Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Encouragement to Struggling Churches

The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands. (Rev 2:1 ESV)

Just prior to his rebuke and correction Jesus is pictured as holding the seven churches in his right hand and walking among them. What encouragement! Jesus holding the churches in his right hand points to the church's security being found in Christ and not ultimately themselves (Jn 10:29). Though these churches are sinful, even dabbling in idolatry, their eternal safety and destiny is determined by God not themselves. This must temper how we understand 3:16, 'I will spit you out of my mouth.' Jesus also is pictured as walking among the sinful and struggling churches as God did with Adam and Eve in the garden. Even in the midst of struggle with sin and idolatry, Jesus is still intimately involved and having fellowship with these churches. He is comforting them and clarifying their standing with him before he corrects them. They need not be perfect to walk with Jesus because of his work on the cross. That is the basis of their relationship to him, not their present failings.

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