“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, these things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”: “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it…” Revelation 3:7-9
From the church of Philadelphia, we learn a few things to help us understand about a church that is pleasing to the Lord. The word “Philadelphos” comes from the Greek word “Philea” which means brotherly love and “Adelphos” means brother. So, “Philadelphos” means loving one another. This city was built with one purpose which is to spread the Greek culture, especially the Greek language, to its surrounding. Because of this purpose, the gates of this city are open so that its people can interact with other citizens around the city. This purpose was fulfilled because in 19 M, the people of Lydia had forgotten their native language and were speaking Greek. Because Philadelphia was always open to others, it was known as a city with open gates. Through this city of “brotherly love,” the doors of evangelism were opened to nonbelievers around the area.
The church in Philadelphia was not a big church and it had limited resources. They were weak in many areas. To become an effective tool in the hands of the Lord, we have to realize how limited our strength is so that we always depend on the Lord’s limitless strength. For those types of Christians, God will open doors. The Lord uses believers who realize they are weak without Him. The Lord uses those who are weak in human eyes. The Lord favors those who are humble, not the prideful. The Lord favors those who are weak, not the strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
The church in Philadelphia who was weak held onto the Word of God and received strength. They studied God’s Word together with passion. Because of this, the Lord opened up door of opportunities for those who live according to His Word.
The church in Philadelphia is also a church that was strong in faith. Even though they were mocked by the Jews, were oppressed by the people who worshipped idols and were persecuted, they still believed in the Lord. Nothing could shake their faith. They stood strong and did not deny the Lord’s name. They were faithful until the end.
Let us follow the example of the church in Philadelphia so that Christ the Head of the Church, who is coming for us, will be pleased. God bless.
Source : article from GBI Gatot Subroto, Jakarta