The Church at Philadelphia
Text: Rev. 3:7-13
1. This church and the one at Smyrna were the only two churches that were not condemned.
2. The theme to the church was “the church of the open door.”
3. Christ is the one who addresses this congregation.
a. He is holy.
(1) Comes from the Greek word “hagios,” which means “to set apart.”
(2) A Christian is to be holy (I Pet. 1:15-16).
b. He is true.
(1) All the promises in Him are yea
(II Cor. 1:20).
(2) He is the truth (John 14:6).
(3) Christians are to be true (Mat. 5:37).
c. He has the key of David.
(1) “Key” is a symbol implying power and authority.
(2) Christ is now king on David’s throne
(II Sam. 7:12-14).
(3) He has all authority (Mat. 28:18).
(4) He is now ruling over the church
d. Christ is in control!
4. The text will be examined as follows:
I. Recognition is made of their works (Rev. 3:7-9).
A. “I know thy works”
1. “Know” is from the Greek word “oida,” which means “knowledge from above, Divine knowledge.”
2. Our works will be judged (II Cor. 5:10;
B. “I have set before thee an open door and no man can shut it”
1. A “door” was an opportunity that had been opened for them by Jesus.
a. “Door of faith” had been opened to the Gentiles (Acts 14:27).
b. “A great door” was opened at Ephesus (I Cor. 16:9).
c. “A door for the gospel” was opened at Troas (II Cor. 2:12).
d. The city had been built on the borders of Mysia, Lydia, and Phrygia as an open door for the spread of Greek civilization, so now the Lord had opened a door of evangelism to the church in that city.
2. No one would be able to shut that door, for He who held the key of power had declared it open.
3. The door is open for the churches today, but many fail to take advantage of it.
a. Christ has given us the command (Mat. 28:19; Mar. 16:15).
b. His word will last regardless of our actions (Mat. 24:35).
C. “Thou hast a little strength”
1. Man by himself is small and weak.
2. Man with God is strong.
a. Exa. David and Goliath (I Sam. 17).
b. Exa. Gideon’s army (Jud. 8).
c. A Christian will be victorious Rom.8:37).
d. A Christian can overcome obstacles (Phi. 4:13).
D. “Hast kept my word”
1. They had been faithful to the Lord.
2. This is because they loved Him (John 14:15, 23).
E. “Hast not denied my name”
1. His name is to be revered and confessed always
(Rom. 10:8-11; Phi. 2:9-11).
2. To deny His name under pressure from external forces is to fall away (Mat. 10:32-33; Heb. 6:6).
II. Reassurance is given to the brethren (Rev. 3:9-10).
A. Christ knew about the opposition that they were facing.
1. Some were false Jews opposing Christianity.
a. A true “Jew” is one inwardly (Rom. 2:28).
b. A true “Jew” is the Israel of God (Jam.1:1
c. These were those who refused to accept Christ.
2. Thus, their synagogue was of Satan because God dwells in the church (cf. Eph. 3:20-21).
B. Christ assures them that He would defeat the opposition and that His people will be exalted.
1. Some suggest that this implies that faithful preaching of the gospel by the church to the Jews would result in their being converted to Christ.
2. Others suggest that whose of the synagogue of Satan would come to recognize the true power of the church.
3. Regardless, the Lord’s people will be exalted!
C. The church will have its trials which test faith, but it will be kept from trials which would affect the heathen world.
III. A reminder was given to the brethren (Rev. 3:11).
A. “I come quickly: - the constant and continual comings of the Lord to aid His people and to judges the oppressing world.
B. They were to hold fast to the things that they had.
C. No man, opposition, or thing could take their crown.
1. Only their own selves could take their crowns.
2. They are reminded of the fact that they could fall away from their present condition.
a. One can fall from grace (Gal. 5:4).
b. One can leave the way of righteousness (II Pet. 2:20-22).
3. Thus, they needed to be steadfast and unmovable (I Cor. 15:58).
IV. Reward is promised to the faithful (Rev. 3:12-13).
A. The faithful are the ones who overcome (Rev. 2:10; II Tim. 4:6-8).
B. The faithful will be made a pillar in the temple of God; i.e., they are awarded a permanent and secure place in God’s temple.
C. They will go no more out; i.e., a promise of permanence in the heavenly temple of God (cf. Rev. 21 – the church in its glorified state).
D. Three names are written upon them.
1. The name of God the Father, to whom the
individual would now belong in a permanent and
2. The name of the New Jerusalem identifies the victorious saint as a citizen of the heavenly city, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband.
3. Christ’s own name identifies the victor as sharing the glory which is Christ’s (cf. Eph. 2:6).
E. Hear with understanding (cf. James 1:22).
1. Christ knows your faithfulness of the lack of it.
2. He blesses those who are faithful to Him.
3. One can fall, but he can choose to overcome by holding fast.
4. Those who overcome will be blessed eternally!