Agonizomai: Rev 2:19 - Thyatira the Doctrinally Compromised Church<br>Growing in Grace and Bearing Fruit

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Rev 2:19 - Thyatira the Doctrinally Compromised Church
Growing in Grace and Bearing Fruit
Rev 2:19 ‘I know your works, your love and faith and service and patient endurance, and that your latter works exceed the first.

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See that these Thyatirans have works and have works that are commended by Christ. They are works wrought in and through Him. They are works committed to Him for His purposes and to achieve His will. True, the address of Christ is first to the pastor of the church - thus recognizing in him these fruits unto obedience - but there is reflection also upon the faithful in the congregation. At the very least, the Thyatiran congregation has supported and maintained a pastor who stands for Christ, and who produces the fruit of obedience to His indwelling Spirit. Had they been unfaithful themselves they might well have despised and ejected such a shepherd, for none hate so much the spiritual graces of a man than those who reject them themselves.

So what are the works? What can they be if not love (Biblical love, which is an act of the will and not a reaction to a feeling), faith (implying a trust in God through all difficulties), service (from the Greek diakonos implying acts of helping to meet the needs of those in lack) and patient endurance - such as that spoken of in 2Pe 1:5-8. In fact, Peter’s reference to such things being in us and "abounding" (meaning increasing) is precisely what the Lord is commending here, for there is growth rather than stagnation. Where Ephesus stagnated into losing their first love, so here the latter works (fruit of love) exceed the first - proving a devotion that has grown and abounded.

James summed it all up when he wrote, "You say ‘Show me your works and I will show you my faith.’ But I will show you my faith by my works." True faith produces fruit. Christ’s children will all grow, thus proving themselves Christ’s children. They will be diligent to make their calling and election sure. They will examine themselves to be sure they are in the faith - to know that He is indeed in them." They will do as they ought - to walk as He Himself walked.

The pastor and the faithful at Thyatira were fruitful and growing in grace. Yet, as we shall see, there was even then something against them.


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