Revelation 3:1-6 - The Church in Sardis

Revelation Sardis

Jesus continues...

To the angel of the church in Sardis write: He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, says this: “I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.” Revelation 3:1

How does Jesus describe Himself? He is the One Who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars, which we know are the angels of the churches. Jesus says that He knows all about their deeds and that they had a name, or reputation, that they were alive, in other words, a flourishing church. But He tells them the common opinion of the world was not accurate—He declares they are dead.

They had a name that they were alive, just like many of today’s churches are known far and wide, but they were dead—their deeds were worthless, devoid of the Spirit of God. Unless the Holy Spirit is the One doing the deed through a believer, it is empty and dead. No matter the size of a congregation, no matter the reputation and glory the church has attained for itself, it is dead and considered worthless if it is not led by God’s Holy Spirit.

Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. Revelation 3:2

Their deeds were done apart from the Holy Spirit. You can do what seems to be a righteous deed, but if it is done apart from the Holy Spirit—if it wasn't the power of the Holy Spirit doing that deed through you—then your deed is not completed and it's worthless.

Does this church, or any church, or any individual believer need to remain in this condition? No! What must be done? Wake up! Wake up! Wake up! Believe the Word of God; believe what He says about you; believe what He says to do; believe how He says to do it. Then you will strengthen the things that remain, the very things which were about to die, and then those deeds will be completed in the sight of Jesus’ God—our God—the only God.

So remember what you have received and heard… Revelation 3:3

It can be translated, “So remember how…” There's a difference. What you receive is truth, that's what He's saying. Remember the truth that you've received but, remember how you received it. Remember how you submitted to it; remember how you embraced it. We need to have a teachable Spirit. Remember the truth you heard and remember how you received that truth.

...and keep it, and repent. Therefore if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you. Revelation 3:3

Jesus is speaking to the church at large. They are to keep the truth they received. They are to repent of doing their deeds in their own strength, instead of the power of the Holy Spirit. If they do not repent, if they do not wake up, what will Jesus do? He will come like a thief and they won’t be ready for His judgment. They won’t be watching and waiting for Him as they serve Him; instead they will be doing their own thing; things that seem right in their own eyes, and He will come and they will still be dead.

But you have a few people in Sardis who have not soiled their garments; and they will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. Revelation 3:4

Jesus’ previous warning was for the church at large, but in verse 4 He refers to a small group within that church. Again, a few, just a precious few believers, had not soiled their garments. Those people, the ones who had completed their deeds by doing them according to the power of the Holy Spirit, would walk with Jesus in white.

What an incredible honor and privilege! And what does Jesus say about these people? They are worthy. Oh… the amazing love of God. He, the only One Who can, will find us worthy to walk with Jesus in white! He is the One Who makes us worthy!

He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. Revelation 3:5-6

The white, fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints. Jesus clothes us in His righteousness; He gives us the linen which we will wear as the bride of Christ; but at the same time we are responsible to follow His leading in the power of the Holy Spirit, otherwise our deeds are empty… and we will be found naked…

Sardis. Few people… only a few people… only a few names of people who are really saved in that large renowned church. This church lacked the Holy Spirit. How many large popular and famous churches today lack the Holy Spirit? Even many of those who claim they “harness” the Holy Spirit’s power need to wake up! They need to overcome being dead. They have to get saved, to wake up. A church that is dead can have all the latest music and still be dead. It can preach the most popular messages and still be dead. Even if you are one of the few who are not dead—you be alert, you be ready, you be watchful! Examine yourself. Are your garments stained?

© Sharon Jensen 1999-2017