From Help for Shepherds
We can be spiritually dead and not even know it. We need to wake up, depend on Christ, and become overcomers.
How to Get There
- Sardis had once been a huge center of culture and trade, and now had fallen on harder times and was only living on its reputation.
- The church was a lot like the city. They thought they were alive when they were actually spiritually dead.
- This church was living on its reputation and its past deeds, but had completely neglected the moment. They were spiritually dying.
- God calls on them to wake up to their condition and what they really are.
- We need to confess what is wrong with us, where we have failed.
- This passage calls on us to recognize where we really are, not fake or pretend anything.
- They need life, and that isn't something they can get from themselves, but must come from God.
- They are told, we are told, that the first step to recovering life is to strengthen those areas that we still have life in.
- Then we look back on what we are supposed to be, change our ways, and start living like we used to when we were alive.
- It's a radical dependence on God like we once had. We need to recommit ourselves to God.
- We might be mostly dead now, but we weren't meant to be and we don't have to be. We can be overcomers, victorious with God.
Things to Watch For
- This passage contains some tricky language, especially the use of "perfect" in verse 2. The interpretation of this will affect the rest of the passage.
- "Remember" is the Hebrew idea, if the Greek word. It involves letting the things that happened affect your actions today.
- There can be a lot of different illustrations for this.
- Story of Samson - He was strong, gave away his secret and was betrayed for it. When he jumped up to stop those who came for him, he found he was very weak when he should have been strong.
- Zombie clips can be used to make this a teen message, those things that are dead and everyone sees that except them.
- Rick and Dick Hoyt - The son was severely disabled, yet wanted to be normal and so the father runs with him in marathons, trathalons, and more. We depend on our father for our fully lived life.
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This Message is part 5 of A Unified Church message series.