Christ is sufficient under all circumstances

Sunday service, Erlo Stegen, 03 Sep 2017

Rev 1:3 – 8
3 Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.

Greetings and Doxology
4 John,

To the seven churches in the province of Asia:

Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, 5 and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, 6 and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.

7 “Look, he is coming with the clouds,”
and “every eye will see him,
even those who pierced him”;
and all peoples on earth “will mourn because of him.”
So shall it be! Amen.
8 “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

The Bible is full of promises which brings blessings to those who obey it. There are three words here, “read, hear” and “heed”. They are used in the present tense. He who does these things will receive a blessing. No one is allowed to add or take away from it. Therefore it is absolutely essential that we heed the truth that it contains. At the beginning and end of this book we see that the one that reads and keeps these words are blessed. He who reads and heeds is blessed. There is something for us to do to receive this blessing. This book is the Revelation of Jesus Christ to us.

The apostle John was on the island of Patmos. God revealed many things and visions to him. These were not about things that had already happened, but heavenly things that were still to happen. So the Lord allowed and sent His servant to the island of Patmos. John was especially loved by the Lord. Often we find him leaning on the Lord’s bosom when the Lord was still with them on earth. He clung to the Lord and followed Him faithfully right until when He ascended into heaven, and afterwards he also remained faithful. When he was old he was arrested and exiled to the island Patmos. Here God revealed to him many visions and revelations. It was a revelation what Jesus was busy doing in heaven. The Lord’s work didn’t stop with His death and resurrection, but is continuing till today. He revealed to John things that will happen in the future, while Jesus is seated at God’s right hand. Even now Jesus is seated at God’s right hand.

When looking at this book we must look from a heavenly perspective. Many people play around and give their own interpretations of this book. We read in 1Cor 13 that we now see dimly as through a glass. We can never understand everything that is written. And we cannot simply brush things aside because we do not understand them. Peter wrote that there are things that we cannot bear. If you don’t get anything from God’s Word you must search yourself why it is so. Are you blessed when reading God’s Word? Does it speak to you and build you up?

We read in verse 5 how Christ is committed to His church, ‘To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood“. We note it is in the present tense, He loves us now. His love today is equal to the love He had on the Cross. It is in no way diminished.

We also read in Rom 5:10, “For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!”

And so, as He reconciled us by His death, he saves us and keeps us by His life! His death did something great for us, and if His death was so great for us, redeeming us from our sins, how much more His life to us today!

We read in Eph 5:22 – 28, “22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her 26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, 27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. 28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.”

We were nothing, but while we were yet sinners and enemies, He made us kings and priests. He has given us priesthood, true sons and daughters of God. And to the one who overcomes Jesus promises that He will give him to sit with Him on His throne. There is no greater gift and exaltation than that!

Christ not only loves the church but intercedes for the church in His High Priestly ministry. When John turned to see the voice that spoke to him, we read in Rev 1:12-16, “12 And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. 15 His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.”

As God is holy it is His desire that His church be equally pure and holy. Are we like that as a church, without spot or wrinkle? That is what your life should be. That should be your goal.

The evangelist Booth Tucker who lost his wife, could yet proclaim that Christ is sufficient under all circumstances.

We read at the end of Revelations how Jesus has wonderful plans for His bride, His church. He has prepared an eternal home for us. All that will be ours if we live for Him and are faithful to Him. Jesus is building His church His way. If we as a church is willing to make our commitment to Him, to be what He wants us to be, then He will keep His commitment to us, to be in His presence for all eternity and share His glory with Him. We should be prepared to deny all for His sake.

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