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.
(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 (Re 1:4,16).
(b) You are said to live, but are dead indeed.
3:2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that
are c ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect
(c) Other things, whose state is such, that they are now
going, and unless they are confirmed, will perish
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) That is, who have with all religion guarded themselves from
sin and moral corruption, even from the very show of evil;
(4) Pure from all spot, and shining with glory. So it is to be
understood always hereafter, as in (Re 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; (Ro 8:18).
3:76 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;
(6) The sixth passage is to the pastors of Philadelphia. The
introduction is taken from (Re 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 David's kingdom
belongs to Christ.
3:87 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
(7) The note of praise is in this verse of promises, and
(Re 3:9) to bring home again them that wander, in
(Re 3:10) to preserve the godly and in
(Re 3:11) to exhort.
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.
(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
(g) Because you have been patient and constant, as I would
have my servants be.
3:129 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
(9) The conclusion which contains a promise, and a commandment.
(10) That is, the new man shall be called after his father,
mother, and his head Christ.
3:1411 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;
(11) The seventh passage is to the pastors of the Church of
Laodicea. The introduction is taken out of (Re 1:5).
(h) Amen sounds as much in the Hebrew tongue, as truly, or
(i) Of who all things that are made, have their beginning.
3:1512 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot:
I would thou wert cold or hot.
(12) The proposition of reproof is in this verse, and in
(Re 3:16) a threat while in (Re 3:17) a
confirmation declares the same. To faith and repentance in
(Re 3:18,19) a conditional promise is added in (Re 3:20).
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
(13) The spiritual misery of men is metaphorically expressed in
three points which are matched as corresponds to those
remedies offered in (Re 3:18).
3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be k zealous
therefore, and repent.
(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.
(14) This must be taken after the manner of an allegory;
3:2115 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.
(15) The conclusion, consisting of a promise, as in
(Re 2:26) and of an exhortation.