This sermon was based on Revelation 2:1-7.
To the Church in Ephesus
1“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands.
2“‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. 3I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. 4But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first.5Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. 6Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’
The Gospel Transforms the Church
How does the Gospel Transform the Church?
Well it turns Guilt into joy, Cynicism into faith and condemnation into freedom and as a result makes dying churches alive again.
That’s what the gospel does, the bible tells us it’s the power of God.
Praise for the Church in Ephesus
Jesus praises the church in Ephesus. He praises their hard work and perseverance, that they have done many good deeds.
He praises the fact that they have been willing to challenge wrong behaviour. They haven’t allowed people among them to continue in sin and they haven’t tolerated teaching that they know is not right.
He praises them for enduring hardship and not moving from what they believe. In a place where there was persecution for believers and living as a follower of Jesus and as a church community had many challenges the church in Ephesus has continued in faith.
- It would be amazing to get a letter like this to our church from the Lord.
You Have Forsaken the Love You Had at First
Even thought the church is doing all this amazing stuff there is a crucial area where they need to change. They need to love the Lord the way they did at the beginning. We need to make sure that we also return to our first love. There are things we can do to get this love back.
What does Jesus mean when he says do the things you did at first? Well the thing you do to become a Christian in the first place is you believe the gospel and it changes you and it makes you say ‘wow Jesus is amazing I love him’. Then what happens is you begin a relationship with Jesus. Being a Christian is all about a relationship. Relationships take time and effort.
For Christians it’s important to take time to sit with Jesus. It’s important for us to sit and pray and read our bibles. That’s so Important for our relationship with Jesus. But sitting with Jesus is a bit more than that. To sit = rest on something that takes my weight, it takes my burdens – spiritually sitting – Is when we rest our whole life on Jesus.