Study Guide: Revelation 3:7-13 (Philadelphia)
7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: ‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens. 8 “ ‘I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. 9 Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and they will learn that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. 11 I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown. 12 The one who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God. Never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. 13 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’
As Christians, we are called to faithfulness even through suffering, knowing that Jesus alone has the power to preserve and protect his Church.
In this section, Jesus speaks to the church in Philadelphia. He offers no rebuke, but commends their faithfulness to God’s word and gives specific encouragement through temporal and eternal promises.
- As in the other letters, Jesus provides a unique description of himself to introduce his message. What stands out about his intro in Revelation 3:7? Read Isaiah 22:20-24. What does his reference to the prophetic book add to our understanding of who he says he is?
- The reference to “an open door” in Revelation 3:8 could have multiple meanings: both as an opportunity for evangelism (Acts 14:27) and as a promise pointing to their ultimate deliverance (1 Peter 1:3-9). Considering the context of the entire passage, what evidence do you see to support either view?
- Make a list of the commendations, promises, and commands Jesus gives to this church. How would these words encourage a church that has faced opposition and suffering?
- Jesus sees this church’s circumstances and their works, just as he sees ours. How does knowing this challenge your pursuit of faithfulness? Where have you recently been challenged by the Word of God to change?
- Where have you faced difficulty or opposition in your life, and how have you responded? Would it be marked by faithfulness or be cause for correction?
- Read Revelation 3:13 and examine the promises Jesus gives. What are some of God’s promises that encourage you to “hold fast” in difficult times? Identify a few specific scriptures to commit to memory that will inspire you when you feel weak.
Pray specifically about any difficulties you, or the people nearest you, are facing. Ask God to use those circumstances to develop deep dependence and faithfulness to him. Spend time thanking him for the confidence that comes from his promises, provision, and protection.
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