Brent Karding
servant of Jesus / husband / dad / preacher / musician / teacher @ Biblearc
User since 2010
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Christ rejected and accepted
Luke 23:39-43
God commands you to turn from idols to the true God.
Acts 17:22-31
Jesus is sovereign over the natural and spiritual realm
Matthew 9:1-8
Faith leads to speaking.
2 Corinthians 4:13-15
A humble birth and great glory to God
Luke 2:1-21
Because God is uniquely faithful, he will remove our sins.
Micah 7:18-20
Phrasing Narrative and Teaching
Mark 11:12-25
Christ's Supremacy Described and Grounded
Colossians 1:15-17
Christ's Resurrection and Ours
1 Corinthians 15:20-28
God's Furious Punishment
Romans 1:18-25
God will surely set up an indestructible, everlasting kingdom.
Daniel 2:31-45
Just like Adam's sin led to death for all people, so Jesus' obedience led to life for all people.
Romans 5:12-21
To apply this text, think through the Concessive, the Negative, and the Ground (v. 7-9), asking where those things are true of you.
1 Kings 14:1-18
Remember the happiness of the Word-delighting, and the misery of the only other option.
Psalms 1
In every difficulty, cry to God, your trustworthy Savior.
Psalms 42:1-43:5
Jesus, the Father's Spirit-filled Son, inaugurated God's kingdom.
Mark 1:1-15
Paul describes how men and women should act in church, based on their specific roles.
1 Timothy 2:8-15
Dedicate yourself to the local church for the eternal glory of Christ.
Haggai 2:20-23
The gospel call to repentance gives light to people in darkness.
Matthew 4:12-17
God has given the local church the responsibility to judge its members.
1 Corinthians 5
The eternal state will immediately follow Christ's return and our bodily resurrection.
1 Corinthians 15:20-28
When Jesus next returns, he will destroy death.
1 Corinthians 15:50-58
At the day of the Lord, believers will be saved and unbelievers will be destroyed.
1 Thessalonians 5:1-10
Our certain gospel hope of resurrection should encourage us.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
This passage reveals the fact of and the reason behind God's anger.
Romans 1:18-23
The kind of faith that saves is a faith that is characterized by works.
James 2:14-26
Jesus promises eternal life to those who overcome; therefore, cling to the gospel and preach it to others.
Revelation 3:7-13
Those who treasure the gospel and live it out today will enjoy intimacy with Jesus now and forever.
Revelation 3:1-6
Hold tightly to holy living that flows from the gospel.
Revelation 2:18-29
God calls us to boast only in the cross, through which we participate in the New Creation.
Galatians 1:1-6:18
Jesus will destroy His enemies and give eternal life to His people; therefore, the church must not tolerate sin in its midst.
Revelation 2:12-17
It is vital to boast only in Jesus' cross.
Galatians 6:10-18
Those who are fearless in the face of death will receive life from the Victor over death.
Revelation 2:8-11
True spirituality is seen in bearing other people's burdens.
Galatians 6:1-10
You are nothing without love.
Revelation 2:1-7
Serve each other in love through the leading of the life-giving, flesh-opposing Spirit.
Galatians 5:13-26
Jesus is a king and priest who is present with His church in judgment and salvation.
Revelation 1:9-20
Only those who rest on Christ alone for justification will receive eternal righteousness.
Galatians 5:2-12
Obey this urgent revelation so you will be blessed, and rest in the sovereignty of your Saviour.
Revelation 1:1-8
God redeems Naomi - and all Israel - through the son of Boaz and Ruth.
Ruth 4:13-22
Believers must stand firm in the freedom of being God's children through faith alone in his promise.
Galatians 4:21-31
Boaz generously and sacrificially redeems Elimelech's and Mahlon's family.
Ruth 4:1-12
Paul's proven trustworthiness and godly motives should have led the Galatians to trust him, not reject him.
Galatians 4:12-20
Boaz acted with generosity again, and Ruth waited for redemption.
Ruth 3:14-18
In Christ we are God's fully adult sons and heirs.
Galatians 4:1-11
Boaz commits himself to redeem Ruth.
Ruth 3:1-13
All of God's children enjoy his covenant and promised salvation through faith in Christ.
Galatians 3:15-29
Ruth and Naomi encounter the generosity of Boaz.
