Background
  • Founded in 189 B.C. by Pergamon King Eumenes
  • Named for his love of his brother Attalus.
  • Attalus III gave his kingdom to the Roman Empire upon his death
  • 129 B.C. Philadelphia made up part of Rome’s Asia Province
  • Border town for three regions and a missionary outpost for Greek culture
  • Strategic trade town in Asia 
    • between Rome and the East
  • 27 miles from Sardis and 48 from Laodicea
  • Great wine (volcanic cliffs nearby = fertile soil for amazing grapes)
  • Lots of earthquakes (destroyed in 19 A.D. w/ Sardis)
    • Didn’t have a great sense of security.
  • Called “Little Athens” = many gods and idols
  • It’s church received praise from Jesus
Life Group Questions
  1. Why do you think Jesus continues to repeat “Who He is” at the beginning of each one of these letters?  I mean, He’s talking to churches…
  2. Does belief precede doing?  Or doing precede belief?  Can you believe along the way as you do?
  3. Does it make sense that Jesus continues to acknowledge the deeds (good or bad) of His people?  Why or why not?
  4. It appears that Jesus does not ignore faithfulness.  Where else in Scripture do we see examples of Jesus taking note of the faithfulness of people?
  5. What are some practical ways to “hold on” to Christ faithfully in your life? 
  6. What are some challenges that arise (if any) for you personally to be intentionally faithful to Christ?
  7. Jesus makes promises at the end of this letter as well as the others.  How do you process God promises here?  Or can you?