April 10, 2024

Revelation 2:1-7 "To The Church At Ephesus"

Preacher: Brian Henson Series: Revelation Topic: Eschatology Scripture: Revelation 2:1–7

Lesson Handout

Verse-By-Verse Notes

Verse 1

  • Ephesus was a large extremely pagan city. The Greek goddess Artemis was worshiped there. The church was probably founded by Priscilla and Aquilla who Paul left there in Acts 18:18-22 on his 2nd missionary journey.
  • Paul writes a letter to the Ephesians in A.D. 61-62.

Verse 2

  • Christ’s affirmation -- Every church has an affirmation except for Laodicea.
  • There are 9 distinct affirmations here if you read closely. There were many good things about the Ephesian church, qualities every church should aspire to, mainly in three categories: it was a pure church (doctrinal and moral purity), it was a discerning church that rejected false apostles, and an enduring church (see v.3)

Verse 4

  • Christ’s rebuke – Every church is rebuked by Christ except for Smyrna. The Ephesian church had lost its love for Christ and each other – the implication here is that Ephesus had drifted into a cold orthodoxy.
  • The emphasis on doctrine had created a critical environment of suspicion where love for Christ and others could no longer flourish. Robert Mounce: “Every virtue carries within itself the seeds of its own destruction. Good works and pure doctrine are not adequate substitutes for that rich relationship of mutual love shared by those who have experienced for the first time the redemptive love of God.”
  • Reading Revelation 2:1-7 in light of Ephesians 6:24 (which Paul had written some 30+ years earlier) implies that the Ephesians had drifted far from their once incorruptible love for Christ.

Verse 5

  • The remedy for the Ephesians lost love: Remember and Repent. Repentance should be an essential characteristic of every church and every believer.

Verse 6

  • Early church tradition identifies the Nicolatians as a sect that followed Nicolaus [one of the first deacons who later became apostate – Acts 6:5. What we know for sure is that the Nicolaitans were an antinomian group who’s doctrine resulted in sexual immorality and idolatry, and the Ephesians soundly rejected them and their teaching. Antinomianism means “against the law” meaning that Christians can sin freely because of grace.

Verse 7

  • Rightly responding to Christ means hearing and conquering.

The Big Takeaway: “Labor is no substitute for love, purity is no substitute for passion, and deeds are no substitute for devotion.” (Danny Akin)

other sermons in this series

May 22


Revelation 3:7-13 "To The Church At Philadelphia"

Preacher: Brian Henson Scripture: Revelation 3:7–13 Series: Revelation

May 15


Revelation 3:1-6 "To The Church At Sardis"

Preacher: Brian Henson Scripture: Revelation 3:1–6 Series: Revelation

May 8


Revelation 2:18-29 "To The Church At Thyatira"

Preacher: Brian Henson Scripture: Revelation 2:18–29 Series: Revelation