Ruth 2:14-23
Gentiles are declared righteous, become the true Israel, and receive the blessing and the Spirit by faith alone.
Galatians 3:1-14
God guided Ruth to the field of a man who showed undeserved favor to her.
Ruth 2:1-13
Justification by faith, not by works, alone glorifies God's grace and accomplishes the purpose of Christ's death.
Galatians 2:11-21
Ruth committed herself to Naomi and to her God.
Ruth 1:15-22
From the beginning of church history, there has been only one true gospel.
Galatians 2:1-10
The biblical gospel is demonstrably given by Jesus.
Galatians 1:11-24
Naomi was left alone in a foreign land, suffering judgment.
Ruth 1:1-5
A bitter Naomi plans to return to her homeland, and convince her daughters-in-law not to.
Ruth 1:6-14
Reject the perverted gospel and embrace the God-accomplished and God-taught gospel.
Galatians 1:1-10
It is right for God to show mercy on whomever he desires to show mercy - and we should praise him for this!
Jonah 1:1-4:11
God is right to show mercy on whomever he chooses.
Jonah 4:1-11
God cares about Gentiles.
Jonah 3:1-10
The Lord saved Jonah because he prayed to him.
Jonah 2:1-10
Jesus' death and resurrection created Gentile worshippers.
Jonah 1:1-17
Because God is holding tightly to you, hold tightly to his Word.
2 Thessalonians 1-3
We pray for you to experience God's grace and peace.
2 Thessalonians 1:1-12
Paul gives two final commands in the main body of this letter: pray and stay away.
2 Thessalonians 3:1-15
How God's sovereignty motivates our perseverance
2 Thessalonians 2:1-17
You were dead, but God made you alive in Christ; therefore, remember that God has brought you near to him and made you part of his temple.
Ephesians 2:1-10
God is holding tightly to you.
2 Thessalonians 1:3-12
The path to eternal happiness isn't what you think: it requires joyful endurance of trials and humble obedience to God's Word.
James 1
Choose the way of life that God delights in, a Christlike life of compassion and purity, for this is the pathway to Heaven.
James 1:26-27
view all (71 total)
Phrasing of Revelation 3:14-22
Revelation 3:14-22
Only those who look to Jesus for spiritual wealth, righteousness, and guidance will sit with him on his throne.
Published June 6th, 2019
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Revelation 3:14-22
Jesus Is Completely Reliable and Utterly Powerful
“And to the angel
of the church
in Laodicea
‘The words
Content #1
of the Amen,
the faithful and true witness,
the beginning
of God’s creation.
Jesus Despises Lukewarm, Self-Satisfied Christianity
They Were Lukewarm
“‘I know your works:
you are neither cold nor hot.
Would that you were either cold or hot!
So, because you are lukewarm,
and neither hot nor cold,
I will spit you
out of my mouth.
They Were Self-Reliant
For you say,
I am rich,
I have prospered,
and I need nothing,
not realizing that you are wretched,
and naked.
Jesus Offers Riches, Righteousness, and Guidance from Himself
The Solution
I counsel you to buy ... gold
Content #2a
from me
by fire,
so that you may be rich,
and white garments
Content #2b
so that you may clothe yourself
and the shame ... may not be seen,
of your nakedness
and salve
Content #2c
to anoint your eyes,
so that you may see.
The Motivation
Those ... I reprove and discipline,
whom I love,
so be zealous and repent.
Content #3
Jesus Promises Fellowship and Union with Himself to Those Who Hear His Voice
Behold, I stand at the door
Content #4
and knock.
If anyone hears my voice
and opens the door,
I will come in
Purpose #1
to him
and eat
Purpose #2
with him,
and he
Purpose #3
with me.
The one
who conquers,
I will grant him
Content #5
to sit
with me
on my throne,
as I also conquered
and sat down
with my Father
on his throne.
who has an ear,
let him hear
Content #6
what the Spirit says
to the churches.’”
