The address of the first of the seven letters to the churches in Asia Minor reads, “Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write...” Ephesus is the mother church of the circle of churches in Asia Minor, so this church is addressed first.
As in all seven letters, the address is followed by a self-designation of Christ, “These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks.” This self-designation is a strong call to remember Christ and keep Him constantly at the center. This church is praised for various things but warned that they have forsaken their first love. And what is their first love other than love for Christ? If the church forgets Christ and is no longer filled with a burning love for him, faith will decline, and fruit will be lacking. And if there is no return, no repentance, the church will lose its spiritual disposition and become worldly. How tragic this would be! So, Christ, as the Great Physician, reminds the church in Ephesus who He is. The church belongs to Him. He is the Head of the church; they are His body. The church has its origin in Him, and He preserves the church and watches over it. He has a burning love for the church, even so great that He gave His life for her. And He is their King, Priest, and Prophet. As King, he holds the church in His right hand, His hand of power and strength. As a Priest, He walks among the lampstands. We are reminded of the priest’s job in the Old Testament, to tend the light in the lampstand in the temple (Exodus 25:31-40). As a Priest, he constantly intercedes with his heavenly Father for his church. And although we do not read about his intercession here, we feel His intercessory heart. But He is also the Great Prophet. Again, we do not read this, but it is implicitly clear because Christ is speaking to His church here.
The lessons are clear to us. Let us come to Christ and abide in Him. We can never treasure His love enough and never worship Christ enough. The reward of abiding in Him is priceless. Salvation is His work. Those who abide in Him can be sure of salvation and be filled with joy. By abiding in His love, the church will become a source of love, love the neighbor, be a witness to Christ, and produce many wonderful fruits.