Revelation Study Guide: Week 6, Chapter 3:1-6
By Coty Pinckney
Read Revelation 3:1-6 at least three times, slowly, before answering any of the questions.
(1) Look again at the chart you made of the seven letters to the churches. What is distinctive about this letter to Sardis?
(2) What does Jesus emphasize by the description of himself given in verse 1? Look again at chapter 1 verses 4, 16, and 20.
(3) Does Jesus say anything at all positive about this church? (Hint: the answer is yes! Look again: What does He say?)
(4) What did other people think about this church? What does Jesus think of this church? Why is there a difference? It might help to think about how an outsider might perceive the churches in Smyrna, Pergamum, and Thyatira, in comparison to the one in Sardis.
(5) In verses 2 and 3, Jesus gives 5 commands to this church. Enumerate these commands, then paraphrase them. (Note that a literal rendition of the Greek reads "Remember, therefore how [not what] you have received and heard.") Compare these commands to those given to Ephesus.
(6) Compare the second half of verse 3 to Luke 12:39-40 and 1 Thessalonians 5:2-6. What happens to this church if it does not follow Jesus’ commands?
(7) What is promised to the obedient in verses 4 and 5? Consider Isaiah 61:10, Zechariah 3:1-10, Matthew 10:32-33, and Exodus 32:31-35.
(8) Consider yourself. Is there a difference in what other people would say about your relationship to Jesus and what Jesus himself would say about it? Consider your local church in the same way. How is Jesus challenging you personally and us communally through this letter?
Now read Ray’s sermon on this letter, as well as Wilcock pages 51-53. One commentator quoted by Wilcock says that Sardis "set herself the task of avoiding hardship, by pursuing a policy based on convenience and circumspection, rather than whole-hearted zeal." Do you consider this an accurate summary of the plight of this church? Consider question 8 again in light of this comment.
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