Community Group Questions - September 18th 2022

Revelation 1:4-8

Greeting to the Seven Churches

John to the seven churches that are in Asia:

Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, he is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Revelation was written to seven churches in Asia Minor (Turkey), though ultimately written for all churches who follow Christ throughout the ages. Verse 4 contains the first appearance in the book of the number 7, which appears 54 times throughout the book of Revelation. The number is consistently used throughout the Bible to represent that which is perfect, complete, or full (referencing all the way back to Genesis chapter 1, and the seven days of creation).

In verses 4b-5a we see the trinitarian foundation of the book as all members of the trinity are referenced:

  • The Father: “from him who is and was and who is to come”
  • The Spirit: “seven spirits who are before his throne”
  • The Son: “and from Jesus Christ”

Next we find a christocentric (having Christ as its center) doxology. Doxologies are expressions of praise to God, normally written in a liturgical fashion, much like a hymn. The doxology begins by stating “To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood” and made a kingdom and priests to God.. Because of Christ, we are freed from:

  • Sins Penalty (Justification)
  • Sins Power (Sanctification)
  • Sins Presence (Glorification) 

It is important to note that the passage states “to him who loves us” implying a present and active love. The love of Christ for his people is not something in the future but a present reality. 

The doxology goes on to speak of Christ coming again. The call to “Behold” (vs. 7) appears 25 times throughout Revelation, reminding us to pay attention. The coming described is glorious for those who are in Christ and will produce wailing/mourning for those who are his enemies. 

Our passage ends with a reminder of who the Lord is, the Alpha and Omega (Beginning and the end), the Almighty - ruler of all. This should bolster our spirits with courage as we continue to study this book, for the God we serve is the ruler of all, the Almighty, and he desires for us to find encouragement in his word. 
  • What has your exposure to the book of Revelation been like? Have you ever studied it before? What are you most looking forward to in studying it now? 
  • Symbolism is rampant throughout the book Revelation. How should we interpret these symbols? What can help us with this? What are things we should avoid? 
  • In Christ, we are freed from the penalty, power, and one day presence of sin. Which of these is hardest for you to believe (and not just intellectually, but hardest for you to live out day-to-day), and why?
  • In verse 5, Jesus is called “the faithful witness, firstborn of the dead”. What does this mean? Why should this encourage us?
  • What does it mean that we are a kingdom and priests to God?
  • During the introduction last week, we discussed how the book of Revelation is intended to encourage us. What has been most encouraging to you in the series thus far? 

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