Sermon Bite 04/27/08

The Church That Lost Its First Love
Revelation 2:1-7

I.  Beginning the letter to the church of Ephesus, our Lord reminds the church of who holds the seven stars and walks among the “seven golden lampstands”.

* + Written to the pastor of these local churches.

* + Jesus identifies Himself as the One “That holdeth the seven stars in His right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks”.

II. We now enter the “I know” portion of the letter. He is the “All-Knowing” One.

*   + For this devotion Jesus commends them.
* + These were also a people who were sound in doctrine, they hated evil, and they were a discerning people.

III. It seems, according to verse four, however, that the church was laboring with the wrong motives.

* + “Thou hast left thy first love” is one of the most tragic, and probably is the most tragic condemnation Jesus could lay on a church.
* + The “First love” of every Believer is Jesus.

IV. This is the only one of the seven churches of which is warned of the removing of the “Candlestick”.

* + Ephesus has no Christian witness to this day. Why? Because they had forsaken their love for Jesus.
* + They were diligent in their work and task, but without a passion for Christ.
* + I just recently heard a television preacher say, “Passion is more important than doctrine”. I do not agree with that.

1. Passion without doctrine will end in emotionalism, an anything goes way of worship,and immorality; and doctrine without Passion will be legalistic and cold.

2. There is need and room for both, and a correct doctrine with the passion for Christ.

V. Jesus commends them in verse six for their hating the “Deeds of the Nicolaitans”.

* + Some take the name to mean “Conquerors of the people” meaning this group was the beginning of the separation of “Clergy” and “Laity”.
* + Others relate the name to a man whose name was Nicolaus who taught that once you were saved you could live in sin and return for forgiveness anytime.

VI. The Spirit speaks expressly to the church and the individuals to hear.

* + To the individual who overcomes he will eat the fruit of the Tree of Life.
* + There is a symbol of the Tree of Life in the “Lampstand” of Exodus 25:31-37.

1. It is likened to an almond tree. Jesus is the Caretaker, the Priest.

2. Jesus is the only means for man to partake of the Tree of Life. He is in the midst.

VII. In Ephesus there was a remnant who departed and went elsewhere.

* + When the “Candlestick” is removed there is no more light, no more witness.
* + Maintaining and feeding your love and passion for Jesus assures you of eating from the Tree of Life.

-by Tim A. Blankenship

You may enjoy further reading at Caretaker Of The Light.

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