~6/7- Revelation 2:1-7- Jesus' Letters to the Church: Ephesus/ Communion
Question: How can we be spiritually prepared to deal with the challenges of uncertain times?
Main Point: To be faithful in uncertain times we must constantly return to Jesus as the focus of our ultimate love.
Next Steps: Remember, repent and do the deeds you did at first.
a/v: tommy, brandon
Revelation 2:1-7 The Passion Translation (TPT)
Christ’s Letter to Ephesus
2 Write the following to the messenger of the congregation in Ephesus.[a] For these are the words of the one who holds the seven stars firmly in his right hand,[b]who walks among the seven golden lampstands:
2 I know all that you’ve done for me—you have worked hard and persevered. I know that you don’t tolerate evil. You have tested those who claimed to be apostles and proved they are not, for they were imposters. 3 I also know how you have bravely endured trials and persecutions because of my name, yet you have not become discouraged.[c] 4 But I have this against you: you have abandoned the passionate love you had for me at the beginning.[d] 5 Think about how far you have fallen! Repent[e] and do the works of love you did at first.[f] I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place of influence if you do not repent. 6 Although, to your credit, you despise the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also despise.[g] 7 The one whose heart is open let him listen carefully to what the Spirit is saying now to all the churches.[h] To the one who overcomes[i] I will give access to feast on the fruit of the Tree of Life that is found in the paradise of God.[j]
- Revelation 2:1 The meaning of Ephesus is “desirable” or “darling.” Every church and every believer is desirable to Jesus Christ, for we are his bride. This is the word a Greek bridegroom would use for the girl he desired to marry. See Song of Songs.
- Revelation 2:1 It is good to remember that church leaders are “stars” who are firmly held in the right hand (authority and power) of Jesus Christ. He cares for both his churches and his leaders.
- Revelation 2:3 The Aramaic can be translated “You endured suffering without complaining.” Every church should be known for these five qualities: (1) working for the kingdom, (2) persevering, (3) not being tolerant of sin, (4) examining the claims of ministries, and (5) enduring trials bravely. Yet doing all this without a passionate love for Jesus Christ weakens our power and witness in the world.
- Revelation 2:4 Or “you have abandoned your first love.” The Greek word for “first” (protos) means “foremost,” “best,” “paramount,” “supreme,” “crowning,” “number one.” Jesus is referring to exclusive love that has first place in our hearts above all else.
- Revelation 2:5 The Greek word for “repent” is metanoia and means more than simply changing one’s mind. It means “to take another mind.” Every believer needs to turn from his or her error and take “another mind,” the mind of Christ.
- Revelation 2:5 That is, “Return to your passion for me that motivated you at the first.”
- Revelation 2:6 The Greek meaning of “Nicolaitans” is “to rule [conquer] over people.” Many see in this term the beginning of the movement of every believer from being a priest to being part of a special class of clergy who ruled over the church. There is also a case to be made that the Aramaic word niaqleidto can be translated “the performing of rituals,” which would make the verse read “You despise the performing of rituals, which I also despise.”
- Revelation 2:7 This shows that the message to these seven churches is for everyone today, not just a specific church or for a specific period of church history.
- Revelation 2:7 Or “subdues,” “vanquishes,” “prevails,” “experiences victory.”
- Revelation 2:7 The paradise of God is now found within the hearts of Jesus’ loving followers. See Song. 4:11-15. The Tree of Life is Christ within us, the hope of glory. The fruit of that tree is reserved for those who overcome.
~6/14- Revelation 2:8-11- Jesus' Letters to the Church: Smyrna
~6/21- Revelation 2:12-17- Jesus' Letters to the Church: Perguamum
~6/28- Revelation 2:18-29- Jesus' Letters to the Church: Thyatira
~7/5- Revelation 3:1-6-Jesus' Letters to the Church: Sardis
~7/12- Revelation 3:7-13- Jesus' Letters to the Church: Philadelphia
~7/19- Revelation 3:14-22- Jesus' Letters to the Church: Laodicea
~7/26- Revelation 5:1-14- Jesus' Letters to the Church: Lion and the Lamb