Ephesus, part 2…Acts 19; Revelation 2; 3-5; 1John 5: 18-21

21 May

Ephesus, part 2…Acts 19; Revelation 2; 3-5; 1John 5: 18-21

Paul loved cities; he especially loved Ephesus. And even more than the city, he deeply felt and loved the people of Ephesus. He walked through the interiors of the countrysides to get into Ephesus; he spent two continuous years teaching there; and this city was Paul’s last stop before his travel to Jerusalem, ( Acts 21 ) where he was to be arrested and sent onto Rome. By all this …

Was Ephesus Paul’s first love?

I do not know the answer Paul would have. But the Ephesians were loved and after hearing Paul, they loved others through their words and actions. We see this in Revelation 2.

And yet, as John tells us in his revelation writings, we also see them …

‘3Without growing weary, you have persevered and endured many things for the sake of My name. 4But I have this against you: You have abandoned your first love. 5Therefore, keep in mind how far you have fallen. Repent and perform the deeds you did at first. But if you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.…’

How, can anyone truly leave a ‘first love.’

Songs, books, films, pens are all made honouring that first love. All messages from these media are the same, ‘no one ever leaves, ever forgets, a ‘first love.’.

For better ( and mostly worst ) this love, this memory, stays with us. We can never leave it. But-

Ephesus did. And look at how Paul loved and loved them..,

Paul in Ephesus

Acts 19 ‘While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples 2 and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”

They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”

3 So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?”

“John’s baptism,” they replied.

4 Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” 5 On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues[b] and prophesied. 7 There were about twelve men in all.

8 Paul entered the synagogue and spoke boldly there for three months, arguing persuasively about the kingdom of God. 9 But some of them became obstinate; they refused to believe and publicly maligned the Way. So Paul left them. He took the disciples with him and had discussions daily in the lecture hall of Tyrannus. 10 This went on for two years, so that all the Jews and Greeks who lived in the province of Asia heard the word of the Lord.

11 God did extraordinary miracles through Paul…”

Paul journeyed to them and sat with them; he ate with them and argued with them. He laid holy hands and miracles on, with them. He loved.

Yes, in the greatest miracle: Paul loved them; his Christ inspired love then taught all of Ephesus how to love. And they did for awhile but then forgot.

from Revelation 2

‘3Without growing weary, you have persevered and endured many things for the sake of My name. 4But I have this against you: You have abandoned your first love. 5Therefore, keep in mind how far you have fallen. Repent and perform the deeds you did at first. But if you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.…’

Berean Study Bible

How did this forgetting begin? How was such a love ‘abandoned’? John in his letter we call 1 John, written to the Ephesians offers a clue in its last few, and especially it last verse,

1 John 5

18 ‘We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them. 19 We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. 20 We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true by being in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

21 Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.’

John worries about the Ephesians. He sees them possibly turning to din and, then, seemingly out of the blue, to idols.

Only another loves, a seemingly deep deep love, can replace a first love, a ‘one and only.’ Only another can replace a ‘one’.

John’s solution: memory.this is our solution.

we just must feel and remember to love again – and again …a first the One and Only, Jesus.

Dearest, love

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