Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and know not that you are wretched, and miserable…
What is the condition of the individual Christian (so called) who is represented in the Laodicean Church? Is not this a description of one who is spiritually luxurious and proud? Do not confound the spiritually luxurious with the temporally luxurious. One spiritually luxurious Christian may be a man poor in this world's goods. He may be the farthest removed from the world's luxury. He may wear hair-cloth and walk with bare feet. His outward condition has nothing to do with his spiritual state. His supposed riches, his increase of goods, his need of nothing — all refer to his spiritual condition. He thinks he is full of the Divine life. He is one of the Lord's favourites. He serenely looks down upon mankind from the high level of a spiritual nobility. He takes his delicious ease amid his good thoughts of himself, and has a lofty scorn for the common herd of Christians. He may be an observer of forms. He may go to church. He may bow his head reverently. He may even enter a brotherhood and take the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience; or, on the other hand, he may be a neglecter of all public worship — above all the means of grace. They are good enough for the crowd, but he has no need of them. In either ease he considers himself a model Christian, and never thinks of applying to himself any of the Divine rebukes for shortcomings and inconsistency. You have often seen such. They are very varied in their earthly conditions, and also in their mode of exhibiting their conceit, but they all have the same satisfaction with themselves.
1. They are spiritually poverty-stricken. The spiritual wealth consisting of appreciation of the Divine promises, close communion with God, and the glorious visions of hope and faith, is altogether lacking. The wealth of sympathy and helpfulness, the wealth of energy for Christ and His salvation, has no representation in them.
2. They are spiritually naked. The grateful sense of indebtedness to a gracious Saviour, melting the soul and humbling it before Him, has never been felt.
3. They are spiritually blind. That is why they do not detect their nakedness. That is why they do not know their coin is all spurious and their wealth but poverty.
Parallel VersesKJV: Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: