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Christ the purifier (Revelation 2:18)

Jesus is our Savior, brother, and friend. He is also our purifier. This is the idea that we get from Revelation 2:18.

“And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write: ‘The words of the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and whose feet are like burnished bronze. (Revelation 2:18)

Christ has just finished His message to the church at Pergamum. He now turns His attention to the church in the city of Thyatira. Here, He introduces Himself as "the Son of God." Why He chooses to use this particular title here is a matter of speculation, as are a lot of the other statements in this verse. But based on the tone of the passage, it sure seems as if He's appealing to His sonship and His deity in order to admonish them to change. Unlike Jezebel, whom we'll talk about in a coming post, Jesus is the Son of God.

Jesus also says in the verse that He "has eyes like a flame of fire." Some say this is talking about Christ's ability to see and bring out the truth. Like a refiner's fire that brings out the dross in order to purify it, so Christ can see the falsehood and sin that needed to be brought to the surface in the church at Thyatira. Others say that it's symbolic of His hatred toward and judgment of sin. Perhaps it's both. Whatever the case, both are true: Christ hates sin, and He sees it and reveals it in His church, of whom He is the head.

He also describes Himself in verse 18 as One "whose feet are like burnished bronze." Some think this is talking about the strength and durability of Christ. Others think it refers to His own purity. Burnished bronze has been purified, and though Christ Himself did not need to be purified, He is pure, like burnished bronze. Again, both are true. Christ is both mighty and pure.

All of this is a prelude to the message He has to the church in Thyatira. He is the great purifier of His own church. Ephesians 5:25-27 says, "Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish." Christ, through the Spirit, is continuing to sanctify His church. He does this by speaking truth to us from His word and by disciplining us, both themes which we'll see in the following verses.

Christ is our purifier. We are called to be pure as Himself is pure. Therefore, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12).

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