Jesus' Promises to the Church

This is a response to Part 3 (Satan's Tactics).
We looked at Satan bringing deception (false teaching, good works, wealth / poverty, doubt / fear) and death (real, threat). He is a liar and murderer from the beginning.

Here we look at the ways Jesus strengthens the church for the battle we wage against our chief enemy, Satan himself. Our battle is not exclusive to Satan, we battle our flesh which wages against the spirit (e.g. Galatians 5). We also have an issue with a fallen Cosmos.

Ephesus - Revelation 2:7

Smyrna - Revelation 2:11

Pergamum - Revelation 2:17

Thyatira - Revelation 2:26-29

Sardis - Revelation 3:5-6

Philadephia - Revelation 3:11-13

Loadicea - Revelation 3:20-22

The I Statements of Jesus

What does Jesus do to strengthen us, how does he encourage us, how does he edify us, what does he remind us of, what does he give us that we have to grab onto tightly.

I Am

Jesus begins the address to each church with a description of himself. He doubles back and takes things which have already been laid out in Chapter 1 (see Part 1 e.g. lampstands, stars).

Remember - Revelation is different, it is full of imagery.
Jesus does not simply introduce himself, he refers back to what has been mentioned previously.

  • Rev 2:1
    He is in control of the church and knows what is going on
  • Rev 2:8
    He is the eternal God
  • Rev 2:12
    He has the words of God
  • Rev 2:18
    He can see all things
  • Rev 3:1
    He is connected with the spirit of God
  • Rev 3:7
    He is supreme over hell and death
  • Rev 3:14
    He is faithful and true.

Knowing who Jesus is is the all important beginning point for waging a battle against the enemy.
Our battle begins with us knowing Jesus - cannot battle against our enemy in our own strength / by our own means.

Ephesians 6 - Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.
We are not in a battle against flesh and blood.
We are in a present battle against cosmic / heavenly / spiritual forces.
We need to put on an armour which is unseen, spiritual, heavenly or we don't stand a chance.
Includes belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shoes of peace, shield of faith, helmet of salvation.
All these things are ours in Jesus, and only in Jesus. We are to put on Christ daily.

Part of our weakness / failures in the battles we face is because we don't know much about Jesus, or we forget who he is and who we are in him. This shows up in our decisions, our thoughts, our conversations and our pursuits. We need to run to Jesus first. Our lives are in need of a major renovation, only one can do the job, Jesus. Greater is he that is in us than he that is in the world. Do you know Jesus? Not about him, but know him as he introduces himself in chapters 2 and 3. Only way we will have victory over our enemy.

I Know

Mentioned all seven addresses.
He walks about amongst the churches, he does not stand aloft.
He can see through - naked and exposed (Hebrews 4:13). Scary!

Before you run from Chapters 2 and 3 look at what Jesus knows, what does he highlight?

  • Your works, your toil, your patient endurance
  • Your tribulation, your poverty
  • Your town, the opposition you face
  • Your works, your love, your faith, your endurance
  • Your little power, your struggles

Do you recognise his tenderness and compassion. These are the eyes that see through.
It is a knowing that is packed with intimacy, its affectionate.

There is healing that comes when someone says "I know".
Especially when that is someone who introduces himself as Jesus does to the churches.
He died for me. I love you. I am for you. I know you.

Jesus knows the meals you eat alone, your fealings, your hurts, your works, your sacrifices, the opposition you receive.
Jesus knows our failings, our rebellion, our sin. The hurt we not only receive but also give. The love we have lost for him.
Jesus knows the many good works performed out of a cold heart, the compromises, the arrogance over riches, the fear over poverty.

But Hebrews 4 continues after v13 - Jesus understands our weaknesses, he has been tempted as we are.
We can approach the throne of grace with confidence to receive mercy and help in times of need.
He knows everything about you, he calls to you "come here".
That's our Jesus tender and compassionate.

I Promise

Every address to the seven churches includes promises.
All the promises are to him / her who conquers.
The promises are in symbolic terms (like the I AM statements) - need to be unpacked.

The promises speak of our salvation and our inheritance in God's eternal Kingdom.

How do we conquer? All the promises are to him / her who conquers.
So HOW is an important question.

Two ways to conquer - interrelated, the second flows from the first.
The second is evidence that you understand the first.

Romans 8:35 We are more than conquerors because nothing can separate us.
We conquer by making famine, nakedness, peril ... serve us through him who loves us.
We conquer through Jesus.

Revelation 12:11 We conquer by blood of the lamb (Romans 8)
We conquer by not being afraid to lay down our life.
Our coming to Jesus will make a difference to our life, shown in a life of self-denial.
Our life of self-denial does not save us, but our life of self-denial demonstrates that we have been saved.
We present our bodies as living sacrifices. This is discipleship. This is taking up your cross daily.

That is how we conquer. We rest in Jesus, we are assured in Jesus and we model Jesus.
We don't conquer by running from death, we conquer by dying.
We don't conquer by being a lion that roars, but by being a lamb that lies down.
We don't cut ears off with swords, we go to the cross.

God has willed that his truth will triumph through us.

I ...

See Revelation chapters 2 and 3 to find a few more.
Satan does not stand a chance!

Further Reading

Acts 14:27
Open door of faith.

1 Corinthians 16:9
Great open door for effective work.

2 Corinthians 2:12
The Lord opened a door.

Luke 13:35-48
Be dressed, ready for service.

Matthew 16:17-19
Jesus will build his church.