(2) A name to live, as it implies an open and visible profession of subjection to Christ, a joining with His people in His worship and ordinances, and an holding on some time in such a course; so it may arise from these. Should a man lean himself upon God, and upon Christ, should a man apply all the promises of the gospel to his soul; alas, what of this? They dread no danger, though the nearest to it, but cry, Peace, Peace, to themselves, when sudden destruction is coming upon them. Deadness of guilt; when a man is guilty of any offence, that is death by the law. He was a drunkard, and now he is sober. In Revelation Chapter 6, you see the SIXTH seal being opened. Besides, it can never give true satisfaction. Buy: Play: 12-18-96 Revelation 3:7-13. Religion is a very irksome thing unto us, as long as we are dead.hearted. NOTICE SOME OF THE SYMPTOMS OF THE AFFECTING STATE DESCRIBED IN THE TEXT.1. Frostbitten limbs are perfectly comfortable: it is the waking that is the pain. It may consist in the preference of doing nothing to advance God's cause. Why then would you go for My servants? Again, they do a great deal of hurt unto comers on. It had not life enough to be obnoxious! Backsliding usually begins in remissness relative to the most secret exercises of religion. Because the Lord's knowing of our works is not only a mere knowing of them, but also a marking and a pondering them too.2. It may consist in the omission of some duty. The things that provoked the judgment of God. Bowes.Nature presents us with many affecting illustrations of the semblance of life, where death is reigning; the flowers in your garden may for a time retain the form, when life is extinct; the ancient oak in the forest may stand for years erect, while life has long since passed away; the tiny shell on yonder beach may attract your notice, when its once little tenant can nowhere be found: so do we often think we find the form of godliness, when the power — the reality — the life are wanting.(C. Why should it? Again, they do a great deal of hurt unto comers on. 1. It was inserted into its wounded side, that both might become one. It may consist in the omission of some duty. The first steps of a backslider are visible only to God and the individual himself.2. He has a name to live only, whom difficulties or apprehended dangers cause to turn back, or who, as Solomon says, "faints in the day of adversity.". )ThatOn formality and hypocrisy in religionS. It may be thou hast hope that thou art a good Christian, thou hast a hope of the heavenly inheritance; now if thy hope be a dead hope, if it does not quicken thee up to trample on the world, to carry thee on through thick and thin, this is not a gracious hope. Payrer for GLorification. Then, whatever else you may have, you are destitute indeed. How different with the soul that really lives! Life is sustained by air breathed. And it had no immoralities either — most respectable. )Some causes of spiritual deathC. In what manner Christ knows men's works. (John Gibson, B. D.)A living ChurchH. All the movements of God, especially in the works of creation, are so precisely in order — the sun and the moon knowing their place, and each season following in the train of the other — that it is difficult to persuade ourselves God will in any case interrupt this regular succession of events, and astonish the sinner by any sudden or unexpected explosion of His wrath. II. Commonly we see it fall out, as the Prophet Hosea said, "Like people, like priest" (Hosea 4:9). )A life akin to deathC. How terrible will the day of Christ's coming be to the self-deceiving hypocrite, and how joyful to the humble saint.(D. a negative answer is obvious: Not with Him who seeth not as man seeth.But,1. Your experience teaches you that "it is an evil thing, and bitter, to sin against God."3. If we did charge this upon our souls, we could not live so loosely as we do. P. Thwing.1. 3. After waiting half an hour for his members to put in their appearance, and finding that he was the sole worshipper, he went to the bell-cord and slowly tolled the bell, as the custom was when any one died in the town. effects last after causes cease; institutions live when all the reality is out of them. Lavington.I. One way by which that Spirit of God is shed abroad upon His moribund Church is by raising up men in it filled with the Spirit, and whose intense vitality communicates life to that which is almost dead. All 7 churches were of “born again Christians”. He has a name to live only, who, notwithstanding all his religious exercises, is in no degree better.4. Such as the builder is, such is the building; as is the husbandman, so is the husbandry.(Wm. THIS SUBJECT ADDRESSES ITSELF TO THREE DESCRIPTIONS OF CHARACTER.1. Your experience teaches you that "it is an evil thing, and bitter, to sin against God."3. If we have a name to be alive, we are without excuse if we be not. H. Spurgeon.How like to a Christian a man may be and yet possess no vital godliness! They make an easy bed. Let us all go back to Him for quickening.