Somewhat against thee

Image by s2dent on Pixa
Image by s2dent on Pixa

Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent. Revelation 2:4

There is a perennial debate around these words of our Lord to the church of Ephesus: what is being referred to by "thy first love"? Is it their love to the Lord or their love to their fellow man? I'm not going to settle that debate here, although I think the answer is both-and rather than either-or. However, what I want to point out in these verses is the seriousness of this sin.

Our Lord has this against the church - his church, founded by his apostle, the apostle Paul. And he clearly loves his church. However, he also gives them this warning - if they do not repent, he will not only come but come quickly and remove the candlestick out of its place. By which I understand that he means the church will cease to exist in that place.

Brothers and sisters, let us hear that (cf. ver. 7!). Let us not become complacent about our sins. Beware of trading on the grace of God. Beware of taking his love for granted. Beware of an attitude that says it doesn't matter what you do with your sin. For nothing is more sad than to have the light of a church snuffed out, and yet that is what is being threatened here if they do not repent. We may make light of our sins, but God does not!

Instead of making light of our sins, let us live in light of the one who knows our works (ver. 2). Let us live in light of his promise to those who conquer (ver. 7). If we have sinned against him, we have this promise, that if we confess our sins he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 Jn. 1:9). He does not warn us in order to crush us, but to lovingly draw us back to himself in faith and obedience and love. If we find ourselves nursing some sin or sins, let us therefore quickly repent and turn to the Lord who gave his life for the church.

By: Jeremiah Bass