Philadelphia: The Faithful Church

March 23, 2018 Preacher: Gareth Franks Series: Letters to the Seven Churches

Topic: The Church, The Gospel Scripture: Revelation 3:7–13

Home Group Study

Sermon Date: 23 March 2018

Text: Revelation 3:7-13

Opening Discussion: Hollywood actress, Goldie Hawn once said “One way to feel good about yourself is to love yourself... to take care of yourself.” Martyn Lloyd-Jones said, “If we only spent more of our time in looking at Christ we should soon forget ourselves.” Which of these two quotes do you think are more helpful?


What does God’s word say?

Read: Revelation 3:7-13

As you observe what God’s word says, answer the following questions from the text(s):

  • Are there any Key Words or phrases?
  • Are there any imperatives (commands) in this passage?
  • Are there any indicatives (statements) in this passage?
  • What does this text reveal about human nature?
  • What does this text reveal about the character and purposes of God?

Meaning - What does God’s word mean?

When believers get to heaven, the greatest rewards may well be for the kind of Christians who persevered in situations like that in Philadelphia, who remained true to the Lord in extremely difficult situations. They are given an “open door” and a “crown” that no one can take away. Still, they can lose rewards by failing to “hold fast to what they have.” The message begins and ends with perseverance, with “overcoming” any and all obstacles to the centrality of God and Christ in our lives. We will be vindicated; we will be given the very names of God and Christ for our own. We are citizens of heaven. But we must remain steadfast.

Yet even as Christians who have been declared righteous by God the Father through faith in the perfect life and sacrifice of God the Son, Jesus Christ, we remain sinful this side of heaven and struggle with remaining sin. Fixing our eyes on Christ is the first step and the entire path of the Christian life. We are born spiritually dead and blind in sin, with our eyes fixed on ourselves and our own glory, but God the Holy Spirit strips the inherited blindfolds from our eyes and graciously rips out our hard hearts and gives us new hearts that love Him and new eyes that see Him.

  • Read Hebrews 12:1-3; Hebrews 11: 1-3; 1 Corinthians 9:24-25

As we grow in the grace and holiness of our Lord, being enabled by God’s free grace to die more and more unto sin and live unto righteousness, we’re called neither to fix our eyes on ourselves nor to fix our eyes on our own sins that entangle themselves around our ankles. We’re called to run with endurance by looking to Jesus, who is the author and perfecter of our faith. But what happens when we do take our eyes off our Lord?


How must I change?

  • Is there a Truth to be believed?

Explain and discuss the following statement: “We don’t look to Christ in faith to be saved and then look to ourselves to persevere. We trust Christ alone as our Savior and look to Christ alone and follow Him as our Lord. In order to look to Christ as our Savior and Lord, we need new eyes and a new heart.”

  •  Is there an Attitude to be fostered?

In our struggle against our own self-centered sin, is it a wise or unwise remedy to focus our eyes on the sin itself in our attempt to deal with it? Explain your answer. (Hebrews 12:2)

  •  Is there a Behavior to be changed?

As believers we are called to run with endurance by looking to Jesus, who is the author and perfecter of our faith. We are united to Christ and are made able and willing to turn our eyes upon Jesus — away from ourselves — so that by looking to Him, we are motivated to joyful, cross-bearing obedience as we “walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him … for all patience and longsuffering with joy” (Col.1:10-11). What practical changes in our daily life will help us with this?

Time permitting: click on the following links to view the attached video.

Closing Prayer - Lead the groups to pray:

  • That New Life Church would be a faithful persevering Philadelphian Church.
  • For help to overcome our daily struggles against the world, our flesh, and the Devil.
  • That the world will see Jesus in us, and we would faithfully proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.

More in Letters to the Seven Churches

April 13, 2018

Laodicea: The Useless Church

March 16, 2018

Thessalonians: The Church of the Living

March 9, 2018

Sardis: Church of the Living Dead