Faithlife Sermons

Philadelphia: The Faithful Church

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“You can trust us to stick to you through thick and thin – to the bitter end. And you can trust us to keep any secret of yours – closer than you yourself keep it. But you cannot trust us to let you face trouble alone, and go off without a word. We are your friends, Frodo. Anyway: there it is. We know most of what Gandalf has told you. We know a good deal about the ring. We are horribly afraid–but we are coming with you; or following you like hounds.” J.R.R Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
Faithfulness means loyal, constant, and steadfast
Stick with you no matter what the circumstances
Today, we will be talking about a faithful church
Recap Series
Philadelphia known as “The Faithful Church”
One of two churches that does not receive a correction from Jesus

Background of Philadelphia

Known as the gate or door
Stood at the junction of 2 major road systems
Located in a volcanic area and had great soil
Known for it’s large vineyards
Worship of the God Dionysus (God of Wine and Festivals)
In 17AD suffered massive earthquake
Aftershocks were still happening over 20 years after
Many people were anxious and on edge not knowing when the next disaster would happen
Group of Jews that would not let other believers in the synagogue
The believers in Philadelphia were shut out and excommunicated from the synagogue
Known as the city of “Brotherly love” as Attalus II gifted the city to his brother
Revelation 3:7 NIV
7 “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.
Jesus describes himself as holy and true
Key of David shows Jesus as the holder of the keys
Speaks to his authority

1) Open and closed doors both present real opportunities

It is easy for us to see open doors as opportunities
Job openings
New homes
New relationships
How many of us take the time to see that closed doors are opportunities as well?
I can think of countless opportunities that have come my way because doors were closed.
Open doors offer invitations and closed doors offer protection
Home example
Jesus says to the church in Philadelphia
They won’t let you in, I am closing that door
And I’m opening a door to where you have access to me and no one can shut it
Aren’t you glad that Jesus is still in the business of opening and closing doors?
He holds the keys
What is Jesus inviting you to?
What door do you need to close that you have been trying to close by yourself?
Revelation 3:8–9 NIV
8 I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 9 I will make those who are of the synagogue of Satan, who claim to be Jews though they are not, but are liars—I will make them come and fall down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.

2) In our weakness is where God reveals His glory

We do not like to admit weakness
It’s painful to admit our weaknesses
It makes us vulnerable
I’m not a handyman
I don’t like to admit it because it makes me feel like less of a man
2 Corinthians 12:9–10 NIV
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
Christ’s power rests on us when we admit our weaknesses
Jesus glory is revealed when we admit areas of weakness
His strength is beyond comparison
The only way to tap into that type of power is to admit your weaknesses
The church in Philadelphia had little strength
A church that seems weak to the outside world is where God can display his glory
A honest humble person that admits weaknesses can do great and mighty things because they rely on the strength that only god can give
What’s an area in your life where you are trying to act strong, but you are really weak?
Do you want Christ’s power in that area?
Revelation 3:10 NIV
10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.

3) Great moves of God are preceded by simple acts of patience and obedience

It is difficult to wait
It’s even more difficult when you are suffering
ER for Kidney stone
Impatience causes us to seek our own agenda, rather than God’s
Have you ever just got tired of waiting on God?
What could God be trying to teach you while you wait?
Obedience often requires faith
The first step is always the most difficult step
Delayed obedience is disobedience
Jesus promised the believers that they would not experience the hour of trial because of their patience and obedience
Is there an area of your life where you have grown tired of waiting on God?
Are you being totally obedient or are you hesitant to take the first step?
Revelation 3:11–13 NIV
11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 12 The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will they leave it. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on them my new name. 13 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

4) Perseverance through trials will eventually lead to victory

Land navigation through forest. Could not see the hill
It’s difficult to see the end when you are in the thick of it
Jesus says he will make the victorious one a pillar in the temple of my God
They would be a permanent fixture
No longer shut out
We may never experience true victory in this life
If we hold on to what we have and let no one take our crown
If we persevere through trials, we will one day see victory
Have you been thinking about giving up?
Are you expecting a victory that may not happen in this life?
Where is Jesus telling you to hold fast?


Open and closed doors both present real opportunities
In our weakness is where God reveals his glory
Great moves of God are preceded by simple acts of patience and obedience
Perseverance through trials will eventually lead to victory
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