Ephesus: First Love Charlie Boyd - 9/3/2023 Revelation 2:1-7 Audio Sermon Notes (PDF) Ask a Question SERMON SUMMARYWhat do we hear the Spirit saying to the church in Ephesus that directly applies to us today? Would it be something like this? “You can believe all the right things. You can be doing all the right things. You can be patiently enduring hardship for the cause of Christ." And yet, Jesus may say to you, “I have this one thing against you, that you have lost your first love.” How is that possible?SERMON SCREENSHOTS & KEY POINTSBeginning by reading Revelation 1:10-18. Remember this vision of Jesus from last week. It is this Jesus who is living and active in your life and in our world today.Revelation 2:1-7 — This first “message” comes from God to Jesus, and then through an “angel “to John, and then through John to the church in Ephesus, and through the Spirit again, to us. It is a message specific to the local congregations in Ephesus, but v7 tells us that it was also meant to be read in all the other churches. In fact, all seven letters were meant to be read in all the churches so they would all understand the things that Jesus commends and the things that Jesus wants to see corrected. Jesus speaks first to Ephesus because it was the largest and greatest city in the Roman province of Asia. It was a cosmopolitan city of finance and trade and athletic competition, and it was a major cultic religious center of that day. Over 50 gods were worshiped there, but the main attraction was the temple of Artemis (Diana). The city was known for religious and secular prostitution, so immorality was a prominent part of everyday life. Ephesus was also considered to have strategic importance —it was a hub of Christian missionary focus. Paul, Aquilla and Pricilla, Apollos, Timothy, and John himself all spent time there. Now, for the most part, each of the seven messages tends to follow the pattern spelled out below.The Christ Title (2:1) — “Him who holds seven stars in His right hand and walks among the lampstands”The Commendation (2:2-3) — The people in the church in Ephesus were known for their hard work, their patient endurance when it came to suffering for the name of Jesus, and for their commitment and defense of the truth of the Scriptures. Jesus’ words of commendation are so strong here that it leaves you wondering if anything could be wrong in Ephesus. But He says to them…The Complaint (2:4) — “I have this against you, that you have lost your first love.”The Correction (2:4) — “Remember, repent, return (re-do):“ Do what you’re doing now, but with a foundation laid in love.”The Consequences (negative and positive) —"If you refuse to take My correction seriously, then I will shut the church down (remove your lampstand/light). But I also promise a reward to those who “overcome”—to those who faithfully live My way of truth and grace until I return.”Conclusion — So, how does what we hear the Spirit saying to the church in Ephesus directly apply to us today? Could the Spirit be saying — “You can believe all the right things. You can be doing all the right things. You can be patiently enduring hardship for the cause of Christ. But there’s one thing missing—you’ve lost your first love.”*We are a church located in Greenville, South Carolina. Our vision is to see God transform us into a community of grace passionately pursuing life and mission with Jesus.