Perhaps Caird was right in referring to them as, "The church everyone spoke well of, the perfect model of inoffensive Christianity, unable to distinguish between the peace of well-being and the peace of death. [3] G. B. Caird, The Revelation of St. John the Divine (New York: Harper and Row, 1966), p. 47. And the sevenfoldness, both of the Spirit and the Churches, suggests that all Churches are here typically represented. Before me were the vestiges of what had been the palace of the gorgeous Croesus; within its walls were once congregated the wisest of mankind, Thales, Cleobulus, and Solon. With penitence let us go back to Him, and let us hold fast by His hand. American Tract Society. "Commentary on Revelation 3:1". Alas, the Reformation, like every movement begun in the Spirit, soon lapsed into a cold, formal, lifeless, orthodox thing. The union of the two is the point here. When Xerxes launched his disastrous invasion of Greece, Sardis was the staging area for his immense army. As Christ was the sent of the Father, and also of the Spirit, so the Spirit is sent of the Father and of Christ. Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. “There were more varied and more vivid remembrances associated with the sight of Sardis than could possibly be attached to any other spot of earth; but all were mingled with a feeling of disgust at the littleness of human glory. We have much to do with the Holy Spirit—for what would the Bible be without Him? From the Spirit comes the light. This is the work which He is doing now, in a measure, and which, in the coming age, He will do more largely, filling the whole earth with the light of the glory of Immanuel. Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments, George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged, Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers, Light & Truth: Bible Thoughts and Themes on Revelation, E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament, Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation, "And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. 8. c. 2. p. 4. cent. BibliographyJamieson, Robert, D.D. It is simply said He has them. From the record of his wealth we still utter the proverb, “rich as Croesus.” Celebrated, also, is the visit to his court of Solon, the Athenian philosopher and statesman. Copyright � Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. (1323) The “life,” if it were actually present, and then, of necessity, would efficaciously manifest itself, would be “to live according to Christ;”(1324) but the judgment has the force: νεκρὸς εἷ; i.e., not “nigh to death,”(1325) but instead of the indeed seeming, yet deficient, life, death is there. Christ, as it were, holds in the one hand the empty vessels, and in the other the brimming cup, from which He will pour out the supply for their emptiness. And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write, signifies to those and concerning those, who are in dead worship, or in worship which is without the goods of charity and without the truths of faith. The use of the plural and the number seven is remarkable, but quite explicable, on the ground of the sacred number expressing perfection, and not inconsistent with personal unity, underlying the variety of manifestations. https: That vision should shame us into penitent consciousness of our own deadness. The titles by which our Lord speaks of Himself in the letters to the seven churches are chosen to correspond with the spiritual condition of the community addressed. Spiritual death is to Christ, who is life itself, an object of horror. The Ephesians had lost their first love, but these have lost the life they once had. {as Ezekiel 16:14} Secondly, the soundness of doctrine, purity of gospel-administrations in the worship of God, and the strictness of discipline in this church, did give her a name and a praise among other churches. In the time of Tiberius it was destroyed by an earthquake, but was rebuilt by order of the emperor. They are too far gone for that. The church at Sardis was described as being “dead” (3:1). And art dead - That is, spiritually. So the Wesleys brought about the great evangelical revival of last century. The seven Spirits, of God - See the note on Revelation 1:4, Revelation 1:16; (note), etc. Of him Croesus asked whom he considered the happiest of men, expecting himself to be named. “Rarely,” says Svoboda, “can the site of any ancient city so impress the traveller with a sense of astonishment at its stupendous desolation, as does the aspect of Sardis at the present day. They can impart teaching, they can give a method and principles, and a certain direction to the mind. Clearly in all these passages we have the same idea presented of the Holy Spirit of God in the completeness and manifoldness of its sevenfold energies, conceived of as possessed and bestowed by the Lamb of God, the Lord of all the churches. The principal temple of the place was that of Cybele, identified with Artemis, and like all other pagan temples a center of immorality. Celebrated, too, is the ambiguity of the oracle by which he was deceived to his ruin. The rushing wind died into calm, and the flickering tongues of fire had faded before the spectators reached the place. The kings of Pergamus next succeeded to the dominion, and from them it passed into the hands of the Romans. For, first, the appearance of the graces and gifts of the Spirit of God, which did shine forth and were perspicuous in some of the ministers of this church, made her renowned among other churches. So the life of our spirits may have ebbed away, and we know not how much blood we have lost until we try to raise ourselves and sink back fainting. And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. BibliographyBarnes, Albert. Metall. 26. (b) You are said to live, but are dead indeed. That is to say, it was impossible that the fullness of spiritual influence could be poured out quickening on men until Christ had died, and by His death He has become the dispenser to the world of the principle of life. 2012. The anointing oil was consecrated from gold to express His work of causing men’s whole powers to move sweetly and without friction in the service of God, and of feeding the flame of devotion in the heart. Schroder. 1700-1703. Implying His infinite power by the Spirit to convict of sin and of a hollow profession. The seven stars, which were already mentioned in ch. But let us remember how, when on earth, the Lord, whose deep words on that matter we owe mainly to John, taught that all men were either living, because they had been made alive by Him, or dead - how He said, ‘Except ye eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of man, ye have no life in you,’ and how one of the main ideas of John’s whole teaching is, ‘He that hath the Son hath life.’ This remembrance will help us to give the words their true meaning.

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