Summary: This church received good news from Jesus!
We are now at letter number six of the seven letters.
This letter is written to a church that has done it right; this is a church that we would want to make sure we emulate.
This letter is written to the church at Philadelphia. The city was world-famous for its wines and hot springs that were said to have healing powers.
This city became known as the “Gateway to the East” because of its geographic location. The city was founded about 150 years before Jesus. The purpose for the city was to spread the Greek culture, language and manner of life to the east. She was intended to be a missionary city – to promote Hellenism in the land.
This is where the church in this letter resided. The church was small and may not have had a strong influence in the city.
This church was suffering persecution at the hands of the Jews that lived in the area.
In this letter, Jesus has nothing negative to say about the church. In this letter we will see another picture of Jesus, the position that this faithful church held and the rewards that awaited the faithful in the church.
This small church that did not seem to have much power or influence was standing at the door of opportunity.
I. PICTURE OF JESUS. V 7
For a picture of Jesus, let us look at verse 7 together.
Revelation 3:7 (NASB) 7“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: He who is holy, who is true, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, and who shuts and no one opens, says this:
What picture is painted of Jesus? First we see…
A. Jesus is Holy.
God is called Holy throughout the Bible, Jesus is also holy. God is Holy by nature.
To be Holy means to be without sin. God is Holy be nature, we are Holy through Jesus.
B. Jesus is True.
There are two words for “true” in the original language, one means “something is true verses something being false.” The other word means that something is “real” opposed to something that which is “unreal”. This is the word that the Bible uses to describe Jesus.
Jesus is reality, whatever else claims to be true God, is not.
Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies.
Do we realize that we serve the one true God, a Holy God. DO we take God seriously?
C. Jesus is the doorkeeper.
Behind this there is an Old Testament picture. Hezekiah had a faithful steward called Eliakim, who was over his entire house and who alone could admit to the presence of the king. Isaiah heard God say of this faithful Eliakim:
"Then I will set the key of the house of David on his shoulder, When he opens no one will shut, When he shuts no one will open. (Isaiah 22:22).
It is this picture which is in John’s mind. Jesus alone has authority to admit to the New Jerusalem, the new city of David.
In John 14:6 Jesus says of Himself, “Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
II. POSITION OF THE FAITHFUL CHURCH V8-9
Let’s turn to verses 8-9 so we can see the position of the church.
Revelation 3:8 - 9 (NASB) 8‘I know your £deeds. Behold, I have put before you an open door which no one can shut, because you have a little power, and have kept My word, and have not denied My name. 9‘Behold, I will cause those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—I will make them come and bow down at your feet, and make them know that I have loved you.
Once again, Jesus says He knows their deeds, nothing is hidden from Jesus!
Let’s look at their position.
A. The faithful church is standing before an open door.
Have you ever stood in an open door, trying to decide whether to go through the door or not?
Have you ever had a door of opportunity open to you, but you were not sure what to do about it?
Have you ever reflected on your life and looked back at the doors that were open to you, but at the time for various reasons, you did not know the door was open?