(A. True Christian holiness is not the honesty of the worldling; nor the honour of the gentleman; nor the temperance of the philosopher; nor the kindness of the good-natured; nor yet is it the mechanical observance of the formalist, nor the bustling vehemence of the religionist. H. Spurgeon.How like to a Christian a man may be and yet possess no vital godliness! And that brings me to say again that such a condition may be absolutely concealed from every eye but the Eye that is as a flame of fire. His friends find him and try to arouse him. Minor Prophets But how often do His visitations thus unexpectedly arrest the ungodly!V. )A name to liveT. All over the town the inquiry was made, "Who is dead?" Well, I thought, there is just that difference between the for-realist and the true Christian. You will never be vigorous Christians unless you can say, "I have desired the words of Thy mouth more than my necessary food." If men be dead-hearted, He knows it; if they be heartless in good duties, He knows it; though they would be loth that men should know what they are, and do keep it from them, yet they cannot daub it before God; He knows it. True faith alone does justify, not the name of it; true peace of conscience does comfort, not the name of it; true interest in God gives a man a cheerful access to God, not the name of it, Eighthly, it is not only unprofitable, but also it is hurtful. Because when God sees our sins, it is even all one as if all the world should see them too; for let our sins be never so secret, yet, it God know it, it is worse than if all the world knew it; for all the world shall know it one day.5. Jesus Christ wakes up a dead Church by bringing the seven Spirits of God into the hearts of selected men: for the way in which great revivals of religion in little communities and in big ones is usually brought about is that some man or men are filled with the fulness of God and become weary of forbearing and feel the Word like a fire lit up in their bones, and are so fitted to be God's instruments for communicating the magnetism of life to the dead Church. of man that looketh only on the outside. Deadness of mind, when the mind is ignorant of God in regard of saving knowledge.3. The practical reception of this doctrine in the Church lies at the foundation of a religion for sinners.II. NOW WE COME TO THE PARTICULARS. CHRIST HATH A PERFECT KNOWLEDGE OF EVERY ONE'S WORKS.1. The expression, doubtless, signifies something transcendently above the claim of the most exalted creature.II. THE WORDS OF MY TEXT SUGGEST ONE OF THE WAYS IN WHICH THIS BESTOWMENT OF THE SEVEN SPIRITS IS ACCOMPLISHED. They had brought there the seeds of different plants, and when Humboldt and his guides entered with their torches, there were trees and plants of every kind that had grown in the utter darkness. Death has sometimes its momentary beauty. To be thus privileged is to be alive indeed. (2) New years shall be no more. P. They are externally clean, and internally impure. Works here are not to be taken as distinguished from words and thoughts, but in the largest sense, as including both.2. As it gives action to the spiritual eye, ear, and tongue, so does it give growth to the whole inner man. If we have a name to be alive, we are without excuse if we be not. Should a man have all Christianity in him, and yet be dead and dull and without life, it is even all one as if he had just nothing. The practical reception of this doctrine in the Church lies at the foundation of a religion for sinners.II. I fear there is hardly any among us that will seem to deny but that God can see all his ways; and yet we see it is too apparent by men's lives, that few men do believe this indeed. THE COMMENDATION BESTOWED, IN THIS ADDRESS, ON A FEW OF THE MEMBERS OF THE CHURCH OF SARDIS.1. Ye know that there be abundance of poor, simple people, that knew not what true religion is, nay, maybe hate it, but yet they are led away with the show of it. Whatever thou hast to say for repentance, canst thou plead a thousand changes and reformations, yet if thou hast not gotten out of a dead temper, thou art yet under an impenitent heart. This is a poor thing, if this man now be not lively stone. Fenner, B. D.)Moral deathWm. Now the point of doctrine is this, that it is a horrible thing to rest in a mere name of being religious. Why then would you go for My servants? The second doctrine upon which depends the life of the Church, is the Atonement or Sacrifice which Christ our Lord has offered for sin. It is evinced by irritability and unsubmissiveness of temper under trials and afflictions.IV. We gather this from what is said as to the assertion of the Jews, who, as at Galatia and everywhere else, affirmed that they only, the descendants of Abraham, were the Israel of God: none else had part or lot therein. As we were talking the engine-driver came up, and I remarked, "We have just been admiring the engines; very splendid ones they are. "He that hath the seven spirits of God."1. God has taken their side, and pronounced for them as he did for the Church at Philadelphia. Death has sometimes its momentary beauty. It may consist in the omission of some duty. Deadness of mind, when the mind is ignorant of God in regard of saving knowledge.3. Therefore, satisfied with their relation to God, they do not strive to gain life from Him who is the source of the life spiritual, as He is of the life physical. There was no living union. Habit, use and wont, forms, ceremonies, keep up the appearance of vitality when the reality is almost gone. Consider then, that while this is your character your services cannot be acceptable to God.2. Do you do anything for Jesus Christ? Your state is inexpressibly awful, and infinitely dangerous.