Revelation 3:1 “Write to the angel of the church in Sardis: Thus says the one who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars: I know your works; you have a reputation for being alive, but you are dead.
The seven spirits refers to the Holy Spirit (Revelation 1:4). This metaphor speaks to the deity and completeness of the Spirit, as well as His omnipresence. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches (Revelation 1:16) in connection to the church leadership. Jesus holds authority over the Holy Spirit and the leadership of the churches. It is important to note that, the seven spirits are also referred to as the eyes of the Lamb (Revelation 5:6). Through the Holy Spirit, Jesus sees and knows each church intimately. Thus, Jesus knows the heart of the Sardis church.
Jesus challenges the works of the church in Sardis as false because while they appear to be alive, they are dead. Their partial completion of works speaks to compromising on the word of God. Jesus calls them to remember and obey the word of God, and repent, or else face the coming judgment. Jesus promises reward to those who have not defiled themselves in sin and idolatry, but have persevered in right living in the midst of unfaithful peers who claim to be following Jesus. Those who repent may also share in this reward. The promise to walking with Jesus in white garments anticipates the great multitude with the Lord in Revelation 7:14-15.
How are your remaining faithful to Jesus when surrounded by peers who are unfaithful?