To the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things said he that holds the seven stars in his right hand…
I. THE CONFLICT OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE. The Christian life is one of severe moral conflict. Its enemies are seen and unseen. They are malignant. They are subtle. They necessitate constant vigilance on the part of the good.
1. It is a conflict with evil principles. The soul of the good must be pure in its feeling, holy in its dispositions, loyal to Christ in its affections, and devout in its contemplations.
2. It is a conflict with evil men. It is sometimes hard to withstand the charming, but sinful, attractions of a friend, who would lead us into the very camp of the enemy.
3. It is a conflict with evil spirits. They watch the varying attitudes of the human mind, as manifested in external conduct, and seek each moment to effect the moral ruin of the good.
II. THE VICTORY OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE.
1. The victory is present. This is a distinguishing feature of the battle of the soul. It feels now the inspiration, and can sing the hymn of triumph, though, no doubt, when the last enemy has been conquered, which is death, and the soul joins the army above, its triumph will then be more jubilant.
2. The victory is progressive. Every time the soul is victorious in its battle it gathers new energy, and is more prepared for the conflict of the future.
3. The victory is glorious. It is a token of heroic manhood. It is strengthening. It is ennobling. It makes the soul veteran in goodness.
III. THE REWARD OF THE CHRISTIAN LIFE.
1. The Christian victor shall be rewarded with eternal life.
2. This reward will be Divinely bestowed and richly enjoyed. Christ is Himself the life, which He will bestow upon the faithful victor. The life will be such that the soul will be able to appropriate.Lessons:
1. That the Christian life is a stern conflict.
2. That the Christian has many aids in the conflict.
3. That victory over sin is possible to the good.
(J. S. Exell, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;