(J. Deadness of affection; when the affections are clumsy, and will not stir towards God and all heavenly things. (3) A name to live may result from experiencing the common operations of the Spirit of God, which for a time may look hopeful and promising. When we have a name to live and to be wrought upon by the Word, what an impudent thing is it, if we do not look to it that we be so indeed. Fenner, B. D.)The state of all men known to ChristD. Fifthly, it is an impudent thing. The whole flood of ChriSt's grace running by our doors, and we, like improvident settlers in some new country, having no provision for storing or for distributing it, but letting it all run to waste.2. )Some causes of spiritual deathC. Why would you do no more for Me? The Church may have a name to live, and be in reality dead, WHEN ORTHODOXY IN OPINION IS SUBSTITUTED FOR MORALITY IN PRACTICE. It is hurtful unto them that are without; for when they see how lazy such as go for professors be, how they have little else in them but talking and professing, and prating and hearing, this hardens the heart of them that are without, and makes them all think that religion is a matter of nothing. This is well. Unconsciousness is the surest sign of spiritual decline. To those whose case is described in the text. The Church may have a name to live, and be in reality dead, WHEN ORTHODOXY IN OPINION IS SUBSTITUTED FOR MORALITY IN PRACTICE. "He that hath the seven spirits of God and the seven stars." Because when God sees all our sins, He records them, He notes them in a book that He may never forget them.4. What is implied in having a name to live? When a man hath not the thing, there is no reason that he should have the name. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. Their history illustrates the value of the word of Christ. This church at Philadelphia stands alone in the abundance and unalloyed character of the eulogium which Christ passes upon it. And then, should not this vision set us upon questioning ourselves as to what it is that keeps the life of Jesus Christ out of our hearts? (5) The knowledge Christ has of the works of men is with approbation, or dislike, according as they are found to be good or bad.II. Now note further, as brought out in this letter, that such a condition is not final and irreversible. Notice still further that the second of the predicates applied to our Lord here suggests for us one very frequent way in which He cleanses out Churches. 1. A. H. Deadness of conscience, when the conscience hath no force; it may be it finds fault with such and such ways, but it hath no power over the man to make him to leave them.5. (2) The knowledge Christ hath of the works of men is immediate, not by report from others, but from His own all-penetrating light and inspection. (4) The knowledge Christ has of the works of men is infallible and liable to no mistake. When Christ declares, I know. Sixthly, it is an inexcusable thing. In the winter time in our towns, when the water stops in the houses, why doesn't it come? He knows all their dispositions, their persons, their natures, their qualities, their affections, and ends and aims and motives, and estates; He knows how many are rotten though they profess never so much, how many are unsound though they be never so well esteemed in the Church; He knows in what estate every man stands (Job 11:11). III. )Nominal religionJ. They were not so utterly dead as moribund, and so in another part of the letter we read about things which remain and are ready to die, and about works which were done but were not perfect or fulfilled. Fenner, B. D.I. In the sum of these doctrines we discover the fourth principle upon the influence of which the life of the Church depends, the doctrine of Free Grace. Why should it? It had not life enough to be obnoxious! Fenner, B. D.I say the minister may be in the fault; the point is very clear from this place. "This Church is dead," was his response, and then and there he resigned the pastorate.(D. They can impart a system, they can train a little group of dwindled imitators, who generally imitate their weaknesses, and think they are imitating their strength, but to give the spirit that animated the originator is exactly what none of them can do.III. 1. And such a name may be acquired —(1) By a freedom from the grosser pollutions of the world. Then this may serve to confute them that say, God does not know sin. Frostbitten limbs are perfectly comfortable: it is the waking that is the pain. No; the Lord does not find fault with Sardis for having of a name that they lived, but that they had this name when as they were dead; if they had been alive, the name to be alive had been well. Genuine Christians are subject to declension in religion.III. H. Macmillan, D. D.God abhors and man despises the fair colours of a religious profession that stand out, as it were, above the surface of the nature, like the appliquee of the embroiderer, instead of being interwoven with the stuff so as to become a part of it. Because the Lord's knowing of our works is not only a mere knowing of them, but also a marking and a pondering them too.2. The good or bad estate of a people dependeth much upon the minister. When Christ declares, I know. They