The letter to the church in Ephesus is Jesus message in Revelation 2:1-7
Introduction content from CITAM (Christ is the Answer Ministries) Study Group
For most individuals, the excitement of a new experience provides the motivation to delve into it however difficult or weighty it might have seemed. This could be a relationship, job, journey, and change of residence or any form of positive change. In fact, for majority, the benefits that the new found path would bring, the anticipated new experiences replacing the old ones and how it would positively transform their lives catalyzes them to give their very best.
The new journey is embraced with a passion evident in high levels of physical, emotional and mental stamina, faithfulness, diligence, excellence and creativity in their execution of the matters concerned, vibrancy with new ideas, delight and gladness…words may not be enough to describe this wonderful experience!
However, with time, this state is not sustained as familiarity sets in, the motivation dwindles and the venture is reduced to routine or what the Bible refers to as “fulfilling of righteousness.” One is more satisfied with the status quo (which they challenged before), are resistant to change and their performance is in the state of “barely getting by” as long as they are out of the danger zone. All of us can appropriately relate.
Unfortunately, as much as our walk of faith is by God’s grace, we have made it to take the above pattern too. The first time we got saved, we were so zealous for God, diligent in our devotional habits (Prayers, Bible reading, listening to teachings that build your faith, fellowship, evangelism), joyful in the Lord (Colossians. 3:16), grateful to be forgiven your sins. You had the faith of a little child (Matthew 18:3-4) – pure and does not question, doubt, reason away or excuse things that are black and white in the Bible.
However, as we became familiar and comfortable in our experiences with God, we begun to tone down the seriousness His word and standards, and became slack with our devotional habits and the apparent distinction of a Christ follower growing from glory to glory (2 Corinthian:3:18; Colosians. 3:10) is somehow lost as we are consumed with copying the world while silencing the word of our testimony (Luke 9:26; Revelation: 12:11).
The result is an adulterated faith that depends on worldly wisdom and ways of thinking (Jeremiah: 2:13). Like it is with the church of Ephesus, this is the reality for most Christians in this postmodern world. Yes, you may be standing for God’s truth and are able to recognize false teachers, you may not have disowned the faith, but somehow your love for God grown cold (Matthew 24:12). In response to such a state, the late Andrea Crouch sang, “Take me back dear Lord where I first received you, and Take me back dear Lord where I first believed.”
How are we even able to realize that we have lost our first love and make such a prayer? What practical steps can we take to regain that first love and sustain it? As truthful saying goes that if you don’t feel close to God anymore, guess who moved! Since the intensity of our love for Christ shows in how we live our everyday lives, as we study this letter, we encourage you to examine yourself and treat it as one that has been written directly to you as we seek to respond to our Savior’s calling.
Jesus commends the church in Ephesus for their perseverance. The church had no tolerance for wicked people. They were also lauded for testing false teachers and teachings. The church endured a lot of hardships for the sake of Jesus and did not grow weary in it.
Jesus however condemned them for falling wayward and urged them to repent. The church no longer had the same passion they had the first time they became Christians. It was time the church got back to the way they were before. It was time the church went into revival.
He warned them that if they did not repent, he would remove the lampstand from its place. The comparison of the church in Ephesus with my current church is their persistence in preaching the right doctrine. Both my mother church and current church preach sound doctrine and they have played an integral part in my Christian faith and spiritual growth.
What positive comparisons does your church have with the one in Ephesus?