Head: Focus: The focus of this section is the life of the mind . We want to think accurately according to the truth of God’s Word we’ve phrased. Questions: How should I think differently about God/myself/others because of what I’ve just phrased? What doctrines are taught in this passage? What specific contribution to those doctrines does this passage make? What other Scripture texts add to the truths taught in this passage? v. 14: How is Jesus "the beginning of God's creation"? These three descriptions are, unusually, not taken from the vision in chapter 1. The first two show his utter reliability. See Isaiah 65:16, 2 Cor 1:20, and John 14:9. The last description either means that Jesus was the origin of all created things (which is true, according to Colossians 1:15 ), or that he is the start of God's new creation (this is also true, according to Colossians 1:18). I think it is the latter meaning that is present here, because back in Revelation 1:5 Jesus is called not only “ the faithful witness,” like here in 3:14, but also “the firstborn of the dead.” So verse 14 is saying that Jesus is ruling over all things in the new age that has broken into the world when he rose again! v. 15-16: What does it mean to be "lukewarm"? The context helps us - see "for" at the beginning of verse 17 . They thought that they were righteous and strong; therefore, they were self-reliant . That led to lukewarm "works" (15). See Hosea 12:8 for an OT parallel passage; Israel's works were sinful, and not obedient. So also this church said, “We have loads of money; we are a rich church; and yet we are sooooo humble and godly. We don’t need anything from anyone !” Remember the trade guilds that I’ve mentioned so often? Perhaps these church members had decided to cooperate with the idolatry and immorality of the guilds, and therefore we well-off financially because of their sin – and yet they deceived themselves into thinking that what they had done was defensible, right, and pleasing to God! Verse 17 shows three descriptions of their condition (17b, c, and d): they were self-sufficient, self-guided, and self-righteous. Thus they did nothing good for the Lord. Historical information about Laodicea helps us understand lukewarmness also. The nearby city of Colossae had access to delicious cold water, while Hierapolis was known for its hot mineral waters that were used medicinally. But it seems like Laodicea had to pipe water in that was lukewarm and nasty. So Jesus isn’t saying, “I wish you were either on fire for me (hot) or completely indifferent (cold).” No; the problem was that they weren’t hot like a good bath, or cold like a delicious, refreshing beverage! All they were was lukewarm and so repulsive and pointless and useless . Jesus would spew them out of his mouth, like you do a nasty liquid that surprised you when you tasted it. “Useless”? Being spat out of Christ’s mouth? That is a harsh judgment! Yet who is speaking? The one who is "the faithful and true witness" (14). This is sobering: it isn’t outward, shocking, vile sin that makes a church disgusting to Jesus, but simple, easy, respectable, self-reliance. Looking to self instead of looking to Jesus. v. 18: What does it mean to "buy ... gold" from Jesus? I think that 1 Peter 1:7 sheds light on this. I f they came to Jesus, relied on Him, on His grace, on His power, to get through problems, they would find themselves spiritually rich , and thus filled with joy and peace through faith! And such reliance on God’s grace is the polar opposite of pride. Here is the key to the whole problem of self-sufficiency, of pride: in the words “ from me .” They needed to come to Christ – but pride refuses to do this; it looks within self . But only if they came to Jesus would they “be rich ” (v. 18). For "buying" gold, see Isaiah 55:1-3 (see also the call to listen in that passage). v. 18: What does it mean to "buy ... white garments"? Well, we’ve seen white clothing already in this book. See 3:4 in the letter to the church of Sardis at the beginning of this chapter. We saw that these believers turned away from idolatry and from immorality . These believers were naked, then, in that they were rebelling against God’s standard of morality, and were compromising with false gods. To buy white clothing from Jesus would mean that they humble themselves before the ascended Christ, confessing their sins – basically, turning away from all sin and turning to Christ Jesus, embracing Him as their forgiveness, their purity, their life . Again, the key here is to come to Christ and find in Him joy and forgiveness and purpose and purity. v. 18: What does it mean to buy "salve"? It means to get your discernment from Jesus himself . See Prov 3:5-7; 28:26. Perhaps this church thought they were wise ; they knew how to handle the idolatrous guilds, and that they could walk the fine line of participation there without sin. But they had only deceived themselves! They were actually wallowing in filthy sin, oblivious to mortal danger they were in. They were prancing along the edge of a cliff, thinking they were perfectly safe, when they were near death. v. 20: To whom is Jesus speaking? To the church - this is an invitation to Christians to let Jesus into their hearts! v. 21: How will we sit down with Jesus on his throne? It sounds almost blasphemous – but there it is, in black and white! Well, Christ is right