employ language expressive of Christian experience, without possessing correspondent feelings.2. After waiting half an hour for his members to put in their appearance, and finding that he was the sole worshipper, he went to the bell-cord and slowly tolled the bell, as the custom was when any one died in the town. There may be great head-knowledge and ability to discourse of hypocrisy itself with appearing abhorrence, and of sincerity with signs of love to it; and yet all these may be found in one unchanged at heart.2. THIS SUBJECT ADDRESSES ITSELF TO THREE DESCRIPTIONS OF CHARACTER.1. (4) These convictions and external reformations may be accompanied with excelling gifts, enlargedness in the duty of prayer, joy and delight in hearing and attending upon the supper of the Lord, frequency in acts of self-denial and mortification. One smiting word stands in the place of all characterisation; it had no persecutions like the faithful band at Smyrna. It was dead. This soul, conscious of God's presence, trembles at His threatenings, bows in reverence to His commands, melts at the hearing of His love, and pants after His promises in the very fervency of desire. It is easy to assume the character of God's people, to imitate their manners, to use their language, to conform to their habits. What was there in such a Church as that to provide any antagonism? These demons came to the earth to torment all those who refused to bow to God. The third doctrine upon which depends the life of the Church, is that which relates to the Holy Spirit and His influences.4. And often and often has the Lord done the like of this. In what extent we are to understand "the works" which Christ is said to know. (2) Sinners show their good opinion of themselves in the hope they keep up of their safety with reference to their souls and eternity. One smiting word stands in the place of all characterisation; it had no persecutions like the faithful band at Smyrna. "This Church is dead," was his response, and then and there he resigned the pastorate.(D. There is a worse condition than when many people are thinking earnestly about religion, and some of them are thinking wrongly. Because when God sees our sins, it is even all one as if all the world should see them too; for let our sins be never so secret, yet, it God know it, it is worse than if all the world knew it; for all the world shall know it one day.5. That which is unique in the history of Christianity as compared with all other religions, its power of self-recuperation, and when it is apparently nearest extinction, the marvellous way in which it flames up again because the Spirit of the Lord is poured forth. Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. THE KNOWLEDGE THAT GOD KNOWS ALL OUR WORKS IS THE POWERFUL MEANS TO ALL GOD'S ELECT, TO DO THEM GOOD, AND TO QUICKEN THEM AND TO MAKE THEM TAKE HEED OF ALL MANNER OF SIN.1. But in general the sin consists in the choice of some other good than the good which the Christian life affords.(C. And so the Church at Sardis had no heretics because there was nobody in it that cared enough about the principles of Christianity to think earnestly about them. )A dead ChurchD. Commonly we see it fall out, as the Prophet Hosea said, "Like people, like priest" (Hosea 4:9). Life is sustained by food, by air, and by exercise. For how does sin reign among us everywhere? GenesisExodusLeviticusNumbersDeuteronomyJoshuaJudgesRuth1 Samuel2 Samuel1 Kings2 Kings1 Chronicles2 ChroniclesEzraNehemiahEstherJobPsalmsProverbsEcclesiastesSong of SongsIsaiahJeremiahLamentationsEzekielDanielHoseaJoelAmosObadiahJonahMicahNahumHabakkukZephaniahHaggaiZechariahMalachiMatthewMarkLukeJohnActsRomans1 Corinthians2 CorinthiansGalatiansEphesiansPhilippiansColossians1 Thessalonians2 Thessalonians1 Timothy2 TimothyTitusPhilemonHebrewsJames1 Peter2 Peter1 John2 John3 JohnJudeRevelation, Select a Beginning Point It is a growth in knowledge; but that is not the sure test. It is a distinct reference to the personal spirit of God conceived of in the manifoldness of His operations rather than in the unity of His Personality. (3) The knowledge Christ hath of the works of men is perfect and full. THE WORDS OF MY TEXT SUGGEST ONE OF THE WAYS IN WHICH THIS BESTOWMENT OF THE SEVEN SPIRITS IS ACCOMPLISHED. It is easy to assume the character of God's people, to imitate their manners, to use their language, to conform to their habits. THE KNOWLEDGE THAT GOD KNOWS ALL OUR WORKS IS THE POWERFUL MEANS TO ALL GOD'S ELECT, TO DO THEM GOOD, AND TO QUICKEN THEM AND TO MAKE THEM TAKE HEED OF ALL MANNER OF SIN.1. )A name to liveT. )Formalism and true ChristianityC. How different with the soul that really lives! Twice is it named: "Thou hast kept my word;" "Thou hast kept the word of my patience." They may have a name to live with themselves: they may reckon themselves in a state of grace, when they are all the while in the gall of bitterness, and bond of iniquity. I will continue the analogy but one step further, and that is in GROWTH. Guthrie, D. D.)A show of lifeH. Held on by dead clay and rotting cords, it merely stuck to the living tree, a withered and unsightly thing. Now note further, as brought out in this letter, that such a condition is not final and irreversible. The formalist is, to all appearance, a splendid engine; but there is no fire and the steam is not up. A traveller lost on the prairie, with the snow falling fast and thick, with his blood coursing slowly, feels that sense of ease which the opium-eater knows. OBSERVE THE DEPLORABLE STATE IN WHICH THE TEXT DESCRIBES THE CHURCH IN SARDIS TO HAVE BEEN.1. You may be gifted with great talents and great energy; you may gain high distinction and honour in the world; but if your soul be not "alive in Christ," what is all this but a fading garland on the head of a corpse? Thirdly, Is it so that God sees all men's sins? "This implies —(1)Causation.