This is the first post of a seven part series on the kinds of Christians illustrated by the seven churches from chapters 2 and 3 of the book of Revelation.
In the first post of this new series I’m going to describe what kind of Christians the church in Ephesus were by going over their commendations from Christ and where they fell short. Then we will seeif you’re like the Christians in Ephesus and if so what you can do to change.
What were the people of the church in Ephesus like?
To their credit Jesus tells the church in Ephesus that they are faithful to him. They know their theology and are able to discern false doctrine when it’s taught.
However the church in Ephesus was forty years old (planted and established by Paul in the mid-50’s) when John was writing Revelation. By the time John penned the Apocalypse their love for Christ had grown stale, and in his message to them Jesus expressed his disapproval of their lack luster affection.
Christ tells them that if they don’t repent he will remove their lampstand, which is to say he will remove their witness and the power of the Holy Spirit that enables them to be an effective witness.
How do I know if I’m like the Christians in Ephesus?
Is knowing the word of God the number one priority in your life? Do you cherish the theology of the cross more than the man who died on the cross?
The Ephesians prioritized their knowledge about Christ over and above knowing him for who he was and loving him as their Savior.
We must remember that the Bible is not an end in itself. It is from God and it was written for our benefit so that we can know Him and His will for our lives.
How am I supposed to change?
Jesus gives us the remedy in v. 5. If you’ve grown cold in your zeal for him then you need to repent and think back to how you felt when you first became a believer.
For me I was only six when I became a believer. So it is hard to remember what I was feeling at that time.
If you have the same story then perhaps there has been other times in your life when you’ve felt incredibly close to God. I’ve gone through a crisis or two in my life and during those times I know that God was there for me in a very real way.
So think back to when you first believed or the last time you felt overjoyed from experiencing God’s presence in your life. It’s not that you want to go back to the experience, it’s that you want to remember the love you felt for God then.
Our love for others as well as God should not depend on our mood. We ought to love our friends and family in the good times and the bad. In the same way we need to stir the embers of our affection for Jesus and not wait on God to give us another reason to love Him.
He sent His Son to die in our place and to save us from our sins after all. What more could we ever ask of Him?
That’s it for part one of this series. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.