelphia – The Church that Faithful and Alive
Good News Christian Fellowship
November 12, 2006
BUCAS, Daraga Albay
A. Last week we have seen a church that was full of splendor, and has a good reputation. Yet later that church was dying and lifeless A Church resting on its laurel and past history, that just reveled in what used to be. Once the Church was alive and powerful, and then began to harbor sin. As a result, it became weak, blind, and dead.
B. This afternoon we will take a look at the church that is alive and faithful; a Church that focuses on reaching people about Christ; a church that focusing on the teaching of Christ; a church that love one another; a church that hold on to the truth.
C. This church has all the power, strength, holiness, and truth. It represents certain types of churches in every age: those that are faithful and Christ-honoring.
D. You will notice, this church has no warning or complaints only praise and commendation.
The Recipient (3:7a)
A. The Minister - "And unto the angel…”
The letter is addressed to the pastor or minister (angel) of the Church at Philadelphia.
B. The Church – “to the church at Philadelphia.”
1. It’s Beginning.
Just like the church at Sardis, we don’t know who started this church at Philadelphia. I mean, we don’t know exactly if it is really Paul who founded the church. The bible didn’t explicit details about it. However, we know Christ had opened some doors. We know that Christ empowers the Apostle to open the doors for the Gospel. But as to who is that Apostles, that we don’t know.
Some commentators says, it might be Paul.
2. The name.
The city was called, "Philadelphia." That name was formed from two Greek words: phileo, which means "love," and adelphos, which means "brother." So the name Philadelphia means brotherly love. Later in this message we will see why the City was named Philadelphia.
C. The City
It was established in 189 BC by King Eumenes II of Pergamon (197-160 BC). Eumenes II named the city for the love of his brother, who would be his successor, Attalus II (159-138 BC), whose loyalty earned him the nickname, "Philadelphos", literally meaning "one who loves his brother".
[This reminds us about our own city of Legaspi. Our City was named after after Miguel López de Legazpi, the Spanish conquistador who conquered the Philippine islands in 1565, and whose family name came from Legazpi, a town in Guipuzcoa, Spain.]
After being annexed to the Roman Empire, the city was a strong ally of Romans who often changed the name of the city during the time of certain Emperors helping to the city. Philadelphia stayed always faithful to Christian Faith till end of its history. Since it was a famous city for its grape production; naturally, the most important divinity was the god of Vine, Bachus. (http://www.ephesusguide.com/seven_churches_philadelphia.php)
The city lay along a fault line, and is subject to frequent and sometimes powerful earthquakes, making the task of recovering the past in archaeology a difficult one. They knew what it was to live in the midst of insecure surroundings and under constant stress and strain. According to history the city of Sardis and ten other cities was destroyed by terrifying earthquake in A.D. 17. Philadelphia was spared total destruction.
After Emperor Tiberius aided in their rebuilding, it took the new name of “Neocaesarea” (New Caesar).Under Vespasian’s rule (69-79 AD), it changed names to “Flavia”. By the third century, paganism had held on in the face of a Christianizing Empire, and the city became known as “little Athens” for its dedication to deities. None of these names or epithets lasted, and today the modern city is called Alasehir (http://www.ephesusguide.com)
The Author (3:7b) – “These are the words of Him…”
There is the speaker, Jesus Christ Himself. What Jesus Christ says about himself speaks to the heart of the church that is alive and faithful.
1. “The Holy One” – Jesus Christ is claiming to have the very nature of God. Christ is God. He is the Holy One. Holiness means to be set apart and different from all other beings, completely and totally set apart. Christ is supremely holy. Christ is different from all other who claim deity.
“Extol the Lord our God, and worship at His holy mountain; for the Lord our God is Holy! (Psalm 99:9)
2. “The True One.” – In Greek text there are two words for “true”: alethes and the other is alethinos. We have to determined which one of these words is used in the text so that we will understand fully what Christ is meant.
a. alethes – loving the truth, speaking the truth, truthful (http://bible.heartlight.org/lex/grk/view.cgi?number=227