(2)Resemblance. 12 this crown of recompense is more fully described: (1) As being made "a pillar in the temple of my God," i.e. Should a man lean himself upon God, and upon Christ, should a man apply all the promises of the gospel to his soul; alas, what of this? How terrible will the day of Christ's coming be to the self-deceiving hypocrite, and how joyful to the humble saint. Guthrie, D. D.)A show of lifeH. He does not take up with appearances, but sees through every disguise, and takes things as they really are. True Christian holiness is not the honesty of the worldling; nor the honour of the gentleman; nor the temperance of the philosopher; nor the kindness of the good-natured; nor yet is it the mechanical observance of the formalist, nor the bustling vehemence of the religionist. They can no more draw spiritual life from themselves, than one can feed his body by sucking blood from its veins. Tasker, D. D.)Semblances of lifeC. WHAT IS NECESSARY TO GIVE A MAN A NAME TO LIVE?1. I suppose a man paralysed has no sense in his limbs, and might put his feet into a tub of scalding water and take the flesh off the bones and never know it. True Christian holiness is not the honesty of the worldling; nor the honour of the gentleman; nor the temperance of the philosopher; nor the kindness of the good-natured; nor yet is it the mechanical observance of the formalist, nor the bustling vehemence of the religionist. And so the multitudinous trivialities of life, coming in contact with the image of Jesus Christ in our hearts, will efface its fair features and leave but a dim outline.II. That which is unique in the history of Christianity as compared with all other religions, its power of self-recuperation, and when it is apparently nearest extinction, the marvellous way in which it flames up again because the Spirit of the Lord is poured forth. (2) The knowledge Christ hath of the works of men is immediate, not by report from others, but from His own all-penetrating light and inspection. Now when a man is not pardoned of God, he is dead, though he have never so many hopes and conceits of forgiveness.2. "Be not high-minded, but fear."2. In the winter time in our towns, when the water stops in the houses, why doesn't it come? Garrett. A traveller lost on the prairie, with the snow falling fast and thick, with his blood coursing slowly, feels that sense of ease which the opium-eater knows. Cooke, D. D.I. Fenner, B. D.I. It is a growth in holiness, and that is She test; the one clear, decisive test of the soul's life (Matthew 7:20). This soul, conscious of God's presence, trembles at His threatenings, bows in reverence to His commands, melts at the hearing of His love, and pants after His promises in the very fervency of desire. He hath a spiritual thunder-clap that He lets fly against this sin (Isaiah 32:5). That which is unique in the history of Christianity as compared with all other religions, its power of self-recuperation, and when it is apparently nearest extinction, the marvellous way in which it flames up again because the Spirit of the Lord is poured forth. First, because out of our own mouths God will judge us; we said we were His people, we took the name of His servants; why then He will say, Why had I not your service? Should a man lean himself upon God, and upon Christ, should a man apply all the promises of the gospel to his soul; alas, what of this? There is this essential distinction, spiritual life is absent.(C. Such as the builder is, such is the building; as is the husbandman, so is the husbandry.(Wm. This is a poor thing, if this man now be not lively stone. Place before the eye of the living body a scene of loveliness or of horror, and from the eye the heart is at once affected, at once feels the attraction or repulsion, and so feels as to act upon that feeling. True Christian holiness is a hearty conformity to God's whole will, acting in a loving obedience to all God's commandments. Cooke, D. D.)That a minister may be in fault that the people are deadWm. Again, they do a great deal of hurt to themselves, for it had been better for them they had never had a name, than having a name not to be as the name does require. H. A. First, for conversion. Unconsciousness is the surest sign of spiritual decline. Its spiritual ear, as its spiritual eye, brings every impression home to the heart; there roots it a vital principle, sanctifying the inner man and prompting the outer practice.III. Religion is a real thing, and therefore he that rests in having the name of it, is farthest off from it. Tasker, D. D.)Semblances of lifeC. )He that hath the seven SpiritsThe seven Spirits of GodA. John Wesley had a great name, but you cannot live because there was once John Wesley with you. 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