Church in Ephesus: Love Abandoned

Church in Ephesus: Love Abandoned

Deacon Chengji - 19 November 2023

Church in Ephesus: Love Abandoned

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“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

Rev 2:7, 11, 17, 29, 3:6, 13, 22

 

Church in Ephesus

  • Acts, Ephesians, 1, 2 Timothy, Revelation
  • Paul established a community Priscilla and Aquila (Acts 18:19)
  • Paul returned to Ephesus, evil spirit recognized him, riot in the theatre (Acts 19)
  • Paul charged Timothy to watch over the church in Ephesus (1 Tim 3-4)
  • Apostle John also stayed in Ephesus

 

3 As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, 4 nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith.
1 Tim 1:3-4

 

Ephesus

  • Modern-day South-western Turkey
  • Famous for its harbour
  • Well connected to the other cities inland
  • Population estimated to be 100,000 – 250,000 people
     
  • Temple of Artemis
  • Worship of Emperor Domitian

 

1 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands.

2 “ ‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. 3 I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary.

4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.

6 Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’
Revelation 2:1-7

 

Commendation

2 “ ‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. 3 I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary.

Revelation 2:2-3

 

Warning

4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.

Revelation 2:4-5

 

Questions: 

  • Why is love so important?
  • What happened to love?
  • How do we restore love?

 

Why is love so important?

We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.
1 John 4:19-21

 

Gospel: “I am already loved and accepted by God, so I love and do good to others”

Religion: “I try to love and do good to others, so that God will love and accept me.”

 

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,  but have not love, I gain nothing.
1 Corinthians 13:1-3

 

I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations.
Isaiah 42:6b

 

I will make you as a light for the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
Isaiah 49:6b

 

16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
Matthew 5:16

 

What happened to love?

Epehsians 1:15- For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love  toward all the saints.

Possible reason: True essence of faith not passed on

Possible reason: Hardened by suffering and sin

 

“Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like You have loved me
Break my heart for what breaks Yours
Everything I am for Your kingdom’s cause
As I walk from earth into eternity”

-from the song, Hosanna 


Matthew 24:12-
And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.

Possible reason: Neglect to seek growth in love

 

How do we restore love?

5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.
Revelation 2:4-5

 

Restoring love doesn’t mean there will be no hate

6 Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

 

The one who conquers

To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’
Revelation 2:7

 

And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.
Revelations 12:11

 

I have become acquainted with your name, much-beloved in God, which you have acquired by the habit of righteousness, according to the faith and love in Jesus Christ our Saviour.
Ignatius of Antioch

 

8 Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.
Romans 13:8

Deacon Chengji
Deacon Chengji
c.chengji@gmail.com

Deacon Chengji is currently studying at Singapore Bible College. He joined The Life Church and Missions (Singapore) as a ministry staff in 2013. He is married to Preacher Huijun.

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