"Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us…" -Ephesians 5:1-2
"For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. " - 1 Corinthians 1:18

The Church at Sardis – The need of continual spiritual renewal

Our Pastor, Elder Jonathan Cook continued in the Book of Revelation using Revelation 3:1-6 as his primary text, with additional scriptural support from 2nd Corinthians 4:16, Ephesians 4:23, Colossians 3:10, Isaiah 10:20-21 and 11, John 12:42-43, James 1:27, 2nd Kings 19:3, Romans 12:1, and various other texts. He first reminded us that all true churches of the Lord Jesus Christ need to be evaluated today by the very same measures that are revealed in scripture. It isn’t about whether these churches have elaborate sanctuaries, majestic or modern buildings, or whether they offer special music, youth or community programs. It is about whether they meet the specific expectations that Christ has laid out. Next, Elder Cook reviewed the first four expectations that Jesus established for His church: their unequivocal devotion to Him (revealed to the church in Ephesus), their faithfulness in tribulation (revealed to the church in Smyrna), their steadfastness to sound doctrine (revealed to the church at Pergamos), and their holiness in living (as revealed to the church at Thyatira). Elder Cook then addressed the fifth expectation for the church which Jesus revealed to the church at Sardis: the commitment to continuous spiritual growth and renewal. Elder Cook taught that, unlike the previous four churches, Jesus had very limited favorable comments to offer the church at Sardis in His evaluation of their performance as only a few of that church had not “defiled their garments.” Elder Cook emphasized that the church as Sardis was dying out and had become focused more on her reputation, tradition and outward appearance rather than on her character. He also reflected on the fact that Jesus provided this church with a diagnosis, a prognosis, and a prescription: she had become spiritually sleepy and without zeal, she would die if she continued to compromise with the world, and to live she would have to hold fast and strengthen what remained and to repent. Lastly, Elder Cook emphasized that it is just as important today for the church to seek her praise and approval, not from man or this world, but from God, and God alone.

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