Letter to the Church in Laodicea – Gospel in Life

Letter to the Church in Laodicea

Tim Keller |  August 17, 2008

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  • Christian Living and Obedience
Revelation 3:14-22
RS 203-8

Revelation 3:14–22

When we look at the letter sent to the church in Laodicea, we see a unique case where Jesus doesn’t give any compliments, only criticisms. Even though the church seems to be in a pretty bad place, Jesus, like a caring doctor, gives them a way to fix their spiritual problems. In the letter, He talks about the signs of these issues, the root cause, and how to solve them, helping us reflect on our own spiritual health.

1. The symptom

Jesus points out that the church is lukewarm, meaning they have lost their passion for God. People who are lukewarm might look like they’re really into God on the outside, but deep down, they care more about other things than Jesus. Jesus warns that being lukewarm is even worse than being spiritually cold because it stops people from seeing how amazing the gospel is. He really doesn’t like lukewarm faith.

2. The underlying disease

Jesus’ message to the rich city of Laodicea uncovers a spiritual problem symbolized by nakedness, poverty, and blindness. This represents feelings of guilt, powerlessness, and not being able to see their own faults without God’s help. They have so much material wealth and have accomplished so much that they’ve become lukewarm spiritually. They know they sin but don’t really feel bad about it. This is a big problem in wealthy societies where people think they can do everything on their own and don’t let the gospel truly change them. To fix this, we have to really seek out God and let His selfless love guide us.

3. The medicines

Jesus tells us that we’re saved by His grace, not by what we do. This is symbolized by a white robe and gold, showing a life washed clean of sin and our high position in God’s eyes. Even with our faults, we’re invited to know His love and have a close relationship with Him, praying to Him with love. If we give Him our full devotion, Jesus promises we’ll get to share in His rule, a position He earned with His selfless love.



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