Home Media Sermons by Pastor Nicki Coertze Series 15 What will Jesus say about our church? . Christ's eternal relevance to the church (Part 2)

. Christ's eternal relevance to the church (Part 2)

WHAT WILL JESUS SAY ABOUT OUR CHURCH?

CHRIST’S ETERNAL RELEVANCE TO CHURCHES OF ALL AGES (Part 2)

Revelation 1:9-20 (ESV) 9 I, John, your brother and partner in the tribulation and the kingdom and the patient endurance that are in Jesus, was on the island called Patmos on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet 11 saying, “Write what you see in a book and send it to the seven churches, to Ephesus and to Smyrna and to Pergamum and to Thyatira and to Sardis and to Philadelphia and to Laodicea.” 12 Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man, clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow. His eyes were like a flame of fire, 15 his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace, and his voice was like the roar of many waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword, and his face was like the sun shining in full strength. 17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. But he laid his right hand on me, saying, “Fear not, I am the first and the last, 18 and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades. 19 Write therefore the things that you have seen, those that are and those that are to take place after this. 20 As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands, the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands are the seven churches.”

Introduction.

 

Last week we started this new series entitled: “What will Jesus say about our church?” Human opinions do not bug us at all, but what Jesus says is what matters. Even more than that, how Jesus is revealed in chapter one which we have just read, makes His opinion extremely critical, because when you look at His apparel (His dress) you will see that He is standing amongst His golden lampstands, which are His churches, dressed in a Robe and a sash around His chest. This shows that He is the great High Priest who entered the Holy of Holies once and for all, to intercede for us before the Father. So, His opinion on His church matters.

 

We then looked at His appearance and saw that His hair was white like wool, like snow. He is the ancient of days according to Daniel, He has the wisdom that we need, and His judgement of His church will be wise and final in all ways. We saw that His eyes are like a flame of fire. He does not have dull, tired, droopy eyes, but He has piercing eyes. It is those same eyes that are seeking ‘to and fro’ through the whole earth to show Himself strong in the midst of those whose eyes were set upon Him undividedly. It is those very eyes that are looking into the churches, and nothing escapes His sight. He knows everything because He sees everything. Whether it is good or bad, Jesus sees it. Where shall we go, but there is the Lord?

 

Unless we understand the vision, John had of Christ, we will never fully understand that He is there for us, and just how much He loves His church and cares for His church. Even when He disciplines His church, it is love.

 

Today we will continue with His appearance.

2.3 His feet like burnished bronze

 

Verse 15 points it out. "15 his feet were like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace.”

 

Christ came into this world to defeat Satan, sin and death, our three Arch enemies. With His feet He is able to step on all of it, because His feet are pure, strengthened and refined by fire. Christ in His state of incorruption never needed to deal with His own sins, and therefore He was able to deal with our sins, and in Christ we are saved from the penalty of sin, the power of sin and one day we will be saved from the presence of sin. But in the meantime, Christ will step on sin in our lives and judge it, because judgement starts in the household of God, and Christ is in control of His Household, He is Head of His Household.


In ancient days the feet of a king were always a symbol of authority. You bowed at his feet, you were below the feet of a king as he sat on his throne. But remember, that the feet of Christ are like burnished bronze. His feet are pure. His purity is based on His Glory and Holiness, which remains His part for all eternity. Christ is strong enough to conquer sin, but also pure enough to judge it under His feet. There are various references to everything placed under the feet of Christ by God. Ephesians 1:22 (ESV) 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church,..” 1 Corinthians 15:27 (ESV) 27 For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him.” Hebrews 2:8 (ESV) 8 putting everything in subjection under his feet.” Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. At present, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him.”

 

2.4 His voice like the sound of many waters.

 

He is present to speak authoritatively to the church. The end of verse 15 says, "His voice was like the roar of many waters." When He spoke no longer was it the crystal clear sharp note of a trumpet, but John described it like the sound of a raging river, overflowing its banks and taking everything with it. It is the sound of a mighty waterfall or even the waves crashing into land against the rocks. There is a strength and yet a beauty. At the same time as you fear it, you admire it. You see the same concept in Ezekiel 43:2 (ESV) “2 And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the east. And the sound of his coming was like the sound of many waters, and the earth shone with his glory.” It is that same voice that spoke the universe into being, it is that same voice that we read about in John 5:28-29 (ESV) 28 Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice 29 and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.”

