The Church at Ephesus Lost Its First Love

At an open-air Gospel meeting the preacher asked for testimonies. While this was going on a skeptic was passing by just when the testimony of a saved drunkard was being given. He stopped and listened. The former drunkard was telling how Jesus had wrought a miracle and saved his p … More

Passion

Keep in mind that the seven churches addressed in these letters by John were actual churches which existed in the cities mentioned. These churches were representatives of all churches at that time as well as in subsequent generations. Each letter contains commendation, condemnation, exhortation, and promise. This first letter was addressed to the church at Ephesus. Ephesus was the capital of Asia, a seaport, and the home of one of the seven wonders of the ancient world - the temple of Diana. The church in that city was started by Paul on his third missionary journey.

Christ commended those in the Ephesian church for their hard work, perseverance, their condemnation of wicked men and their identification of false apostles. However, despite all these good qualities there was one vital lack: they had left the passion of their first love (v. 4). Most of these Ephesian Christians were now second-generation believers, and though they had retained purity of doctrine and life and had maintained a high level of service, they were lacking in deep devotion or passion for Christ. This shows how a church may have great zeal and activity with soundness of doctrine but still have lost its first love for Christ. The church is commanded to repent or have its light removed. The church at Ephesus continued for a while but after the 5th century both the church and the city declined. In fact, that entire area is now engulfed in the false religion of Islam.

Application

What did I do at first in my relationship­ with Christ that I don’t do now? Have I in any way lost my passion or first love for Christ? Do I need to repent?

Revelation 2:1-7 (English Standard Version)


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