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Feb 10, 2019

Thyatira: A Church of Holy Living

Passage: Revelation 2:18-29

Preacher: Andrew Repsold

Series: Churches of Revelation

Keywords: church, growth, holiness, holy living, plodding, repentance, sound doctrine


This message gives 5 marks of holy people and a holy church. Great truths to encourage any Chrsit-follower seeking to walk in holiness.


Jesus’ Letter to the Church in Thyatira: Revelation 2:18-29
Give Historical Background, especially about the work guilds.
Sermon Outline:
  1. Read the Letter

  2. Explain it verse by verse while observing…    “5 markers of Holy living.” (5 characteristics of people pursuing holiness)

Initial intent of the letter was for the 1st century Christians in Thyatira, but there is a phrase at the end of each of these letters that says there is truth to be gleaned from these letters for people (Christians) of all time periods and regions.          
5 of these truths/principles.
Section 1: verse 18
Full description of Jesus from chapter 1…why does he zoom in on these characteristics before he presents his message?
fire is representative of God’s Holiness. What does it mean that God is Holy?
Holy: “set apart”. Comes from a word meaning “to separate or cut off”. God is separate or cut off from everything that is sinful and evil. His nature cannot tolerate coexistence with evil.
  • 1 John 1:5 God is light and in Him is no darkness.

  • Leviticus 19:1 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to all the congregation of the people of Israel and say to them, You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.

  • Mark 1:24 (the demonic spirit acknowledges Jesus as Holy) What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are – the Holy One of God.

Fire is THE BEST parallel for understanding this aspect of God. Fire is to our flesh (and everything physical) what God is to evil.
eyes:  holy omniscience. Penetrating Knowledge.
feet: Judge. Warrior (mention guilds)
Combined: Righteous, perfect Judge.  READ VERSE 23!!
Mark #1: A life marked by Holiness seeks to conform every aspect of being (living) to the Nature of God.  (Image: Fire)
Section 2: Verse 19
Mark #2: A life marked by Holiness is continually improving/maturing in Holiness.  (Image: Rising Sun)
  • 1 Corinthians 3:1

Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly?
  • Proverbs 4:18

18 The path of the righteous is like the morning sun,
    shining ever brighter till the full light of day.
Section 3: Verse 20
Church of Thyatira is opposite of the Church in Ephesus…
-Ephesus had a godly zeal for sound doctrine and holiness (2:12), but she was lacking in devotion and love to Christ—cold orthodoxy.
- Thyatira had a definite and even greater ministry of service and endurance, one that seemed to be motivated by faith and love (cf. vs. 19), but Thyatira lacked on the side of zeal for sound doctrine, moral purity, holiness of life, and zeal against false teaching and practice.
Historical Background:
  • Jezebel is likely a literal person because of specific description

  • The Church is tolerating her…likely because she has a gift (or claims to) of prophecy.

  • Melding guild worship with Christianity.

Because of its industry, the city was known for its trade guilds, or organized groups and associations for potters, tanners, dyers and bronze workers These guilds created a tremendous problem for Christians because it was extremely hard for a merchant to pursue his or her trade without belonging to one of these guilds. To belong to these guilds put a Christian in a compromising position because of the pressure from the guilds to participate in their pagan, idolatrous feasts. “Each guild had its own patron deity, feasts, and seasonal festivities that included sexual revelries.”
Mark #3: A life marked by Holiness has a zeal for sound doctrine (discernment). (image: brain on fire)
·        Philippians 1:9-11 English Standard Version (ESV)
9 And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
  • Titus 2:1  But as for you, teach what accords with sound[a] doctrine.

Section 4: Verse 21-23
Mark #4: A life marked by Holiness repents quickly and often.  (image: leaving a dark room back into light)
Personal example:
Katie and I watching a gory movie scene…totally disturbed our spirit.
·        Ephesians 4:25-32 English Standard Version (ESV)
25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. 26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27 and give no opportunity to the devil. 28 Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. 29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32 Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
·        Philippians 4:8-9 English Standard Version (ESV)
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned[a] and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Section 5: Verses 24-28
Mark #5: A life marked by Holiness steadfastly plods in righteousness. (Image: day light)
·        Galatians 6:9 English Standard Version (ESV)
9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.
·        Thessalonians 3:13 English Standard Version (ESV)
13 As for you, brothers, do not grow weary in doing good.
Review 5 Marks of Holy living:
Mark #1: A life marked by Holiness seeks to conform to the Nature of God.  (Image: Fire)
Mark #2: A life marked by Holiness is continually improving/maturing in Holiness.  (Image: Rising Sun)
Mark #3: A life marked by Holiness has a zeal for sound doctrine (discernment). (image: brain on fire)
Mark #4: A life marked by Holiness Repents quickly and often  (image: leaving a dark room back into light)
Mark #5: A life marked by Holiness steadfastly plods in righteousness. (Image: day light)
Ezekiel 36:23-27 English Standard Version (ESV)
And the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Lord God, when through you I vindicate (show the holiness of my great name. when I am proved Holy. NIV) my holiness before their eyes…
. … 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.
May God give us a heart of flesh which delights in his statues and walks in holiness this week.