It is the same voice that we read about in Hebrews 1:1-2 (ESV) 1 Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.” He is the one who speaks to His church. He speaks through the Word. He speaks to us through the epistles. He speaks to us through His Spirit, and in chapters 2&3 He will speak to us by His Spirit and to the seven churches.

2.5 His right hand holds the 7 stars.

“16 In his right hand he held seven stars,”

 

Christ’s right hand represents prominent power and sovereign authority. He is there to control His church. Now we know from verse 20 that the 7 stars are the seven messengers of the churches. This puts Christ in control of His church. It is His church that He builds according to Matthew 16:18, and He dictates. The church is built on the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets because He determined it to be so, and He has determined that the church will be led by Pastors and Teachers, and it all is in control by His right hand. The messengers do not own the church, they are simply representatives of Him who owns the church. Some translations use the word ‘Angel’ because of the Greek word ‘Angelos’, but we must not now think that there are Angels in charge of the churches. You can call me that if you want to. Christ holds the leadership of the church in His hand.

 

So, Christ is in control, and He mediates His church through leaders. A Church leader is simply an agent by which the sovereign Lord of the church controls the church. That's why in the New Testament the standard for being a leader in the church is so high. In the letters to the 7 churches that we will start with in two weeks’ time, you will notice that each letter is addressed to the Messenger or Angel of the church. It is simply to the leaders, the plurality of elders.

 

2.6 A sword comes from His mouth.

 

Verse 16 says, " from his mouth came a sharp two-edged sword,"

 

We all know that the Word of God is sharper than a two-edged sword. Hebrews 4:12 (ESV)“12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Here in Revelation 1 & 2 it is more than that. Here it has more to do with Christ protecting His church against attacks. He protects it against attacks from outside and inside. Let me give you an example from Revelation 19:15 (ESV) 15 From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty.” You see the same in Revelation 2 when it comes to the church of Pergamum. Christ will fight on behalf of His church and win.

 

The word "sword," rhomphaia, is a large two-edged broad sword that would do tremendous damage. It's almost we are being reminded of the words of Matthew 16:18, "I will build My church and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it," because I will fight against it. The enemies of the church are His enemies, whether they are inside or outside.  His word is potent and destructive and so is His power. This is the only reason that we can fight the good fight and win.

 

2.7 His face was like the sun.

 

Verse 16 “His face was like the sun shining in full strength.”

The Lord of the church reflects His glory through His church. Friends there is so much Glory to behold and so much Glory to put on display. When you look at the purpose of the church, the radiance and the multifaceted wisdom of God is put on display through the church. Ephesians 3:10 (ESV) 10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.” Both the fallen angels and the Holy angels see the face of God on display through the church. He simply says here that I looked at His face and it was like the blazing sun. Now remember that John was one of the disciples that saw Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration.

 

I believe that what John teaches us her is that the Lord shines in His church and He shines through His church, and we who love Him reveal His glory and His multifaceted wisdom to a watching world, and to Holy angels and to fallen angels.  Christ’s Glory is majestic light because He is light and in Him is no darkness. 1 John 1:5 (ESV)5 This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”

Ephesians 3:21 (ESV) “21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

 

How do you respond to a vision so glorious? On the mount of transfiguration when John saw the Glory of Christ he fell on his face and was afraid. Here in Revelation we see a similar response: 17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead.” Why? I believe because the awesome glory of the Lord of the church has struck him. We are looking at the vision of Christ in the pages of the Bible, but John saw Christ in the vision and he was blown over. I wonder if we still have that sense of awe.

 

I pray that we all so far just got something of a glimpse or the eternal wisdom, omniscience, uncorrupted purity, omnipotence sovereign authority, certain victory and majestic glory of Christ.

 

There are a few more things in the revelation John has of Jesus Christ that are vital for us to behold. Then in two weeks’ time, we will start looking at the 7 churches of Asia and find rich lessons that show that Christ appears to His churches and to us, in the embodiment of these characteristics, and that they are aptly applied to us where we live.

 

I trust that this morning, you and I will be in as much awe as we see this vision of the living Christ.  Let us then respond to the vision John saw in awe and worship by singing “Holy Holy Holy” and immediately after that “How Great thou art.”

 

Amen.

Soli Deo Gloria

Logos Community Church:- 20 May 2108