Praise for the Ephesian Church
Jesus dictated a letter to John for the church in Ephesus in Revelation 2:1-7. In the letter, He heaps praise on the church. He praised them that they worked hard for His kingdom, even in difficulty. He commended them for not allowing sin to pollute their fellowship. He lauded them for defending truth by discerning false teachers. He recognized that they were protective of His name and His glory. And He acknowledged that they refused to abuse the grace that had been given them.
First Love Lost
It’s an impressive list, and most churches would be thrilled to receive such a glowing evaluation from the Lord. But it wasn’t enough. There was something they lacked. They had lost their first love. They had become mechanical and passionless.
The church in Ephesus had done their duty, and they had done it for more than 40 years. But Jesus wants more than just duty. He wants our passion.
First Love Regained
Jesus tells the Ephesians how to regain their first love:
- Remember. Often forgetting is the beginning of spiritual decline. Remembering, then, is the beginning of spiritual renewal. Remember your first love. Remember the passion you had in the beginning.
- Repent. That Jesus tells the church to repent shows that this is sin. Our response to it must include brokenness and a deliberate turning away.
- Do the things you did at first. It’s not enough to just turn from the sin. We must return to the things Jesus has called us to. And we must do them with the passion He requires of us.