The church of Ephesus (The Loveless Church) had many admirable qualities and one tragic flaw. Christ commended them for their good works, for their perseverance, and for their church discipline that guarded against false teaching (Revelation 2:2-3).
Verse 4 reveals where they went wrong. “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” Everything about the Ephesian church looked good outwardly, but their heart wasn’t in it. James said, “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:26). Here, Jesus warns that works without love is just as problematic. The church’s devotion to Christ was waning.
Christ provided a three-part solution for the church’s lovelessness. 1. Remember — “Remember therefore from where you have fallen” (Revelation 2:5). Think back to what your relationship with Christ was like when you were first saved. Reflect on what it felt like to trust Him with both the simplest and the greatest of your needs.
2. Repent — After remembering where you started and realizing where you are now, the next logical step is to repent. Turn away from your present course and turn toward Christ (Revelation 2:5).
3. Repeat — Repeating the original good works will help you get back to the place where you began, “Do the first works” (verse 5). Return to what you did when you first became a Christian—the spiritual disciplines that kept you close to Christ and motivated you to follow Him.
Christ warned the Ephesian church of the consequences if they did not follow this three-step formula: “I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent” (verse 5). That is, the church’s influence and power would be removed. There is a price to pay for drifting away from the Lord.
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