Laodicea: The Self Sufficient Church

Revelation 3:14-22

This is the message from the one who is the Amen—the faithful and true witness, the beginning of God’s new creation:

  • Amen = Complete Agreement with God’s Will
  • What He reveals about ALL REALITY is the Perfect Truth
  • Primary agent of ‘New Creation’ (It All Begins with Jesus Christ)

I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!

  • God knows exactly were you are
  • Being ‘Known’ is either unnerving or comforting depending on your theology
  • Christ desires us to be ‘Useful’ (with water, hot is useful, cold is useful)
  • There is no place in ‘Christ’s Body’ for being ‘Without Use’
  • Relatable to them because of their water situation

You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked.

  • The church had become satisfied with what they could do themselves
  • Materially they had it all (See USA Church)
  • Their self-sufficiency had rendered them spiritually bankrupt

So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see.

  • Christ says: get from Me what is valuable, that which is proven valuable
  • Christ says only what HE provides creates ‘True Wealth’ (Spiritual Wealth)
  • They are clothed in their own righteousness (Filthy Rags: Isaiah 64:6)
  • Living by our own righteousness leads to legalistic, shame-based culture
  • We can’t see truth and reality without Christ ‘Healing’ our eyes (Doctor My Eyes)
  • Christ wants us to define richness the way he does (Treasure in Heaven)

I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference. Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.

  • This Church, like all of us have the chance to receive correction and repent
  • It takes intention, motivation and persistence to be a disciple of Christ
  • ‘Pay Attention’ Christ is always there, you and I can respond TODAY
  • If we let Him in HE will create the intimacy were were meant to have (Shalom)

Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne.

  • If we are His we will be Victorious
  • Repent and obey the Gospel and His will in your life
  • This brings us together with Christ

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

  • At the end of each of the seven messages to the churches in Asia Minor
  • Jesus tell us how we can get the blessings promised for reading this letter
  • How well do WE / Midtown listen to the Spirit and understand what HE is saying?

Mark Bates:Our hearts can get addicted to ‘Salvation by works’ As a result, we often wear our good deeds like spiritual merit badges on preening chests, thinking we can impress God with our righteous acts. Like the Pharisee in Luke 18, we pride ourselves that we are not like other men. After all, we are not engaging in the perversity of our culture. Instead, we fast, tithe, read our Bibles, and serve in the church. Yet, we must realize that arrogant self-sufficiency results in disgusting works, no matter what these works may be.”

Application Questions:

What do you learn about Jesus Christ from the way He addresses Laodicea?

Where is there opportunity for you to be more ‘useful’ in The Church?

In what ways are you guilty of ‘Spiritual Self Sufficiency’?

What are the specific things you need to trust Christ for in your life rather yourself?

What daily disciplines help you cultivate a more intimate relationship with Christ?

What enables you to receive discipline & correction from God and see it as love?

What is your motivation for renewed closeness with Christ? (Your ‘WHY’)