These Things Saith He – Sardis Overview

And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.

Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.

Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.

He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches (Revelation 3:1-6)

This is similar to what we read in Matthew 24 and Luke 12. Jesus instructs that He will come at an hour when no one expects and He instructs us to be watchful and busy about the Lord’s business.

He tells us that if we take advantage of His absence and begin to live a worldly life as those who are drunken and smiting their fellow servants, then we will be counted among the unbelievers when He arrives.

This reminds me of those who claim the Christian faith but do not go on to live a Christian life. Making a one-time declaration of faith without going on to grow in the things of Christ reveals something about our faith. It is a dead faith.

Instead, we should grow in the faith and in the things of God as the Spirit of God works in us. Jesus has authority over the Holy Spirit, which we might assume is the culmination of the “seven spirits of God.” He can grant these spirits to those who receive the gospel, keep it, repent of sin, and seek the Lord for growth—and our repentance and growth is a continued pursuit.

Although the blood of Jesus covers us when we first believe and there is no need to be covered again because His sacrifice is sufficient, we should remain honest about our sins throughout our lives as Christians. We must continue to hold fast to the teachings of Jesus that convict us of sin and show us a better way. We must seek the Lord to bless us according to the things of the Spirit so that we can overcome and receive gifts that serve our brethren in Christ.

We cannot neglect the things of the Spirit of God. We cannot neglect our reasonable service as Christians—which is to die to self and to sin so that we can serve Jesus who is our Lord and by extension serve others as He would have us to do.

We do not become Christians so that we can serve ourselves while we use the blood of Jesus as a one-time, get-out-of-hell escape plan. This is not the gospel.

The gospel promises forgiveness of sins so that we can be adopted into the family and Kingdom of God. This means transformation, service, and a life that is changed into the likeness of Christ in some measure according to the will of the Father for each person.

Therefore, this church is instructed to hold fast to what they received, repent, and let die what must die so that they can be made strong in Christ.

There is always more to gain and more righteousness to seek. Although the blood of Jesus makes us perfect in a judicial sense in the eyes of the Father, our sins in this life matter and our use or neglect of the gifts we receive matter. Paul the apostle wrote, “be not deceived. He that does righteousness is righteous.”

The judicial freeing by the blood of Jesus is our only hope. However, having received it, we should remember that this was given to us so that we can die to sin in this life in a real, tangible way. If we love the Lord and His teachings, then we view all sin as bondage that we need freedom from in this present life.

If our works are not perfect and if we are not without sin—and chances are good that they are not and we are not—then there is more for us to pursue. We cannot grow stagnant in the faith and in our pursuit of the things of God.

Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.

He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

There are many who believe that a one-time or loose commitment to Jesus saves a person for eternity, regardless of how dead their faith might be and how little Jesus seems to impact their life. However, they themselves are serious about the faith.

They do not let the world consume them, causing them to forget Jesus and act as if they can live however they want without regard for the Lord. They are busy about His business, seek to grow in Christ, and are found to be “good and faithful servants” when Jesus returns.

The blood of Jesus washes our sins and makes us white as snow. However, once we receive this salvation, we must go on to live out our Christianity in a real-to-life way. If we seek Jesus, get to know His word, pray often, and remain truthful about our sinful struggles in this life, He will show us what He expects from us individually. He will give us gifts of the Spirit. We will serve Him. We will hear, “well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

PREVIOUS CHAPTER: These Things Saith He – Scripture for Thyatira

NEXT:  These Things Saith He – Overcoming Sardis

All Current “These Things Saith He” Drafts

The above is the draft version of a chapter to a book I plan to write and publish in a manner that is free of charge to the public.

I wrote in These Things Saith He: Contents that I will publish the drafts here first and offer opportunity for others to share their thoughts before the final work is completed.

I’m open to and greatly value the insight, experiences, and thoughts of my Christian brethren because we are a body knit together in Christ that is meant to work together without over reliance on our leaders. I am not your leader, but I do try to be faithful to what I have received to the best of my ability, and I look to Jesus for gracious judgment of my service and the service of all who truly love Him.

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