Sunday, March 30, 2014

Meditations on Revelation 3:7-13

Revelation 3:7-13 Read it yourself

The Holy one

Holiness is an attribute of God that he wants to bestow upon you. Your fallen nature, your past history (stuff), and your sin keeps you from holiness. Sanctification is the process by which God takes from that which is common and makes it holy. The Old Testament has laws and commands regarding the process of sanctifying something. It involves a process where blood is shed and sprinkled to cleanse from uncleanness, then it is set apart for holy use. If anything unclean touches it, the process begins anew.
Anything that has been sanctified was once unclean but has been made holy. Jesus is the holy one and he is the one who will sanctify you and make you holy.

The true one

Truth is the absence of falsehood, error and, deceit. Truth is like light, it dispels darkness.

He holds the key of David

David was the king of Israel, as sovereign he had authority. Keys open locks, Jesus has the keys and the authority to lock and unlock. His authority is irresistible. He has authority to bind and to loose. Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. - Matthew 16:19

'I know your deeds…' the same words he uses with the other churches. Jesus knows, he is not distant and unaware.

'I have placed before you an open door...' Jesus has placed the open door. Since he has the keys and authority; this door is open and no one can shut it. The door has been opened by Jesus, not by the strength of the church. It is his grace and truth that holds open the door. His authority to show mercy on whom he will show mercy has been granted to him by the Father.

This church had little strength, yet they have kept Jesus word and not denied his name. They have been faithful; they have been obedient. Sometimes you get the picture that if you are faithful and obedient that you will be given power and authority; that you would ‘rule’ in some way. Not so with this church, they have little strength. They have kept Jesus’ commands and endured patiently. They don’t become impatient or disobedient.

They are promised to be kept from the ‘hour of trial’. They will get to skip the test; the final exam is not in their future, they have already mastered the material. Hold on to what you have, they already have ‘it’. They have the crown, the reward. As long as they hold on they will have the crown.

The ‘one who is victorious’ is a statement made to every church. In this case the one who is victorious will be a ‘pillar in the temple of my God’. A pillar implies permanence, it implies a vital piece of the structure that if it were not there, the structure would crumble.

I will write on them the name of my God, the name of the city of my God, my new name. I think of holy graffiti; in the same way that gangs mark territory to show it belongs to them. This is a thing humans do in one way or another. We mark territory to show that it is ours and we personalize it and put a little of our own personality into the thing we own. You can see this when people have bobble-heads stuck on the dash or stick-figure 'families' on the rear windows of their cars. God is like that too, he instills himself on all that he owns. He is the one who sanctifies and purifies us for holy service. The new Jerusalem is the church triumphant, the community of the saints.

Unlike the other churches, Philadelphia is already victorious. They achieved victory without strength, without influence, without power. Their victory is a victory achieved by the power of Jesus, who has all authority and the keys to all the doors that matter. Jesus knows them and measures them by their faithfulness and their obedience.


Jesus sees you as you truly are. He is not fooled or impressed by outward signs of success but rather looks on the heart. He knows your obedience and faithfulness, or lack thereof.


Lord, help me to live my life for an audience of one. Keep me from the distracting influence of the opinions of others. Thank you for the open door you have placed before me and the grace you have shown to me by opening it not because of my ‘strength’ but because of your steadfast love.

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