Philadelphia: A Vision of Obedience (Rev. 3:7-13)

After the last two weeks of hearing Jesus Christ address churches mired in sin and disobedience (Thyatira & Sardis) it is awesome to have the example of Philadelphia

Statements of Affirmation regarding God’s Covenant with HIS people

How God’s people respond to His love, Grace, Mercy, Holiness and Salvation: WITH OBEDIENCE!

And we are now given this ‘Vision for Obedience’ as Christ’s Church

Write this letter to the angel of the church in Philadelphia.

  • Gateway City, an outpost for the expansion of Greek thought & language
  • Named in Greek: ‘City of Brotherly Love’ in honor of the founder’s Brother
  • New city: just over 200 years old at this point

This is the message from the one who is holy and true, the one who has the key of David. What he opens, no one can close; and what he closes, no one can open:

  • He defines a ‘Set Apart Reality’ Who He is defines who we are to be!
  • Christ is the perfection of what David was a flawed example of: Obedience

Philippians 2:8

And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!

  • The identification with Obedience as David modeled is the ‘Door Opener’
  • This is a picture of what a real relationship with God looks like (David Example)
  • What Christ opens to us is Salvation (Undeserved & Done Deal)
  • What He closes is God’s Judgement and Wrath (Deserved & Done Deal)
  • These are affirmations of the Covenant Promises made by God in The Old Test

I know all the things you do, and I have opened a door for you that no one can close.

  • He knows exactly where their hearts are by their actions
  • He Says: ‘I know the reality of your obedience and THAT is the door’
  • What they do comes from what they believe; that Jesus is The Christ!
  • Once God opens the door to you it cannot be closed (Eternal Security)

You have little strength, yet you obeyed my word and did not deny me.

  • It’s not about resources, it’s about a ‘Heart’ that obeys
  • We are to be obedient with what we have (resources can be a curse)
  • Denial of Jesus as the Christ is disobedience (in any way, shape or form)
  • What does it mean to be ‘Disobedient to The Gospel’?

Look, I will force those who belong to Satan’s synagogue—those liars who say they are Jews but are not—to come and bow down at your feet. They will acknowledge that you are the ones I love.

  • Legalistic Jews were persecuting ‘The Church’
  • To be ‘Jews’ means be God’s People… more ‘playing church’
  • The truth of who belongs to God will be found out (every knee will bow…)
  • THIS church survived, Christianity survived, the Jewish community did not

Because you have obeyed my command to persevere, I will protect you from the great time of testing that will come upon the whole world to test those who belong to this world.

  • The obedience to persevere in the face of cultural attacks takes ‘True Faith’
  • Obedience that sets us apart can only come from knowing who we belong to
  • Who do you belong to? Are you divided?

I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take away your crown.

  • The idea that he is coming soon is to remind us tomorrow can be too late
  • These guys told to hold on to what they have instead of to go back to original
  • Crowns are about rewards for faithfulness and obedience (we lay them down)

All who are victorious will become pillars in the Temple of my God, and they will never have to leave it.

  • Victorious = Biblical Salvation
  • God uses HIS people to create His place of worship!
  • Christ will use ‘The Saints’ to uphold HIS Church (Pillars)
  • This is a permanent deal (More Covenant)

And I will write on them the name of my God, and they will be citizens in the city of my God—the new Jerusalem that comes down from heaven from my God. And I will also write on them my new name.

  • This is an affirmation of who ‘Saints’ belong to
  • Citizenship in God’s city is every Saint or True Confessor’s destiny
  • This is Eternity

Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.

  • The repetition is to call our attention to the importance of this statement
  • Listen & Understand: Life Application

Application Questions:

How is David an example to help you connect with God?

Why can it be an advantage to have little strength when seeking to obey Christ?

How do you tell the difference between being Obedient and being Legalistic?

What motivates you to persevere differently than ‘those who belong to this world’?

Why does Christ say He is coming soon?

How can you use your ‘Victory’ to be part of building a ‘Community of Worship’

In this message what’s clear about God’s Covenant with ‘those who belong to HIM’?