Call To Die

Then [Jesus] said to them all, "If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will save it. (Luke 9:23-24, HCSB)

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Follower of Christ, husband of Abby, member of Kosmosdale Baptist Church, and tutor/staff member at Sayers Classical Academy.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Notes on the Letter to the Church in Sardis (Rev 3:1-6)

[For my Sunday school class tomorrow at Kosmosdale Baptist Church.]

Translation


1 And write to the angel of the church in Sardis:
Thus says the One having the sevenfold Spirit of God and the seven stars:
2 Become vigilant and strengthen those remaining things, which were about to wither away, for I have found that your works have not been fulfilled in the presence of my God. 3 Therefore, remember how you have received and heard; keep [it] and repent. If you are not vigilant, I will come as a thief, and you do not expect what hour I will come against you. 4 But you have a few names in Sardis who have not dirtied their clothes, and they will walk with me in white, because they are worthy. 5 Thus, the victor will be dressed in white clothes and I will certainly not erase his name from the book of life, and I will declare his name in the presence of my Father and in the presence of his messengers. 6 Let the one having an ear hear what the Spirit says to the congregations.

Introduction of the Author
Sardis was “the citadel of the plain” on the Pactolus River. The town was a natural fortress due to geography, and was surrounded by rich farmland, so it could withstand a prolonged siege. The city had previously been destroyed by the Persians, however, and then by the Greeks 300 years later.[1]
Admonition to the Sardiceans
Encouragement to the Remnant in Sardis
“Clothes” or “garments” often symbolize works or witness in Revelation.[2]
Promise to the Victor
peribalei:tai ejn iJmativoiV leukoi:V (peribaleitai en himatiois leukois) “will be dressed in white clothes.” Believers in Christ have been made priests, and the one who overcomes will be given priestly garments (Lev 16:4).
As seen in Revelation, believers in Christ share in the holy things belonging to God. God, as the Ancient of Days, is depicted in Daniel 7:9 with language that is unmistakably similar to the language used to depict the vision of Christ at the beginning of the Book of Revelation. In Daniel 7:9 the Ancient of Days is wearing a white robe; Jesus, in his transfiguration, is similarly clothed in white (see Mark 9:3). In the end time prophecy at the close of the Book of Daniel, the prophet Daniel is told, “Many shall be purified, made white, and refined” (12:10). Similarly, the verse under consideration promises that those who overcome will be clothed in white.
oujmh; ejxaleivy to; !onoma aujtou: ejk th:V bivblou th:V zwh:V (oumē eksaleips to onoma autou ek tēs biblou tēs zōēs) “I will certainly not erase his name from the book of life.” The idea of a book of life from which the Lord threatens to erase or blot out the names of the unfaithful is first revealed in Exodus 32:32-33. David wrote a Psalm calling for his enemies to be blotted out of the book of life (see Psa 69:28), and Isaiah wrote of those “recorded for life” in Jerusalem (see Isa 4:3). In the Old Covenant community, each member was recorded on a census, and especially the Levites (Num 1:2; 3:15). To have one’s name blotted out from the census was to remove one from the blessings of the covenant community.
Jomologhvsw to; !onoma aujtou: ejnwvpion tou: petrovV mou kai; ejnwvpion tw:n ajggevlwn aujtou: (homologēsō to onoma autou enōpion tou patros mou kai enōpion tōn angelōn autou) “I will declare his name in the presence of my Father and in the presence of his angels.” This is in accordance with what Jesus promised his followers in Matthew 10:32 and Luke 12:8. As the high priest in OT times bore the names of the tribes on his ephod, our great High Priest bears our individual names before God.
Charge to Heed the Word


[1]Daniel E. Hatfield, “Revelation 3:1-6” (classroom lecture notes, 22440–Greek Syntax and Exegesis, Spring 2007).

[2]Ibid.

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