3:1 And unto the angel of the church in a Sardis 1 write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a b name that thou livest, and art dead.
3:2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are c ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God.
(a) Sardis is the name of a most flourishing and famous city, where the kings of Lydia kept their courts. (1) The fifth passage is to the pastors of Sardis. The introduction is taken from (Revelation 1:4,16).
(b) You are said to live, but are dead indeed.
(c) Other things, whose state is such, that they are now going, and unless they are confirmed, will perish without delay.
3:4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis 3 which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in 4 white: for they are d worthy.
3:7 6 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the e key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;
(3) That is, who have with all religion guarded themselves from sin and moral corruption, even from the very show of evil; (Jude 1:23). (4) Pure from all spot, and shining with glory. So it is to be understood always hereafter, as in (Revelation 3:5).
(d) They are suitable and proper, that is, because they are justified in Christ, as they have truly showed it: for he who acts righteously is righteous in the same way that a tree bears good fruit; (Romans 8:18).
3:8 7 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
(6) The sixth passage is to the pastors of Philadelphia. The introduction is taken from (Revelation 1:18).
(e) All power of rule in commanding and forbidding, in delivering and punishing. The house of David is the Church, and the continual promise of Davidís kingdom belongs to Christ.
3:9 Behold, I will make them f of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come 8 and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
(7) The note of praise is in this verse of promises, and (Revelation 3:9) to bring home again them that wander, in (Revelation 3:10) to preserve the godly and in (Revelation 3:11) to exhort.
(f) I will bring them to that case. (8) That is, fall down and worship either you civilly, or Christ religiously at thy feet (this is how I would rather take it) whether here in the Church (which seems more proper to the argument here) or there in the world to come, for Christ shall truly fulfil his word.
3:10 Because thou hast g kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
(g) Because you have been patient and constant, as I would have my servants be.
3:12 9 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: 10 and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, [which is] new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and [I will write upon him] my new name.
(9) The conclusion which contains a promise, and a commandment.
3:14 11 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the h Amen, the faithful and true witness, the i beginning of the creation of God;
(10) That is, the new man shall be called after his father, mother, and his head Christ.
3:15 12 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
(11) The seventh passage is to the pastors of the Church of Laodicea. The introduction is taken out of (Revelation 1:5).
(h) Amen sounds as much in the Hebrew tongue, as truly, or truth itself.
(i) Of who all things that are made, have their beginning.
3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, 13 and poor, and blind, and naked:
(12) The proposition of reproof is in this verse, and in (Revelation 3:16) a threat while in (Revelation 3:17) a confirmation declares the same. To faith and repentance in (Revelation 3:18,19) a conditional promise is added in (Revelation 3:20).
3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be k zealous therefore, and repent.
(13) The spiritual misery of men is metaphorically expressed in three points which are matched as corresponds to those remedies offered in (Revelation 3:18).
(k) Zeal is set against those who are neither hot nor cold.
3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: 14 if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
3:21 15 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
(14) This must be taken after the manner of an allegory; (John 14:23).
(15) The conclusion, consisting of a promise, as in (Revelation 2:26) and of an exhortation.