1. Exposition

How can Jesus have a different assessment about the health of the church of Sardis than people have?

Revelation 3:1 (ESV)

1 “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. “‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.

People see the outside and form an evaluation on such externalities as church attendance, donations of money and time to church causes, living a Christian ethic. Christ looks at the heart and so penetrates to the deeper question of motive (see further 1 Samuel 16:7; Matthew 23:1–39).