We’re in a new series called, “Prioritty Mail: 7 Letters from Jesus.” Over the next seven weeks, we’ll explore the 7 letters Jesus instructed John to write to 7 churches. They were real churches with real problems; however, problems in churches are not much different today then they were then. This week, we’ll look at the letter to the church in Ephesus. If you’d like to read that letter before Sunday, you’ll find it in Revelation 2:1-7.
In this letter, Jesus commends their works, toil, endurance, intolerance of evil, and their assessment and rejection of false teachers. They were not fair-weather-Christians. They were all in. But they had a really big problem. They lost their first love. Jesus told them that they must remember, repent, and return to what they were doing at first or the church would be extinguished. Yikes! It’s not enough to work hard and endure, although Jesus did commend them for it. It has to be done with the right motives.
There’s some debate about that that first love was. Some argue it was their original love for one another. Others says it was their love for God. Still others say it was their love for the gospel. And finally others say it was their love of the Savior. These are a bit silly give how interconnected these are. If we love God and love others, we’ll love all of these things. In addition, think about the passionate love a new believers has for all things about God and all things God teaches. It’s enthusiastic and nuts to see someone in love with Jesus for the first time. And that loves causes the new believer to love others, share the gospel, and look like a new creation.
The Ephesians had their doctrine right, they had passion, they were serving, but they were doing it all for the wrong reasons. It’s the difference between saying, “I obey and Jesus accepts me” compared to saying, “Jesus accepts me and I gladly obey.” Which statement more accurately captures your heart?
We’ll be exploring this letter and responding to God’s Word during our worship service a 11am, this Sunday. Come join us!
For the Kingdom!
Pastor Bryan Catherman