,, Nevertheless I have [somewhat] against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.”
Revelation 2: 4-7
Verses 1-3 give the impression that everything is in order in the church in Ephesus, and one would say that, but the Lord Jesus, who knows everything, says that it is not so:
"But I have against you, that you left your first love." Here the Lord Jesus sees what we cannot see. He rebukes them because they turned much to doing deeds and other activities for the Lord but in the meantime they suppressed love in another plan. They were so zealous that serving God became their law, they started doing something because they had to and not because they loved to do it and that's why Jesus tells them, that you left your first love. "Jesus knew that they were working and because of that he praised them, but Jesus is unchangeable, so He does not change over time, and the church in Ephesus began to change and the Lord warns them. If in the beginning they were full of love now they could say no more;
,, As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?”
,, My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the LORD: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.”
Now Jesus reminds them that the driving force of everything should be love and not obligation. First love is Christ and nothing can replace Him with deeds, money, knowledge, or any human philosophy or activity, simply put there is nothing that it would be "first love" instead of Christ. The apostle Paul reminds us of this
,, And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.”
1 Cor.13: 3
The church in Ephesus mentions work, labor and suffering, but not faith, love and hope, and it should because everything is seen and manifested in one person to the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul wrote to the Corinthians:
,, And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these [is] charity.”
1 Cor.13: 13
Below we see that the Lord Jesus, after warning the church in Ephesus, gives advice on what to do in order to renew the communion with "first love". And first it says:
Now Jesus reminds them of what they did and they began to slowly forget it. Jesus seems to be telling them, “Remember what you were like, how zealous, how patient, how much effort you put in, how you enjoyed fellowship and love with the living God. and what is happening now, think carefully about where you are now. "And after good thinking, the best world a man can get and here we have a church in Ephesus is," and repent, "
And immediately after you understand that and repent, you do the first deeds; "This is a normal sequence of events, thinking, repenting and then the deeds go, ie, continue where you started in the beginning, put everything in its place, let what was not your first be first and everything else behind it and what is not good discard ".
And after the rebuke and the advice, the warning again, if not, I will come to you soon, and I will lift your candlestick from its place, if you do not repent. "
Now the Lord Jesus tells them that they will lift the candlestick from their place as they turn to deeds, their candlestick slowly smolders, begins to go out and to obscure the work of Jesus with smoke and further if they do not repent Jesus will allow judgment and light in that place will be turned off.
And probably the believers in the church in Ephesus repented, but only for a short time, because in the third century, they deviated from the right path again and the light was turned off.
Instead of the church in Ephesus, which was zealous and full of strength and love in the beginning, only this record in Revelation remained, so that we could see where they were wrong, think well and repent so that we do not get into the same situation as the church in Ephesus. candlestick.
"He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God."
This message was not addressed only to the church in Ephesus or other churches in Asia, but to all of us and all churches, because it is written in the plural, "The Spirit speaks to the churches that win. I will give him to eat of the tree of life that is in the midst of the paradise of God."
The promise of the Lord Jesus Christ for all "who overcome" is still valid and also the reward of eternal life, "I will give him to eat of the tree of life which is in the midst of the paradise of God."
This promise to the faithful of all ages is given as an encouragement, not to look at sin and material things that are very attractive and Satan has an abundance of materials for many that he offers "at every step" but to turn to the true God who is "First Love "