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CHRIST'S MESSAGE TO EPHESUS FBC-PC 3-18-90; 6-2-13 AM
The Seven Churches were 7 literal churches in western Turkey (Asia) receiving literal Messages aimed at their very real needs in AD 95.
-The seven messages also have several applications for the study of God’s Word in all generations.
-They picture the unfolding of Church History from AD 95-2013+.
-They show the possible condition of every church in the age of Grace.
-The seven churches were divinely picked from over 500 cities and community churches at that time to demonstrate the message God wanted to communicate to all churches throughout church history.
-Seven is the number of completeness, perfection or universality.
-The seven churches also picture the spiritual conditions of Christians, nominal, spiritual, poor, persecuted, apostate or living in love and truth.
THE CHURCH AT EPHESUS 2:1-7
The Letter to Ephesus vs.1 (city of desire)
It was the largest of the seven cities. It was near to the coast and with river/canal it was connected to the sea and thus a sea port. It was the main center to Greek culture of that area. The temple of Diana (Artemis) which was one of the 7 wonders of the world was located they.
Aquila and Priscilla and Apollos labored there and Paul preached there for 3 years followed by John for 30 years until his exile to Patmos around AD 95, according to church tradition.
Ephesus is a picture of Church History in the first century.
Christ is seen as examining, guiding, ruling, controlling, securing(saints held in His right hand) John 10:28,29.
I. Commendations of Ephesus vs. 2,3,6
A. Christ has absolute knowledge of both their deeds and attitudes.
Their Perseverance (patience, fainted not)
Their Examination of every idea and Theory
Their Orthodoxy (pure doctrine)
Their hatred of the Nicolaitans (Niko=”to conquer”+ Laos=”the people”)
Bishop Trench coined the term “clerisy” by combining clergy and heresy.
Bishop Alford wrote the prevailing opinion of the early church fathers was the Nicolaitans were a (licentious) sect founded by Nicholas the proselyte from Antioch, one of the seven deacons. Acts 6:1-6
“These which I hate” vs.6 cf. 2:15 "Allowed” by Pergamos “abomination”, “impurity”, “immorality”, “idolatry”
II. Rebuke vs. 4-6
A. Left Their First Love – their “desire” had drifted away from Love of God (Luke 10:27)
into a love of:
1. money I Tim. 6:10
2. worldliness I John 2:15
3. self-interests Matt. 10:37; I Cor. 7:34’ Idols I John 5:21
B. First Love was a Love of God – His person, His presence, His peace, His power, His People, His purposes and His promotion – II Tim. 4:8
C. Correction – go back to the place of departure from God
1. Remember your first love and God centered thinking, loving and living and
2. Repent of wandering, lust, greed
III. Command vs. 7a
B. Do – James 1:22
IV. Promise to Overcomer vs. 7b “Paradise” – Ephesus tried to make her paradise on earth. We are “strangers and Pilgrims”.
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