Following Jesus 104

Following Jesus: What kind of church are we? 

“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars.

“‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you. Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy. The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. 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 3:1-6 ESV)

What is the solution to a church that has compromised, become corrupted and eventually spiritually dead? The answer: Jesus Christ. 

Jesus Christ must come to the dead church. Vs. 1a. Jesus takes the initiative by approaching the dead church. The dead church will not, does not and cannot approach Christ (John 6:35-65). 

Jesus describes himself as the one who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. We know the seven stars refers the reader back to Revelation 1:20. Jesus is speaking to the seven angels of the churches, who are in fact the seven pastors of those churches. 

The statement the “seven spirits of God” is a reference to the Holy Spirit. Revelation 1:4 places the Holy Spirit before the throne of God. “John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood” (Revelation 1:4-5 ESV)

The phrase “the seven spirits of God” may also be translated the seven-fold spirit of God. Since the interpretation principle of Scripture interprets Scripture” Jesus may have Isaiah 11:1-2 in mind. It says, “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. (Isaiah 11:1-2 ESV). 

In the Isaiah text, the prophet describes the Holy Spirit as (1) the Spirit of the LORD; (2) The Spirit of wisdom; (3) Spirit of understanding; (4) the Spirit of counsel; (5) the Spirit of might; (6) the Spirit of knowledge; (7) the Spirit of the fear of the LORD. This is something for us to consider.  

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