Last week we listened to three admonitions given to the church at Ephesus.
We read in verse 5a, “Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen”
(the first admonition) “and repent” (the second) “and do the first works.”
(the third). But the Lord adds to these three exhortations a severe warning.
We read in verse 5b, “or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove
thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” This is a very serious,
solemn, and humbling warning. Removing the lampstand is the same thing
as removing the congregation. How important in God’s eye is our ardent
and living love toward Him… God is indeed a God who is jealous in His
love and honor. Let us also not forget that the church is Christ’s body and
bought with His precious blood. The church is the bride, and Christ is the
heavenly bridegroom. And as in every marriage, there must be faithful love.
Otherwise, the marriage is at great risk of falling apart. All the more with
this spiritual marriage!
The Lord continues the letter to the Ephesians with encouragement. We
read in verse 6, “But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the
Nicolaitans, which I also hate.” It is not clear what is meant by “the deeds
of the Nicolaitans.” The early church referred to followers of Nikolaus from
Acts 6:4, one of the seven helpers of the apostles. It probably refers to those
whose life practices show an overly willingness to compromise with pagan
life in the city with its many forms of religious life. Loyalty to Christ is
exchanged for loyalty to the emperor. Idolatrous meat is eaten. With that
comes spiritual harlotry. And, of course, this is serious in God’s eyes! It
breaks the covenant with God!
We see that with the congregation of Ephesus, it is always about their love.
There is no total lack of love, but their love is lukewarm and does not come
close to their first love. Let us read these words as addressed to us. Let us
stir ourselves and each other up to love the Lord. We can do this by abiding
in Christ. By listening to His words and meditating on His words and
appearance. By obeying His voice. And in any disobedience, which is
always there, seeking Him in repentance and pleading His covenant
faithfulness. Let us furthermore ask for the Holy Spirit to come to our aid
and revive us.