Revelation 3:1 “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works; you have a name of being alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is on the point of death, for I have not found your works perfect in the sight of my God. 3 Remember then what you received and heard; obey it, and repent. If you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you. 4 Yet you have still a few persons in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes; they will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. 5 If you conquer, you will be clothed like them in white robes, and I will not blot your name out of the book of life; I will confess your name before my Father and before his angels. 6 Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.
There’s a lot to comment upon in this passage but I’ll focus on the part that most got my attention, verses 2-5. What challenges me about these verses is the salvation theology included, which suggests one’s place in the “book of life” is dependent on one’s actions/performance/works: “If you do not wake up…” (v.3) and “If you conquer…” (v.5). This pushes against orthodox Protestant Christian theology which teaches that salvation is entirely a gift of God’s grace fulfilled by Jesus’ death and resurrection. If there is a performative dimension to my salvation from sin and death I am in big trouble. In that spirit then I leave you with two verses that bring me peace when I doubt myself and place before God. I pray they may do the same for you:
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God— 9 not the result of works, so that no one may boast.
Lord let it be so. Amen.
One thought on “Saved by faith…”
The phrase said by Jesus, “wake up”, changed recently for me. He says it here in Revelations and in a few parables, and I always heard it to refer to the end of days, when Jesus will return. We need to be ready. But now I hear it more as pay attention to what God is doing now. Don’t become complacent, living my days like a zombie. It’s easy to just go through motions and not notice how God is there helping us, guiding us, comforting us. I need to wake up and see God. And conquering is doing just that. We aren’t letting the devil distract us from what God is doing. Our names are already in the book of life, I really don’t worry too much about that. Jesus has my back on that one 😉. And like you said, it’s all grace given to us by God. We just need these reminders, like Jesus says in these verses, every now and then. God knows that. Anyway, that’s what I’ve been thinking about. And it came to mind a few different times, so I’d thought I’d share it. Peace to you 🕊