Our First Love
When Jesus appears to the seven churches which are characteristic of the whole church in John’s day and ours, He evaluates them all differently. All the characteristics of the Son of Man in chapter 1, are divided up for each of the seven churches in chapter 2, and 3.
Ephesus 2:1 – “Seven stars in His right hand” – 1:16
Smyrna 2:8 – First and Last, who died and came to life again” – 1:17-18
Pergamum 2:12 – “The double-edged sword” – 1:16
Thyatira 2:18 – “Eyes as blazing fire; feet as burnished bronze” – 1:14-18
Sardis 3:1 – “Seven spirits and seven stars” – 1:4,16
Philadelphia 3:7 – “Holding the key” – 1:18
Laodicea 3:14 – “Faithful Witness” – 1:5
The display of Jesus appearance to each of the churches stresses the symmetrical order and balance. Each of the churches has its own uniqueness. Each church has its own strengths and weaknesses. There is a word of praise contrasted by rebukes. There is a word of exhortation and promises to those who overcome.
The Church in Ephesus – Her Strengths:
Bright lamp in the midst of a dark morality
Waited patiently for the coming of Christ
Labor and attitude was commendable
Angels and Shepherds guarded the church – Heb. 1:14; Acts 20:28
They would not put up with false teachers v.2
Back bone of Ephesus:
Toil – v.2; I Thess. 2:9
Perseverance – v.2,3
Orthodoxy – v.6 (Against Gnosticism) – Turn To: I Tim. 4:1-4; I John1;7; 4;1-3
The Church in Ephesus – Her Weakness – v.4-5
Their love has grown cold – “You have left your first love”
What exactly is the loss of one’s first love?
Ans. The love for Christ has cooled down – Mark 12:18-34
The flame of ones love for Christ in evangelism – Acts 4:1-2; I Thess. 1:8
The Cure – v.5
“Remember” your early days as a Christian. “Keep on remembering”
“Repent” We must have a sharp break with this sin of losing our first love.
If the Spirit has given you ears to hear. Listen carefully. If your love for Christ has declined then repent decisively.
When we preserve we are promised the victory! “To him who overcomes” The Gr. Word for “overcomes’ is (nikao or nike) which means victory. Those who persevere are promised to eat of the tree of life, that is, we enter the garden of God with eternal bliss.
Pastor Nick Iamaio
Reformed Presbyterian Church
207 South First Street, Fulton, NY 13069
Web Site: fultonrpc.org