Revelation 3 Expanded Bible (EXB)
To the Church in Sardis
3 “Write this to the ·angel [messenger; see 1:20] of the church in ·Sardis [C the capital of the Roman province of Lydia in western Asia Minor]:
“The One [C the resurrected Jesus] who has the ·seven spirits [C referring either to angels or to the “sevenfold Spirit”—the Holy Spirit portrayed in his perfection; 1:4] and the seven stars [1:16] says ·this [L these things]: I know ·what you do [your works]. ·People say [L You have a name/reputation] that you are alive, but really you are dead. 2 Wake up! Strengthen what you have left ·before it dies completely [or which is about to die]. I have found that ·what you are doing is less than what my God wants [L your works are incompleted/unfulfilled before my God]. 3 So ·do not forget [L remember] what you have received and heard. Obey it, and ·change your hearts and lives [repent]. ·So you must wake up, or [L But if you do not wake up,] I will come like a thief, and you will not know ·when [L at what hour] I will come ·to [upon; against] you. 4 But you have a ·few [few people; L few names] there in Sardis who have kept their clothes ·unstained [unsoiled; undefiled], so they will walk with me ·and will wear white clothes [L in white], because they are worthy. 5 Those who ·win the victory [overcome; conquer] will be dressed in white clothes like them. And I will ·not [never; C an emphatic negation] erase [wipe out; blot out] their names from the ·book [scroll] of life [Ex. 32:32–33; Ps. 69:28; Dan. 12:1], but I will ·say they belong to me [L confess their names] before my Father and before his angels. 6 Everyone who has ears should ·listen to [hear; obey] what the Spirit says to the churches.
To the Church in Philadelphia
7 “Write this to the ·angel [messenger; see 1:20] of the church in ·Philadelphia [a city in the Roman province of Lydia in western Asia Minor]:
“This is what the One who is holy and true, who holds the key of David [C the resurrected Jesus; holding the key of David signifies access to the king; Is. 22:22], says. When he opens a door, no one can close it. And when he closes it, no one can open it [C Jesus controls access to God]. 8 I know ·what you do [your works]. I have put an open door before you, which no one can close. I know you have little ·strength [power], but you have ·obeyed my teaching [L kept my word] and ·were not afraid to speak [L have not denied] my name. 9 Those in the synagogue ·that belongs to Satan [L of Satan] say they are Jews, but they are not true Jews; they are liars. I will make them come before you and bow at your feet, and they will ·know [acknowledge; learn] that I have loved you. 10 You have ·obeyed my teaching [L kept my word] about ·not giving up your faith [endurance; perseverance]. So I will keep you from the ·time [hour] of ·trouble [trial; testing] that ·will come [or is about to come] to the whole world to test those who live on earth.
11 “I am coming ·soon [quickly]. ·Continue strong in your faith [L Hold on to what you have] so no one will take away your crown [C wreath indicating honor or victory; 2:10]. 12 I will make those who ·win the victory [overcome; conquer] pillars in the temple of my God [C an image of stability and security close to the glory of God], and they will never have to leave it [C frequent earthquakes often forced Philadelphians to live outdoors]. I will write on them the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, that comes down out of heaven from my God [C the believers’ eternal dwelling place; see chs. 21—22]. I will also write on them my new name. 13 Everyone who has ears should ·listen to [hear; obey] what the Spirit says to the churches.
To the Church in Laodicea
14 “Write this to the ·angel [or messenger; see 1:20] of the church in Laodicea [C a city in Phrygia, a mountainous province of western Asia]:
“The Amen [C Hebrew for “so be it”; here referring to Jesus], the faithful and true witness, ·the ruler of all God has made [1:5; Prov. 8:30–31; C the resurrected Jesus], says this [L these things]: 15 I know ·what you do [your works], that you are not hot or cold. I wish that you were hot or cold [C both positive images, alluding to cold refreshing mountain streams and healing hot springs near Laodicea]! 16 But because you are lukewarm—neither hot, nor cold—I am ready to ·spit [vomit] you out of my mouth. 17 [L For] You say, ‘I am rich, and I have become wealthy and do not need anything.’ But you do not know that you are really ·miserable [wretched], pitiful, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I advise you to buy from me gold ·made pure in [refined by] fire so you can be truly rich. Buy from me white clothes [C indicating purity] so you can be clothed and so you can cover your shameful nakedness. Buy from me ·medicine [salve; ointment] to put on your eyes so you can truly see.
19 “I ·correct [rebuke] and ·punish [discipline] those whom I love. So be ·eager to do right [zealous; earnest], and ·change your hearts and lives [repent]. 20 ·Here I am [L Look; T Behold]! I stand at the door and knock. If ·you [L anyone] hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and eat with you, and you will eat with me.
21 “Those who ·win the victory [overcome; conquer] will sit with me on my throne in the same way that I ·won the victory [overcame; conquered; C over death, by his resurrection] and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 Everyone who has ears should ·listen to [hear; obey] what the Spirit says to the churches.”
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
It looks like you’re already subscribed to Bible Gateway Plus! To manage your subscription, visit your Bible Gateway account settings.
Upgrade, and get the most out of your new account. An integrated digital Bible study library - including complete notes from the NIV Study Bible and the NKJV MacArthur Study Bible - is just a step away! Try it free for 30 days.
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.