now on his throne. One commentator calls this " a posture of rest ,” for His work is done, as well as “a position of honour " (Patterson, Revelation , 145). So Christ offers to us union with Him in His rest and His honour ! Those who repent of sin and love the Lord Jesus with all their hearts will rest forever in His presence, in fullness of joy, free from suffering and the hatred of the world. And we will receive honour from Him – from the one whose praise is worth more than all the praise of man! To help you grasp this truth, think of a wealthy king in the days of kings and knights and dragons who falls in love with an orphaned girl in a village who is dirt poor and must work day and night as a slave just to survive, because her parents left her deeply in debt. What happens when they get married? The king says, in effect, “Everything I have is yours .” All his wealth, his money, his status – she now shares it all , because she is one with him. But he also says, in effect, “Everything you have is mine.” But because all she has is debt and poverty, he absorbs it all – he pays off her debts, rescues her from poverty. He is so rich that he can easily pay off her creditors! And all that belongs to her only because she now belongs to the king, because she is his bride. But what do we call the wife of a king? A queen ! And so it is with us. In eternity, in a way we can’t even comprehend, God’s people will rule over the universe in Christ; Jesus will reign over all things, and He will do so somehow using us as his instruments – that’s what it means to sit with him on his throne. All that will be true because of what is already true of Christ, because He has made us one with Himself . Heart: Focus: The focus of this section is the life of the emotions . We want to feel accurately according to the truth of God’s Word we’ve phrased. Questions: How should I feel differently about God/myself/etc. because of what I’ve just phrased? What emotions are expressed in this passage? What emotions does this passage exhort me to feel? v. 15-16: One emotion expressed here is disgust . Do you feel disgusted at lukewarm Christianity - starting with your own life ? v. 17: Another emotion is pity . Jesus calls those who are lukewarm and self-reliant "pitiable." The world sees such people as strong and admirable; Jesus sees them as worthy of our pity. v. 18: A third emotion is shame. Those who rely on self instead of Jesus should feel shame at their sin, like the shame of nakedness we all feel. See Song 5:2 for the shame of a spouse rejecting her husband. v. 20: I think we should feel awe and joy at Jesus' promise to enter our lives and "eat with" us. See Eph 5:25-27 to stir up your love for Jesus. v. 21: We should also feel overwhelmed with the massiveness of Jesus' promise here. Jesus' rewards are far beyond anything we could dare to dream of! Hands: Focus: The focus of this section is the life of the will . We want to act accurately according to the truth of God’s Word we’ve phrased. Questions: How should I act differently because of what I’ve just phrased? What motivations does this passage give for acting differently? What sins do I need to repent of and put off? What good works do I need to put on? There are two commands in this passage, and two implied commands (besides the command that always appears at the end of each letter, to listen to what the Spirit says). v. 18: Buy gold, white garments, and salve. This means to fully rely upon Jesus for strength, for righteousness, and for guidance. v. 19: Be zealous and repent. Notice the Ground of the call to repent: Jesus' love ! The warnings in verses 15-18 were not words of condemnation, verse 19 reveals; no, they were words of fatherly love! See Heb 12:5-11. v. 20: Open the door of your heart to Jesus. This is a shocking picture! But this is the perfect picture for what had happened at Laodicea. The believers thought they were wealthy enough to take care of themselves; they thought they were righteous enough to do church and live their daily lives by themselves; they thought they were wise enough to make decisions by themselves. That automatically means that Christ is excluded ! When you trust self , you are not trusting Christ ! Your fellowship with Jesus can be restored, made right and wonderful and sweet - but it will require repentance of self-sufficiency and pride, and a readmittance of Christ as the centre of life and of church life, as the object of humble trust and deep love . R epent and readmit Christ to the home of your heart – make Him the centre of your life, the one you trust, the one you love. For only those who live this way will enjoy fellowship with Jesus in Heaven. It is your relationship with Jesus that matters – not whether or not you physically come to church. Is Christ in your heart, loved and delighted in? Or is He only at the periphery , on the outside of your life? v. 21: Conquer your sin. That means to repent of lukewarmness and self-reliance, in the context of this letter. v. 22: Listen to the Spirit's words. See Deuteronomy 29:1-4, Psalm 81:10-14, then Matthew 13:9, 15-17, 43. If you have ears to hear Jesus' words, that will be demonstrated by the way you live. After all, Jesus is completely reliable , and is utterly powerful . So listen to His words in this passage; he will tell you the truth !
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.