7 Letters of Revelation: Remain True to My Name

Jesus Christ is Lord by Thomas Hawk

Jesus Christ is Lord by Thomas Hawk

Revelation 2:12-17 NIV
The Risen Christ says, “To the angel of the church in Pergamum write: These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. I know where you live–where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city–where Satan lives. Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. Likewise you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.”

Jesus Christ is Lord – the first and oldest affirmation made by persons claiming to be Christ followers. His very name brings together the fullness of who He is and what He has done for the world.

  • Jesus: Jesus of Nazaraeth, who lived in a specific time and place, fully human, who understands our brokenness and frailty firsthand, the Word of God made flesh, God incarnate
  • Christ: the Anointed One, the long promised Messiah, who died on a cross and rose again for the salvation of the world
  • Lord: fully divine, eternal and all powerful, King of kings, due all honor and glory and reverence

Jesus is fully human and fully divine, Lord and Savior of the world, the Leader and Forgiver of all who claim his name. – Lisa Degrenia <><

The guarding of the truth of the gospel is a major concern of Jesus Christ. He is not only anxious that we should love him, and that we should suffer bravely for him, but also that we should believe in him and hold fast the truth about him…. If Jesus is the divine Lord, we must submit to him as our Lord. If he is the divine Savior, we must trust in him as our Savior. This personal appropriation of Jesus Christ is essential. – John Stott, What Christ Thinks of the Church: an Exposition of Revelation 1-3

1 Timothy 2:3-6a NRSV
This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God; there is also one mediator between God and humankind, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself a ransom for all.

Philippians 2:5-11 NRSV
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross. Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Unless Jesus is Lord of all, He is not Lord at all. – S. M. Zwemer

I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.
– C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Ephesians 4:14-15 NRSV
We must no longer be children, tossed to and fro and blown about by every wind of doctrine, by people’s trickery, by their craftiness in deceitful scheming. But speaking the truth in love, we must grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ.

Hebrews 4:12 NRSV
For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Prayer for Christ’s Sharp Sword
Risen Christ, Word Make Flesh,
Wield your sharp sword of saving truth
Wield it for our good
Prick our conscience
Wound our deceiving pride
Cut away our camouflage
Pierce our defenses
Lay bear our homegrown truth
Our sin
Our brokenness
Our need of you
With your Living Word, sever all that is destructive within us
Slay all falsehood- in doctrine, in worship, in living
Open us to the Truth that is you,
So we may be healed in body, mind, and spirit,
So we may be whole and holy,
So we may faithfully, gracefully, share what we have received
So our war torn world might also know your truth, love and peace.
Amen.

Click here for a powerful and personal reflection on this theme as found in John 14:23-29 by Steve Harper.

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This is the third of seven posts based on themes from Revelation chapters 2-3. In these scriptures, Jesus reveals the timeless message of what His church should look like.

Click here for the terrific Flickr photostream of today’s featured artist, Thomas Hawk

Prayer for Christ’s Sharp Sword © 2013 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
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