Peter Barnes: Revelation 3:7-13
(21 January 2018)
SERMON NOTES : PHILADELPHIA – PERSEVERING TO THE END (Revelation 3:7-13)
‘Philadelphia’ means ‘brotherly love’, and dates back to the second century B.C. when one king refused to grab the throne at the expense of his brother. Only Smyrna (2:8-11) and Philadelphia (3:7-13) are not criticised by Christ. There is such a thing as a good church!
– recall John 9:22, 34.
1. Christ holds the key to God’s kingdom.
– 3:7. Christ is described as holy and true, just as God is in 6:10. He also holds the key of David (see Isa.22:20-22). But the Pharisees misused this key – Matt.23:13. So Christ gave the keys to the Church – Matt.16:19.
– John Stott, Marcus Loane, William Hendriksen, and Sir William Ramsay write of the missionary door of opportunity (cf. 1 Cor.16:9; 2 Cor.2:12; Col.4:2-3). But it is the door to the Messianic kingdom. If Christ has opened that door, no one can shut it; if Christ has shut that door, no one can open it.
2. The church is weak, yet faithful.
– 3:8-9, 11. The Old Testament verses will rebound on the Jews; they will be fulfilled in an unexpected way (Isa.45:14; 49:23; 60:14).
3. Christ’s promises to His people.
(a) Christ will give them victory – 3:9b.
(b) Christ will preserve His people – 3:10.
(c) Christ will make His people to be pillars in the new temple, and they will be totally secure – 3:12; see 1 Peter 2:4-5.
(d) Christ will write three names on His people – the name of God the Father; the name of the new Jerusalem (Heb.12:22-24; Rev.21:1-4, 22-27; 22:1-5); and the new name of Christ in the fullness of His glory.