“And to the angel of the church in Sardis write,
‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. 2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. 3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. 4 You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. 5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. 6 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’
Sardis was at one time one of the most amazing cities in the world. It was located in the Tmolus Mountains. It was very easy to defend because of its position, ultimately this lead to its downfall. The word Sardis means escaping ones, or those who have come out. Jesus designates Himself as He who has the seven Spirits of God.
Isaiah 11:1-2 states, There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, And a Branch shall grow out of his roots. 2 The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.
One can conclude that the seven Spirits of God are,
(1) Spirit of the LORD, (2) Spirit of wisdom, (3) Spirit of understanding, (4) Spirit of counsel, (5) Spirit of power, (6) Spirit of knowledge, (7) Spirit of the fear of the Lord. The Bible doesn’t tell us specifically who/what the seven spirits are, but the first interpretation, that they are the Holy Spirit, seems the most likely. Jesus says I am the God who has the Holy Spirit. Jesus also says that He is He who holds the seven stars. These stars are the angels of the seven churches, Revelation Chapter 1 verse 20. This letter begins negative, is pointed, and sharp. He says point blank that this church is dead. Forget the positive let us get straight to the negative. Remember the other churches Smyrna, zero condemnation. Jesus spoke to the other churches positives the negatives. To Sardis He is straight negative. Make no mistake, Jesus reveals to us right here that He is more concerned about what our heart says than what our mouth says. You see, Sardis had a name that was alive but it was dead. Spiritually they were dead. Please look at what Jesus prefaced this statement of death with, I Know your works. I do not understand how anyone can read the scripture and see so many references to the works of the children of God and deny importance of works to Jesus Christ. We have so entangled and perverted the Grace of God into a doctrine that works does not matter. We cannot do this. Keep the scripture connected as it is intended. Works leading to salvation have now merit. That is absolutely true. But works because of salvation is woven throughout the scripture. Even when Paul addressed the Galatians in chapter chapter one, he talks about returning so quickly to the law for salvation. He is referring to the law as a means and measure of the Gospel. Works cannot and will not save you, but they will be presence because you are saved. Here Jesus says I know your works, and they are not very good. In fact, you claim to be alive in your name but you are dead, nothing about your life screams alive and well. I have been guilty of saying that God does not expect us to be perfect, but what does He say to this church, I know your works and I have not found them to be perfect before God. He says here be watchful and strengthen the things that remain. I will share with you the importance of being watchful tomorrow. For the followers of The Way you will absolutely need it tomorrow for prayer meeting. I will send it out early so you can meditate on it and be ready to discuss. Come ready tomorrow night, put some thought in your prayer requests and be able to verbalize them efficiently, if you are going to proclaim what you have seen and heard this week, be prepared to speak, additionally, be praying that God will reveal to you the lesson He wants you to take from The Church at Sardis. May we glorify God in all that we do!
Brother Big Daddy