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(06-11-26) Philadelphia & Laodicaea - Revelation 3.7-22

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Revelation 3:7-22

Favourite letter.

Similarities amongst the letters:

·      The sender of the message – ‘him who is holy and true’ & ‘the Amen, the faithful and true witness’

·      ‘I know your deeds’

·      ‘He who has an ear to hear…’

·      ‘To him who overcomes…’

The ultimate in contextual studies! A text without its context is a con!

Does Christ know our deeds? What then would his letter to the church in Lisvane say? Not making a point of similarity between St. Denys’ and Philadelphia & Laodicaea!

Philadelphia

·      Gateway to the East / Jewish synagogue doors closed – Open Door: Jesus.

·      Neocaesaraea (earthquakes) – ‘I will also write on him my new name.’

·      Regular flight – Ship in a storm: keep facing it! ‘Never again will he leave it.’

·      Names on temple pillars – ‘Make him a pillar…’ Supporting the structures of the Church of Christ. This morning’s sermon (not about Gift Day!).

·      Persecution – Future of persecutors and persecuted.

Laodicaea

·      Gateway to Phrygia – centre of banking arrangements in Asia Minor.

·      Also devastated by earthquakes. Refused aid and rebuilt itself – ‘I do not need a thing.’

·      Famous for black-wooled sheep – In need of clothing: white and pure.

·      Famous for eye ointment: tephra Phrygia – ‘salve to put on your eyes’.

·      zestos – at boiling point. ‘No real faith without enthusiasm.’

·      chliaros – tepid. Medicinal springs – lukewarm & vomit inducing!

What then would his letter to the church in Lisvane say?

·      What are our deeds?

·      What are we known for?

·      What characterises the faith of God’s people in this place?

·      What is our heart like? What are our hearts like?

·      zestos or chliaros?

Allowed to use our imagination – 2 minutes silence.

v.9 ‘… acknowledge that I have loved you.’ – Philadelphia

v. 19 ‘Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline.’ – Laodicaea

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