Faith Bible Church Greenfield Illinois

The Church of the Living Dead

Sardis was a magnificent city with a Church that could be called the Church of the living dead. Jesus describes them as alive but dead. How does a Church get to the point where they are doing things but have forgotten why they are doing them? How does a Church fix that problem? Jesus challenges the issue that the Church in Sardis had and then tells them how to fix it and make it right. I. How does Jesus describe Himself to this Church? A. He who has the seven Spirits of God (Revelation 3:1a) 1. Jesus possesses The Spirit in His fullness as prophesied in Is. 11:1, 2 2. He completely possesses the Spirit of the Lord 3. Messianic prophecy fulfilled in the way Jesus is described here B. He holds the seven stars (Revelation 3:1b) 1. The messengers to the seven churches 2. He holds them in His hands – He is in charge II. Jesus gives a diagnosis of this Church A. What they still had (Revelation 3:1c) 1. They had works – They were doing things 2. They had a name – They had a reputation 3. They were alive – It looked like it anyway, but they were a hollow shell B. They were dead (Revelation 3:1d) 1. They had stopped doing what they were doing for God 2. They were dead inside 3. Had a form of godliness (II Timothy 3:2, 5) 4. Full of action but not of God (Matt. 7:22, 23) 5. They convinced themselves they were alive, but they were dead III. Jesus tells them how to come back to life A. Jesus tells them to be watchful – wake up 1. Strengthen the things that remain – Am I doing what I do for Jesus? (Rev. 3:2a) a. There was a little life here b. They needed the life of the Spirit to strengthen them (John 6:63) c. We are strengthened by His words taught to us by the Spirit (John 14:26) 2. Wake up what is dying – I have not found your works perfect before God (Rev. 3:2b) a. Faith without deeds is dead (James 1:17, 26) b. Deeds without faith are dead (Matt. 7:22, 23) c. We are new creations made to do good works in Christ (Ephesians 2:10) B. Remember how your new life started – It was all about Jesus (Rev. 3:3a) 1. Remember how you heard and received the gospel (Ephesians 2:8, 9) 2. Hold fast to that (Heb. 10:23, Col. 2:6) 3. Repent from where things have gone – get back to serving for Him (Romans 12:1) We have a tendency to want to do things on our own and then to desire recognition for what we have accomplished on our own. That sort of thinking leads to dead works and can kill our relationship with God and lead to a Church full of people who are alive, but are dead.
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