A Few Thoughts About Ephesian Church and First Love
Revelation 2:4 Nevertheless, I have [something] against you, because you have forsaken your first love.
First love = the most important love. This love has the highest priority and more important than anything else.
Other loves in the Scriptures:
C1 Luke 16:13 NIV No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.
C2 1 Timothy 6:10 NIV For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
C3 Hebrews 13:5 NIV Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.
C1 3 John 1:9 PickNT I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who wants to dominate the others, does not acknowledge us.
D1 The Greek word for dominate is φιλοπρωτεύω philoprōteúō. It means to love being first.
D2 The only one qualified to have the preeminence, the first place, is Jesus Christ: Col 1:18 WPNT Also, He is the Head of the body, the Church. He is Beginning, the firstborn from among the dead, so that He may be preeminent in everything.
D3 In Robertson’s Word Pictures on 3 John 1:9 it is written: This ambition of Diotrephes does not prove that he was a bishop over elders, as was true in the second century (as Ignatius shows). He may have been an elder (bishop) or deacon, but clearly desired to rule the whole church. Some forty years ago I wrote an article on Diotrephes for a denominational paper. The editor told me that twenty-five deacons stopped the paper to show their resentment against being personally attacked in the paper.
C2 What we are to be: Luke 22:26-27 NIV But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27 For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.
B3 Prestige and honor
C1 Scribes and Pharisees: Matthew 23:6-7 LEB And they love the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues 7 and the greetings in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by people.
C2 John 12:43 LEB For they loved the praise of men more than praise from God.
B4 Teachers: Jeremiah 5:31 NRSV the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule as the prophets direct; my people love to have it so, but what will you do when the end comes?
C1 It’s amazing how many people will listen and believe their favorite speaker, author, commentator, blogger, pastor, theologian, etc. instead of God and His book.
C2 If any criticism comes upon their favorite speaker, etc., they will attack the critic.
C3 The danger, of course, is their favorite speaker, theologian, etc. can be wrong. It will lead to the people being wrong as well.
C4 We must always have the Scriptures as the highest priority.
C5 The Lord Jesus must always be the first love of people.
C6 We must always be a little skeptical.
C7 We must be Bereans and read and study the Scriptures for ourselves. Acts 17:11 NIV Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.
B5 The world, that is, its desires, lifestyle, motives, beliefs, philosophies, etc.
C1 1 John 2:15 NIV Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.
C2 2 Timothy 4:10 NIV for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia.
C1 John 3:19 NIV This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.
C2 Darkness is the opposite, the absence of light. The sinful nature of all humans wants sins, guilt, errors, etc. etc. covered up, hidden unknown. The sinful nature loves the deeds of darkness.
D1 Ephesians 5:11-13 NRSV Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; 13 but everything exposed by the light becomes visible,
D2 Colossians 1:11-14 NRSV May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has rescued us from the power of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
B7 Family and life: Matthew 10:37-38 NRSV Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; 38 and whoever does not take up the cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
Loving God, His kingdom, His people, His ways, His worldview, His lifestyle is what we are to seek first.
B1 Matthew 6:33 LEB But seek first his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
B2 Psalms 27:4 NRSV One thing I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple.
B3 We show our love
C1 By praising Him: Psalms 5:11 LEB But let all who take shelter in you rejoice. Let them ever sing for joy, because you spread protection over them; And let those who love your name exult in you.
C2 By trusting Him: Psalms 13:5 LEB But as for me, I have trusted in your steadfast love. My heart will rejoice in your deliverance.
C3 By loving His name (showing respect and honor, that is, fearing God): Psalms 69:36 NRSV the children of his servants shall inherit it, and those who love his name shall live in it.
C4 By obeying His commandments
D1 Jesus directly or through His Apostles and prophets (the Bible writers who are not Apostles) has given us over 1,000 rules to obey. They are for peace and life. We are not saved by obeying, but since we are saved, we want to obey: John 14:15 GNB If you love me, you will obey my commandments.
D2 There is a blessing in obeying. There is a Christian life to live. These are the rules we will obey in His Kingdom for eternity. We must start now. John 14:21 Weymouth He who has my commandments and obeys them–he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and will clearly reveal myself to him.
D3 Obeying His commandments is a sign that we are genuinely saved: 1 John 5:2 ESV By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments.
D4 His commandments are not burdensome: 1 John 5:3 ESV For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.
C5 By obeying His teaching: John 14:23 Weymouth “If any one loves me,” replied Jesus, “he will obey my teaching; and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
C6 By rejoicing that He ascended to heaven and remains there until He returns: John 14:28 ESV You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.
C7 By loving our fellow believers (this doesn’t mean we agree with everything and the idea of tolerance, tolerance, tolerance): John 15:12 GNB My commandment is this: love one another, just as I love you.
C8 By growing in knowledge of Him and His ways: Philippians 1:9-11 ESV And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
The actions of love are found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a WEL Love is very patient and kind; love is not envious; love doesn’t brag about itself, is not haughty, 5 Doesn’t behave improperly, is not self-seeking; love isn’t easily aggravated, doesn’t keep a list of wrongs, 6 Doesn’t rejoice in injustice, but rejoices in the truth, 7 Bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, calmly endures all things. 8 Love never ends,
By disobeying Him, we dishonor God and that influences us: John 15:10 GNB If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
We are to initiate the lifestyle and worldview the Lord Jesus lived and taught. Ephesians 5:1 ESV Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.
A Few Thoughts About Ephesian Church and First Love
Ephesians, love for God, first love, 7 examples of false love, 8 examples of true love