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Midweek Discipleship Study

Revelation 2:1-7: Ephesus

Ephesus was known as "The Supreme Metropolis of Asia"

  • Ephesus had a permanent population of @250,000

    • It was the 4th largest city in the Roman Empire after Rome, Alexandra and Antioch

    • It had a large transient population of merchants, religious pilgrims and athletes

  • Ephesus was an important commercial city, located at the intersection of 3 major road:

    • The road from Euphrates via Colossae and Laodicea

    • The road from Galatia via Sardis

    • The road from the Meander River Valley

  • Ephesus was a city of great political importance

    • It was a "free city", meaning that it was not occupied by Roman troops

    • It held elections selecting its own magistrate and city council

    • It was an "assize city", meaning that the governor held court there on a regular schedule

  • Ephesus was a religious city being home to the Temple of Dianna (one of the 7 wonders of the world and 4 times larger than the Parthenon in Athens) and the Temple of Artemis

 

To the angel of the church in Ephesus (v.1):

  • Christ holds the seven stars in His right hand

    • Hold is the Greek word kratein and means to be secure, to be firm

    • The seven stars (Rev. 1:20) are the angels (the messengers) of the seven churches

    • The right hand was known as a place of honor and power

    • This description refers to the authority of God

  • Christ walks among the seven golden lampstands

    • The seven golden lampstands (Rev. 1:20) are the seven churches

    • This description refers to Christ's presence among His churches and His people

 

I know (v.2-3 & 6):

  • Christ knew their deeds, their work, their service

  • Christ knew their toil (labor to the point of weakness)

  • Christ knew their perseverance (the ability to endure for the long haul)

  • Christ knew that they could not tolerate evil men

  • Christ knew that they had endured (stood resolute in the face of difficulty)

  • Christ knew that they had not grown weary

  • Christ knew that they hated the deeds of the Nicolaitians

    • The Nicolaitians were believers who engaged in idolatry and immorality

    • Believers are never called to hate the individual

    • Believers are always called to hate the sin

  • The first 4 of the 7 churches all dealt with false teachers and false teachings

 

You have left your first love (v.4):

  • Left is the Greek word apliemi and means to depart, to leave alone, to forsake and to neglect

  • The left their first love, they did not lose it!

  • Christ is saying that the intenseness of their love for Him had weakened:

    • They had taken their eyes off of Christ

    • They had broken fellowship with Christ

    • They had become more focused on their works than their relationship with Christ

  • Matthew 22:37-39

 

How to reclaim your first love (v.5):

  • Remember what your relationship with Christ used to be like

  • Repent

    • This is not a command to feel sorry

    • This is a call for an immediate change of attitude and conduct

  • Redo‚Ķgo back to the basics

    • Bible study

    • Prayer

    • Worship

    • Fellowship

    • Witnessing

 

Or else I am coming and will remove your lampstand (v.5):

  • Christ makes it clear that He is coming again

  • Christ says that unless they repent that He will remove their lampstand

    • Their light

    • Their presence

    • They will be the church of Ichabod (1 Samuel 4:21)

  • Christ disciplines those that He loves:

    • Hebrews 12:6

    • 1 Peter 4:17

    • Proverbs 3:12


He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the seven churches

 

To him who overcomes (v.7):

  • The Tree of Life was first seen in the Garden of Eden

  • This promise speaks to a return to Eden (Paradise)

  • This promise speaks to the restoration of God's people

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