Thursday, June 28, 2007

Church of Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7)

With each church I’ll post the scripture reference, a list of the praises Jesus bestowed on them (if any), a list of the rebukes Jesus gave them (if any) and then my notes.

As I’m reading these, God is revealing little things to me about each church and what that church may look like in today’s world. He may not reveal the same things to you, so I encourage you to join me in my study. Please comment on what you are getting from these letters Jesus wrote to His Church.

Church of Ephesus (Revelation 2:1-7)

Praises
* Good deeds, hard work & perseverance
* Do not tolerate wickedness
* Reveal false prophets
* Have persevered and endured hardship for Jesus’ name
* Have not grown weary

Rebuke
* Have forsaken their first love
* Need to repent and do things they used to

My Notes:

Have they become too caught up in rules, traditions and good deeds that they’ve lost their intimacy with God? Have they lost that burning desire to know Him more?

This reminds me of the many legalistic churches in the US which are so focused on rituals, traditions, rules etc that they loose sight of what it really is to have a relationship with Christ. It is what most think of when they think of religion. It is why I explain to people I am not "religious", I just have a relationship that I'm continuously developing with my Savior/God. It is easy to loose sight of our "first love" though and get caught up in the "deeds". This is a good reminder of where our focus should be.

4 comments:

- PRACTiCAL CHiCK said...

On the other hand (you have different fingers - LOL)...we can't and shouldn't let completely go of what some might consider legalistic...lest we become the religion of Cain and do things our own way instead of God's way.

Ang said...

Oh don't worry. I'll address the other side, the liberal churches as well. There is one of the churches Jesus writes to that represents these churches in my mind.

It is a delicate balance between the two. The key is the relationship with God. Then we'll hear Him and be able to follow Him the way we were meant to.

Tanya said...

I believe it's easy to say its legalism because some label good deeds, hard work and testing the spirituality of men as borderline legalism. However, I believe his Word encompasses much more here and speaks on the matter of dignity to us all.

I do wish the Lord would have given us more insight on the Nicolaitans to help compare to the Church of Ephesus. Its way to easy for us to compartmentalize God's Word. However, if God did reveal to us the Nicolaitans it would be way to easy to label these churches. And that's not what he wants us to do. Just remember Him and repent! You're so awesome God!

- PRACTiCAL CHiCK said...

You are right. There is a fine balance.