And to the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things said he that has the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars…
I. A CHURCH MAY BE SAID TO LIVE WHILE SHE IS DEAD, WHEN SHE HAS THE NAME OF CHRISTIAN WITHOUT THE DOCTRINES OF THE GOSPEL.
1. The most important discovery in the Word of God is that of redemption by the Lord Jesus Christ from sin and death and misery. One of the most vital doctrines must therefore be what relates to the Person of the Redeemer.
2. The second doctrine upon which depends the life of the Church, is the Atonement or Sacrifice which Christ our Lord has offered for sin. The supreme deity of our Saviour demonstrates His power to save if He would.
3. The third doctrine upon which depends the life of the Church, is that which relates to the Holy Spirit and His influences.
4. 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. The practical reception of this doctrine in the Church lies at the foundation of a religion for sinners.
II. The Church may have a name to live, and be in reality dead, WHEN ORTHODOXY IN OPINION IS SUBSTITUTED FOR MORALITY IN PRACTICE. III. THE CHURCH MAY HAVE A NAME TO LIVE, WHILE IN REALITY DEAD, FROM HAYING AN EXTERNAL MORALITY WITHOUT HUMILITY AND PIETY.
(H. Cooke, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.
WEB: "And to the angel of the assembly in Sardis write: "He who has the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars says these things: "I know your works, that you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.