We Must Ever Guard Against Leaving Our First Love!

“Examine Yourselves, Whether You Be In The Faith.”

“Nevertheless, I have somewhat against you, because you have left your first love.” Revelation 2:4

In the above verse, we have the words of Jesus to the Church of Ephesus as recorded by the Apostle John in chapter 2 of the Book of Revelation. The Lord commended them by saying: “I know your works, and your labor, and your patience, and how you cannot bear them which are evil (those that had departed from the truth) and have tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and have found them liars: and have borne (kept on going), and have patience (persevering even when things are not going well), and for My Name’s sake have labored, and have not fainted (earnest and unrelenting in their efforts).”

It would appear to anyone looking at this church that it was a very sound church. The Lord commended them for their works, labor, patience and the fact that they had identified and rejected the evil of false doctrine trying to slip into the church. False apostles had come to them and they had tried their doctrine and found it false. Everything about this church looked good from all appearances.

However, the Lord had this to say to them: “Nevertheless, I have something against you, because you have left (left not lost) your first love.” So, what did the Lord mean when He said that they had left their first love? He meant that they had departed from the Cross as the object of their faith. When they were first saved, they had a great love for the Lord and what He had done for them on the Cross and had placed their faith totally in Him for all their needs. Their faith in the Lord and what He accomplished on the Cross allowed the Holy Spirit to work in their lives and bring “life” and victory to them. By leaving their first love, they had transferred their faith from Jesus and Him Crucified to other things. They had, in effect, separated Jesus from the Cross which always leads to disaster. That is another Jesus.

The Apostle Paul spoke of this other Jesus in the Epistle to the Galatians when he said: “I marvel that you are so soon removed from Him Who called you into the Grace of Christ (by the Cross) unto another gospel (anything other than the Cross). Paul goes onto say: “But though we, or an angel from Heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached to you (Christ Crucified), let him be accursed (eternally condemned).” Paul said this twice in Galatians (1:8 & 1:9) showing just how serious it is to depart from faith in Jesus and what He accomplished at the Cross. Jesus cannot be separated from what He did at the Cross. As we have said: to do so is to look to another Jesus. It is by faith in Who He is (God come in the Flesh), and what He accomplished on the Cross, that saves us and keeps us.

The Lord goes on to tell the Church of Ephesus: “Remember therefore from where you have fallen (they had fallen from Grace), and repent, and do the first works (come back to the Cross).” He then goes on to tell them what the result will be if they do not repent: “Or else I will come unto you quickly, and I will remove your candlestick (light rejected results in light removed).” After being commended for so much by the Lord; His rebuke identified such a serious problem, that without repentance it would destroy the church.

The Lord is patient and longsuffering towards us, but we must ever guard against shifting our faith away from the Cross to anything else, no matter how good it might seem. Our love for the Lord and our total faith in Him for all our needs is our “first love”. As Paul reminded the Corinthians: ” Examine yourselves, whether you be in the faith (Christ Crucified); prove your own selves (make certain).” These words from the Lord through Paul were spoken to those in the church, not the unsaved; we would be wise to remember them today as well. The first and greatest commandment is to: “Love the Lord thy God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind”. This must come first in this dispensation of Grace as well. It is our love for Him (“We love Him because He first loved us”), and our faith in what He has accomplished at the Cross for us, that allows all the blessings of God to come to us. We are “in Christ”. In Him, we stand. When our faith is placed in the Cross we have:

Freedom In Christ

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free (free by faith in Christ and Him Crucified to live a holy life), and not be entangled again with the yoke of bondage (law of any kind).”(Galatians 5:1)

And Are Led By The Holy Spirit – With The Fruit of The Spirit Developing

“But the fruit (fruit singular- they grow equally): of the Spirit (not of man) is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness temperance: against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22,23)

{See the Victorious Christian Living page on this website}

Tom Quinn Ministries – tqministries.com

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