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Revelation 2:1–7

Revelation 2:1–7

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Sermon: Regain Your Lost Love for Jesus: The Church at Ephesus

Series: Seven Churches of the Book of Revelation

Bible Passage: Revelation 2:1–7

 

I. Paul’s associates Aquilla and Priscilla most likely laid the foundation for the local church at Ephesus (Acts 18:19), but Apostle Paul further developed it (Acts ch. 19)

 

II. The church at Ephesus had a great start

1. Comprised of both Jews and non-Jews (Acts 19:1-7, 8-10)

2. Through the life of Christians in Ephesians, there was a reverential fear of God and Jesus’ name was held in high honor (Acts 19:17)

3. Many believers who followed Jesus secretly came out in open and confessed their faith publicly (Acts 19:18) (from the worship of Artemis)

4. Many who practiced sorcery gave up their practice and followed Jesus (Acts 19:19)

5. The word of the Lord grew and spread out of the local church at Ephesus (Acts 19:20)

 

III. The writer of book of Revelation comments on their special qualities

1. Their deeds (Rev 2:3)

2. Their works (Rev 2:3)

3. Their perseverance in hardship (Rev 2:3)

4. Their rejection of the false teachers (Rev 3:3)

5. Their rejection of the Nicolaitans

 

IV. As the church was growing, it also had threats both externally and internally

1. Internally: This threat was more dangerous than the external one

2. Externally: Demetrius raked up the local people and went against Paul and Christians (Acts 19:23-41)

a. Wolves among you (Acts 20:29)

b. Wrong teachers and heretics from among them who would distort the truth and poach believers (Acts 20:30)

c. For a long list of dangers: look at 2 Tim 3:1-9

3. Jesus introduces himself as the One who walks among them (Rev 2:1)

a. Jesus is supernaturally present among them and knows what is happening

b. Jesus is aware of their weaknesses and is able to fix them

V. In the midst of all good things, Jesus identifies something they need to fix immediately (Rev 2:4)

1. They were very good in doctrine, deeds, hard work and perseverance, but

2. They lost their first love, i.e., they lost their zeal to testify which was the evidence of their love in the early days

3. They need to have a realistic look at their loosing of first love

4. They must repent and do what they did at first

5. If they did not repent, the consequence is that Jesus would take their missional privilege

 

 VI. The symbol “lampstand” reminds them that they need to hold up the light (Rev 2:5; cf. Matt 24:12-14)

1. Lampstand is a witnessing platform (a place where the Gospel must go out)

2. Lampstand represents light bearing people (cf. Mark 4:21; Luke 8:16)

3. Lampstand is fueled by the Holy Spirit to witness

a. They were suppressing the work of the Holy Spirit

b. Paradox/Irony: lampstand but not hold up the light!

c. If the local church does not function as a witnessing body, it will be removed from its place (it is not about loosing of salvation, but the responsibility is given to another person)

d. First to second generation; wealth and comfort; introversion and safety

VII. Jesus’ promise to those who repent and regain their first love (Rev 2:7)

1. Eat the tree of life: an expression of forgiveness restoration

2. It represents experiencing God’s intimate life-giving presence (cf. Rev 22:2-4)

 

TAKE AWAY

Repent for the lost love and make amendments to regain the first love

Speaker: William J. Subash

Born and raised in south India, William J. Subash became a follower of Jesus Christ in 1983 at the age of nineteen. After a brief career in a tea and coffee plantation, Subash decided to spend rest of his life to preach about Jesus and his life-transforming message of God, which is popularly known as “the Gospel.” Subash teaches New Testament Studies at two institutions: SAIACS in India and Liberty University Online, VA, USA. Currently, Subash serves as the chief point person for GROW Gospel Initiatives and the Lead Pastor of the Crossroad Church, Bangalore. Write to him at wjsubash@crossroadbangalore.org