Sermon on February 12 by Pastor Roland Eskinazi
Scripture: Revelation 2:1-7
A letter from Jesus to seven real churches in seven real cities. We can do everything well, except what matters most.
1. THE DEVELOPMENT – How effective the church was! (v1)
Ephesus was the crossroads of Asia minor. Yet the church thrived in this prosperous, pagan and persecuting city.
2. THE DIAGNOSIS – How Jesus commends the church! (v2-3)
- A dynamic church Are we an activist church, rich in good deeds?
- A dedicated church Do we labor to the point of exhaustion for Jesus and persevere without giving up?
- A disciplined church Are we soft or graciously firm when it comes to sin and impurity within God’s family?
- A discerning church Are we prepared to be intolerant of what distorts God’s truth and dishonors Jesus.
‘I’m not sure I see much point in a church that just wants to be accepted as a sort of a not too irritating chaplain to a secular and hedonistic culture which is what it seems to be becoming’.
(Rev. Gavin Ashden, former chaplain to Her Majesty, the Queen of England)
3. THE DECLINE – What pushed Jesus from the church! (v4)
- Jesus wants all, not part of our love
Somehow in the midst of doing many good and right things, we can drift into doing them for the wrong reasons.
Do we need to return to the ‘Galilee’ of our first and passionate love (Matthew 26:32)
- Jesus wants our radical, not ritual, love
The less we think of Jesus and His love to us, the less we love others – and see mission as something that others do, not what we do out of love for Jesus.
4. THE DECISION – How can we return to our first love? (v5-7)
The modern scientist has lost God amid the wonders of His world, but we Christians are in real danger of losing God amid the wonders of the Word’
- Repeat The more we repeat the steps of our first love for Jesus, the closer it brings us back to Him.
Remember! First love begins and is maintained at the Cross. When you see the love of Jesus that held nothing back, so you too will be motivated to first – love affection.
Download the sermon (save link as…) .
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION
- How important to Jesus is doctrine and love, duty and motive? In what areas was the Ephesian church strong? In what areas do we at IBC Brussels get a ‘good score’ from Jesus?
- How can we abandon our first love for Jesus? Have you ever seen this in your own life? What are some of the symptoms that would warn you that you are drifting in the wrong direction?
- How would you define this first-love affection missing in the Ephesian church? Write out a definition in your own words.
- Are there some ways in which we need to reflect, repent and then repeat what will help us to love Christ more? What did you love doing when you first came to faith which you no longer do now – and how will you respond?
Photo credit FreeImages.com/valeria restuccia