Summary: Study on the Church at Ephesus
Church at EPHESUS
2:1 Ephesusdeeply religious and devoted to Diana( Artemis by Greek). Located at the western edge of Asia Minor, with easy access to Aegean Sea, It was at its height in the 1st and 2nd centuries, a rich heritage of wealth, philosophy and Roman law. Most attractive was temple of Diana, a goddess of fertility (Ac19:27) all worshipped.
Three shrines were built one in 8th C BC, second built in 550 BC burnt in 356 BC on the night the Alexander the great was born. The last one built in 323 BC. It was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
The Greeks exalted Artemis and the Romans the Diana. The women in Ephesus gave their jewels to build the temple. Plenty of Gold, silver and other materials were heaped in for the building of Diana Temple.
A big theatre was there to the capacity of 24000 persons at a time in those days. They believed that the Diana came from heaven (Ac19:35).
2:1 Walks among the Church:
The Lord reveals the divine hand upon the Church, the divine presence in the Church and the Divine care.
I carried you on eagle’s wing ( Ex 19:4 & Dt. 1:31). I am with you Is 41:10, I will carry you Is 46:4. My presence shall go with you. Ge 28:15, Ex 33:14. When you go to war I will be with you Dt 20:1, when you pass through water and fire I will be with you Isa 43:2.
2:2 God’s Divine Knowledge about deeds, hard work, perseverance and the discipline of the Church. Nothing is hidden from God’s vision and views.
Your deeds are weighed Ps 69:5 & 139:2. He reveals the deep and hidden things. Dan 2:22. Let people see your good deeds Mt. 5:16, be rich in good deeds I Tim 6:18, set an example doing what is good Tit 2:7.
Patience: Be temperate, worthy of respect and self-controlled Tit 2:2. Perseverance must finish it work to get the promised blessings Heb. 10:36 & Jas 1:4. Perseverance is the sister concerns of the Gentleness and humility. Both go together.
You identify the liars, deceivers, pretenders, unholy alliance and don’t entertain them.
2:3 Hard works/ hardships without rest: Rev 14:13 they will cease from hard work.Six days you shall labor Ex 20:9. Why do waste your labor on the things which is not satisfying you Is 55:2. Blessed are you for insults, persecutions and evils against you Mt 5:11, All men hate you Mt 10:22, suffer for God’s name and ministry Ac 9:16.
2:4 First Love:What is the First love for Ephesus church?
Paul in his second missionary journey along with Aquila and Priscilla went to Ephesus and enjoyed the team ministry ( Ac 18:19). Good example of Team of clergy and Lay ministry.
Apollo had a visit to Ephesus and expounded the Gospel.
Paul made his second visit to Ephesus in his third Missionary Journey (Ac 19:1). He spent three long years and preached them with tears and told everything needed for them to grow in Christ. He preached for over two years.
He did miracles (v.11). The name of the Lord was magnified (v.17), Books on Diana were destroyed (v.18-19), Word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed (v.20), Diana was despised and her magnificence was destroyed (v.27).
Paul labored here and presented the real God who came from heaven,Diana never came from Heaven, and upon conviction they burnt the scrolls Ac 19:19. The same theatre was used by the mob to bring trouble to Paul Ac 19:23-41.
Jesus Vs Dianais nothing butConflictbetween Evil & good, Jesus& Satan, Eternal & Temporal, Emotional & Spiritual, and Pleasure of life &Pleasure of Holiness.
How your first love is decreased? in family and personal prayers, in Commitment to God and Church, in Holiness, in Appreciating the word, in singing, in Observing the Sunday Services, etc., in giving time to God.
2:5 Remember, Repent and return to God;
Remember from where you have fallen, the height, the wounds you got, the lost glories, the lost grace.
Repent: sinners reform your actions Jer. 35:15, wicked turn from your ways and live Eze. 33:11, come he will bind our wounds and heal them. Open the doors Rev.3:20. Repent your death is nearing, your days are numbered Mt. 3:2, Lk. 13:2-3. In past he did not bother you but now he demands from you Ac 17:30
Return to God: He is near to broken hearted Ps 34:18, Broken heart is a real sacrifice Ps 51:17 , tremble at the Word Is 66:2, have godly sorrows II Cor. 7:10.
2:6 Nicolaitans: means the “conquerors of People”. He was Nicolas one among the seven deacons Act 6:5. His followers emphasized that one must become a Jew to become a Christian by circumcision and Baptism. This was not accepted by Christians.