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. NOTICE THE TITLE WHICH JESUS CHRIST ASSUMES. "He that hath the seven spirits of God."
1. The Holy Ghost is a Spirit of quickening, of conversion, of prayer, of holiness, and of comfort; for all these purposes the Lord Jesus communicates the Holy Spirit, and hence, He describes Himself as having the "seven Spirits of God."
2. The expression, doubtless, signifies something transcendently above the claim of the most exalted creature.
II. OBSERVE THE DEPLORABLE STATE IN WHICH THE TEXT DESCRIBES THE CHURCH IN SARDIS TO HAVE BEEN.
1. In the visible Church of Christ there are many who have nothing of religion but its lifeless and worthless form. They bear the Christian name, but are totally destitute of Christian principles, and Christian tempers. They are externally clean, and internally impure. They employ language expressive of Christian experience, without possessing correspondent feelings.
2. Genuine Christians are subject to declension in religion.
III. NOTICE SOME OF THE SYMPTOMS OF THE AFFECTING STATE DESCRIBED IN THE TEXT.
1. Backsliding usually begins in remissness relative to the most secret exercises of religion. The first steps of a backslider are visible only to God and the individual himself.
2. The effect of spiritual declension soon makes its appearance in the domestic circle.
3. Another symptom of this affecting state is worldly-mindedness.
4. A censorious spirit is a certain symptom of lamentable declension in the things of God in the soul.
5. A love of novelty is another symptom of declension in religion.
6. It is evinced by irritability and unsubmissiveness of temper under trials and afflictions.
IV. THE SEASONABLE EXHORTATION WHICH OUR LORD ADDRESSED TO THE CHURCH IN SARDIS.
V. THIS SUBJECT ADDRESSES ITSELF TO THREE DESCRIPTIONS OF CHARACTER.
1. To those whose souls are prosperous, and who enjoy the inestimable privileges of religion. "Be not high-minded, but fear."
2. To those whose case is described in the text. Your experience teaches you that "it is an evil thing, and bitter, to sin against God."
3. To those who are totally destitute of genuine religion. Your state is inexpressibly awful, and infinitely dangerous.
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.