- Attributes of Jesus14 “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s creation.Knowledge of Jesus15 “ ‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot!Question- how many times does Jesus say to the churches, “I know your works?” 5 or 7?9 “ ‘I know your tribulation and your poverty (but you are rich) and the slander of those who say that they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.13 “ ‘I know where you dwell, where Satan’s throne is. Yet you hold fast my name, and you did not deny my faith even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan dwells.13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.
Οἶδα ποῦ κατοικεῖς
‘I know where you live, where the throne of Satan is. And you hold fast to my name and did not deny your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas my faithful witness, who was killed among you, where Satan lives.
Most early witnesses have “I know where you live,” but some later witnesses have “I know your works and where you live.” The difference with the latter is an explicit claim to knowledge of deeds done by the church at Pergamum.Spiritual Condition of the Church16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.What is the major spiritual problem that Jesus is addressing in v. 17?What is a bigger problem? Being wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked? OR NOT REALIZING that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked?The issue is even worse that simply NOT REALIZING the negative things about yourself. What is even worse than that? Thinking that you are rich, and that you are still rich- you prosper, and that you have need of nothing! Why is that worse?Illustration: This is like an NFL player who throws the ball away in celebration before he crosses the goal line. He celebrates, his team celebrates- but the defense picks up the ball and runs it back the other way.What kind of riches are we talking about? Physical or spiritual?What kind of state of mind does v. 17 produce in a church? Contented complacency!
Whatever the people’s condition, they were happy with it and regarded it highly. The Lord’s subsequent picture of reality points to a false self-sufficiency based on wrong attitudes and a wrong interpretation of the facts (Swete; Moffatt; Walvoord).What is the first major step to remedying this problem? They must fix the problem of their ignorance!
Here was a church, rich in pride but poor in grace and ignorant of the poverty.What adjectives does Jesus use to describe the true condition of the church?Wretched- of very poor quality or condition / pathetic. Used one other time in the NT24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?What is the major difference between Paul and the church of Laodicea? Paul knew he was wretched.Pitiable- miserable. Used one other time in the NT.19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.Poor- Ptōchos (“poor”), an adjective, is derived from πτώσσω (ptōssō), which names the action of one who crouches and cowers as a beggar. The idea is that of beggarliness or destitution that results from begging. What did the church think of itself? It was rich- but Jesus says your are in a state of beggarliness.Blind- Spiritual blindness!14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
Written to a city famous for producing eye medications, its reference here is to an inability to see spiritual values (Trench; Beckwith; Walvoord).Naked- spiritually naked! What does that mean? Salvation is often pictured in Revelation as being clothed.9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,13 Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” 14 I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.5 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.The Importance of Self-EvaluationHow do we avoid being the the church of Laodicea?We might not be pharisees who think we are saved, but are not.But what if we look around at our church and we say-“We are a pretty good church!”“We are not like a lot of other wordly churches out there!”What do we mean by that? What criteria do we use to make the statement we are good church, we are not a wordly church?But what if we are just like the Laodiceans? We think we are rich, we think we are prospering, we think we need nothing, when in reality we are the exact opposite!How can we really know?What criteria should we be using to take an accurate self-evaluation of our church?What would be a good tool that everyone in the church could use to take their spiritual temperature?Church mission statement!Faith Baptist Church exists to equip and inspire believers for Christlikeness unto the abundance of the glory of God.How are you accomplishing the mission statement of the church personally? Are you involved in church related ministry? Is that ministry accomplishing our mission statement? How can you change if necessary?Jesus’ Offer of Help18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.The idea to buy is used three times in this text-Buy gold, buy white garments, and buy eye salve.What is the problem with Jesus counsel to buy these things? What did he just say about their spiritual state in the last verse? They are beggars! Jesus is telling them to buy things they cannot afford! What is the solution? GRACE!1 “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.But the way this is the same grace we will need if we are to be successful as a church!5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.What does Jesus counsel this church to buy?Gold refined by fire? What is that?High quality faith!7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.3 The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the Lord tests hearts.9 And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’ ”18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.Why did they need to buy gold? They currently are beggars and Jesus will make them rich!What else did they need to buy? White garments- the very righteousness of Christ9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.Why? clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness many not be seenWhat else did they need to buy? Salve to anoint their eyes.10 Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” 11 And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. 13 This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. 14 Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says: “ ‘ “You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.” 15 For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed, lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’ 16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see, and your ears, for they hear.
1 Corinthians 15:19ESV
1 Corinthians 2:14ESV
1 Peter 1:7ESV
2 Corinthians 5:21ESV
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