Summary: 1 of 4. We incur certain liabilities when we allow our relationship to Jesus to become eclipsed by technique. But what exactly becomes liable? When technique eclipses relationship, Our.....is Liable.
WHEN TECHNIQUE ECLIPSES RELATIONSHIP-I—Revelation 2:1-7
We can rarely afford ‘dates’ per se. but we do look forward to our ‘grocery store dates.’ Rather than hunting & fetching certain items(as usual), we will take our time going down every aisle in the store. We use the time to discuss things but more than anything, just to get back in touch with each other to reconnect without other obligations getting in the way.
Wal-mart supercenter is a terrible place for this(too crowded) but our local Food Lion is a great place because its much more ‘intimate’ & ‘romantic.’ :-)
You see, ‘hunting’ groceries lends itself to technique alone whereas ‘dating’ lends itself to relationship. They are vastly different things.
The way in which we approach anything can make those choices & actions Liableous.
A man who spends all his time at work—Neglecting his family in order to do it—Forgetting that his initial drive for the work is to meet his family’s need.
Jesus reprimanded the Ephesian church because their first love for Jesus had taken second place & lapsed into technique/maintenance.
The local church must prevent her realtionship with Jesus from lapsing into a technique.
What occurs when technique overshadows relationship?
9 liabilities of a relationship that is eclipsed by technique.
1—When technique eclipses relationship...
Our LEADERSHIP is Liable(:1)
:1—“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write, ...”
“The Angel of the church”—
“To the angel”—aggelw— ‘a messenger; especially an "angel"; by implication, a pastor:-- angel, messenger.’—This technically must not be intended for an angel, as such, because his “deeds” are spoken of in a manner that befits one that is a member & flesh partner in God’s church.
This “angel” is answerable to/responsible for/ the happenings within his particular body of Christ in Ephesus...Therefore “the angel” is the pastor &/or the collective eldership within Ephesus.
Angels are special creations of God, who are always faithful to follow him. There was a time when some of the angels switched allegiance led by Satan himself. What makes this so irreversable is the angels are spiritual beings who experience God in His perfect fullness.
?What is the relationship of angel to believer/pastor/church?
?How can angels fail to accomplish their intended mission & how does this effect our successes/failures?
Mal. 2:7; 3:1[NASB]—“For the lips of a priest should preserve knowledge, & men should seek instruction from his mouth; for he is the messenger[angel-Kalm] of the LORD of hosts.”....“Behold, I am going to send My messenger[angel-Kalm], & he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; & the messenger[angel-Kalm] of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the LORD of hosts.”
Both John the Baptist & Jesus are rendered by the typical word for “angel.”
Jesus introduces Himself to “the angel”. He introduces Himself to each church using a different personal characteristic revealed previously in John’s vision.
This says something about responsibilities of leadership...as well as those of follow-ship!
**Heb. 13:17—“Obey your leaders, & submit to them; for they keep watch over your souls, as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy & not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.”
Jas. 3:1—“Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we shall incur a stricter judgment.”
“Ephesus”—Efesov— ‘Permitted’—‘Hercules(Greek god akin to Hebrew Baal) permitted the Amazons to dwell in it.’ 3 miles from coast near mouth of Cayster River. Artificial harbor. Easily accessible by land & sea. Commercial center for the Roman province of Asia. Home of worship of Artemis(Diana). Paul preached there during his 2nd Missionary Journey() & remained there 2 yrs. during his 3rd.(Acts 19:8-10). ‘About 50 miles south of Smyrna.’
:1—“...These things says He who holds the seven stars[1:20] in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands:[1:20]”
Jesus’ hold on the seven stars & among the seven golden lampstands is important for the Ephesian church. This is specific to & pertinent to their particular failure/need/weakness. Jesus speaks to the Ephesian church with this particular authority.
All are liable to Jesus no matter their office, position or lack thereof.
Pastors/Associate pastors/Elders/Deacons, etc. are Undershepherds of Jesus. A servant under His direction. He is a lesser ‘star’ which is held in the very hand of the Son of God. If “the star”(angel) fails, he fails in the Son’s limiting “right hand,” & likewise, if he is faithful in obedience he is in the Son’s enabling & comforting “right hand.”
2Cor. 11:2—“For I am jealous for you with a godly jealousy; for I betrothed you to one husband, that to Christ I might present you as a pure virgin.”
Jesus’ being the Great & Chief Shepherd—Implies Undershepherds & responsibility with accountability.