Grace in the Word

Letters to the Seven Churches

Welcome to the Grace in the Word Reading Plan

In preparation for Lent we are excited to offer a seven week biblical study of the seven churches in the book of Revelation. Revelation chapters two and three are letters that the Apostle Paul dictated from a message that Jesus gave to him for these churches. These powerful letters speak to the struggles, words of encouragement, and corrections for the seven churches in Asia Minor. The words of Jesus to these seven churches carry important reminders for us, the church, today. Join us in studying these powerful letters, reflecting on His message for you, and learning what Jesus desires for His church today.

Grace in the Word- 7 Churches of Revelation begins on February 28th.

Please fill out the information below to register for your own free Grace in the Word- 7 Churches of Revelation book study.

Want to experience the reading plan with an online community? Join us on Facebook in the Grace in the Word FB Community where we will be having discussion and sharing with each other as we read.

Grace in the Word: Seven Churches – Week 7

In our last week of our study of the seven churches of Revelation, we look to the church of Laodicea. Laodicea was the only church of the seven mentioned in Revelation where the Christians weren’t persecuted for their faith. They, much like us today, had the freedom to worship openly without fear. This comfort and ease lulled them into complacency or what Jesus calls being “lukewarm”. He saves his harshest words for this church that had it relatively easy, yet struggled to give God the glory for their prosperity and success. He is encouraging them to go “all in” on their commitment to Him.

During this final week of our study, and this Holy Week, let’s go all in on our relationship with Jesus and reflection of His love, sacrifice, and resurrection for us.

Grace in the Word: Seven Churches – Week 6

The church in Philadelphia is the sixth church and youngest city in our study of the seven churches in Revelation. This church was experiencing ex-communication from the prominent Jewish community and from the Roman Empire. Philadelphia was a church struggling with isolation and loneliness. Jesus speaks to the city in Philadelphia with tenderness, praise, and a reminder that He was with them and that they were part of His family. Like Smyrna, Philadelphia is the only other of the seven churches that Jesus doesn’t address with a rebuke but only with praise, love, and encouragement. This church might have been small and seemingly weak, but when faced with hard circumstances, they were found faithful. Jesus’ call to this church is for them to continue running the race before them with perseverance.

There are only two weeks left in the reading plan. Easter will be Sunday, April 17th and we are gathering at both 9:00am and 10:45am. We’d love to celebrate the resurrection with you as you come to the end of our Lent Reading Plan.

Grace in the Word: Seven Churches – Week 5

The fifth church in our study of the seven churches of Revelation is Sardis. This church was marked by its reputation of being in a wealthy city, and they became overconfident in their military strength. They weren’t persecuted or enduring difficulty like the other churches we’ve studied so far. This led them to be full of pride in their standing. They boasted of being a thriving booming church, but Jesus tells them differently. The true condition of the church is that they are barely holding on, and they need to “Wake up…go back to what you heard and believed at first.” This church needed a spiritual awakening. As you study the church of Sardis this week ask yourself: where is God calling me to wake up and be spiritually alive for Him?

This message is a reminder to us to fight the temptation to compromise our pursuit of holiness.

Grace in the Word: Seven Churches – Week 4

Thyatira is the smallest of the seven churches but has the longest message from Jesus. The heart of Jesus’ letter to the church in Thyatira is to encourage and remind them to be holy. Like with other churches the church in Thyatira was going through temptations to make compromises to their Christian walk. It seems this church was being tempted to stray from holiness by a prophetess in their midst who Jesus compares to Jezebel. They were tolerating this woman encouraging sexual impurity and idolatry. This letter includes a warning against this influence and encouragement to those who are standing firm in their faith and continuing to pursue holiness.

This message is a reminder to us to fight the temptation to compromise our pursuit of holiness.

Grace in the Word – Seven Churches – WEEK 3

We continue our study of the seven churches in Revelation by looking at Pergamum. The temptation for this church was to compromise their teaching of truth by allowing others to teach about false gods and worship the emperor. However, this is exactly what Jesus is calling the church in Pergamum to do- to share the truth, no matter the cost.

This week as you study the church in Pergamum ask yourself, “am I fully following and living in the truth of Jesus?”

Grace in the Word – Seven Churches – Week 2

As we begin week two of our 7 churches study we look to the church in Smyrna. The church in Smyrna for several reasons. First, this is the shortest letter to the seven churches. Secondly, this letter holds no correction, but only encouragement. The only letter that does this is the letter to the church in Philadelphia. The letter to the church in Smyrna, although short, carries an important encouragement for this church and the church today. The message is to remain steadfast in the face of suffering. Smyrna was suffering like all of the 7 churches suffer in some way, but because of their commitment to faithfulness, they experience greater suffering. This is a reminder that the call to follow Jesus is not easy, it comes with great suffering. The greater our faithfulness can correlate to the greater our earthly suffering, but Jesus reminds this church that He is the first and the last. He is with them in their suffering, and He has a home of victory for them if they remain faithful in this life.

Look to this letter this week and seek how you have and might continue to suffer for Christ, and how to seek His face in the midst of it.

Grace in the Word – Seven Churches – Week 1

We begin our study of the 7 Churches of Revelation by looking at the letter John wrote to the church in Ephesus. Ephesus, like the other six churches in our study, was dealing with persecution and exclusion. Because the Christians in Ephesus wouldn’t worship the pagan gods and follow the pagan practices of the Roman empire they were excluded from many of the day-to-day happenings within their society. In addition to this, they were persecuted and in consistent arguments with the Jewish people in this area. This is why Jesus began His encouragement to the Ephesians through John’s letter emphasizing overcoming the evil practices and false witnesses surrounding them. He corrects them on the issue they’re currently facing–hard hearts toward God and others. They have turned away from their first love. Their daily struggle and stress have led them to lose their heart for God and His people (especially those they disagreed with). In a way, Jesus is calling this church at Ephesus to renew their marriage vows…return to the love you first had when you committed your life fully to me. This is the struggle, encouragement, and challenge for the church in Ephesus and one we can all relate to and take to heart as the 21st-century church today.

As you begin this 7 week study make sure to do a few things to get the most out of this study:

  1. Set aside a specific time each day to do this study. You can do each days reading in about 5-10 minutes, but make sure to give yourself time to reflect on the passage, study its meaning, and even seek other translations and commentaries to get the full magnitude of it each day.
  2. Make sure this doesn’t become a chore. Remember this is meant to be an opportunity to not only learn in greater understanding a book of the Bible, but to rest in its meaning for your spiritual walk with Jesus today. The most important thing you can do with this study each day is to delight in it, rest in it, and grow closer to Jesus through it.
  3. Finally, discuss it with others. Take time out of your week to do this study with a friend, family member, or small group. We have several ways to join a community online or in person in order to take part in this study.

Enjoy week 1 of Grace in the Word- Seven Churches!

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