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. WHAT IS NECESSARY TO GIVE A MAN A NAME TO LIVE?
1. It is necessary that he abstain from vice, and the grosser pollutions of the world.
2. Besides this, there must be an external appearance of devotion. Mere negatives will not be sufficient.
II. WHEN MAY A MAN BE SAID HAVE A NAME TO LIVE ONLY? A statue may be so curiously painted and dressed as to be mistaken, at a distance, for a man; and a hypocrite may borrow so much of the appearance of Christian graces, as may enable him to pass for a genuine Christian.
1. He has nothing but a name who attends to the outward part of religion only.
2. He that has but a name to live, feels no satisfaction and joy in approaching to God.
3. He has a name to live only, who, notwithstanding all his religious exercises, is in no degree better.
4. 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."
III. THE FOLLY AND DANGER OF BEING SATISFIED WITH A NAME TO LIVE WHILE YOU ARE DEAD.
1. Consider then, that while this is your character your services cannot be acceptable to God.
2. Consider again, that while you indulge this lifeless religion you will never attain to holiness.
3. Besides, it can never give true satisfaction. It may silence, but it cannot satisfy conscience.
4. With nothing but a name to live, we shall never obtain an admission into heaven.
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.