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Sermon: The Love You've Left Behind - Lessons from the Church in Ephesus.

Text: Revelation 2:1-7 Introduction: Today, we venture into the Book of Revelation, often misunderstood but filled with insights about our walk with Christ. We'll explore the first of the seven letters to the churches, starting with Ephesus, an ancient trade and religious diversity center.

I. The Commendation (Verses 2-3) A. Hard Work and Perseverance "I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance..." (Rev. 2:2a)

Context: Ephesus was a bustling city filled with false gods and heresies.

Application: Just like the Ephesians, we live in a world that challenges our faith daily. But the Lord sees our hard work in holding onto our beliefs and spreading His Word.

B. Rejection of Evil "You cannot bear those who are evil..." (Rev. 2:2b)

Context: Ephesus was known for its spiritual discernment.

Application: Like them, we need to guard against false teachings and recognize evil for what it is.

II. The Rebuke (Verse 4) A. Loss of First Love "But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first." (Rev. 2:4)

Context: Despite their good deeds, something crucial was missing.

Application: Sometimes, we get so caught up in the "doing" that we forget the "loving." Have we lost the fervor and intimacy we once had with Christ?

III. The Correction and Warning (Verses 5-6) A. Remember, Repent, and Do "Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first..." (Rev. 2:5a)

Context: Christ calls them to go back to their roots.

Application: Retrace your steps if you've lost your first love. What spiritual practices or attitudes did you have when your love for Christ was strongest?

B. Warning "If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent." (Rev. 2:5b)

Context: The lampstand symbolizes the church’s witness. Losing it means becoming ineffective.

Application: If we don't revive our first love, we risk losing our impact as a church.

IV. The Promise (Verse 7) A. To the One Who Overcomes "To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God." (Rev. 2:7)

Context: The tree of life harkens to Eden and points to the New Jerusalem.

Application: The promise is eternal life and a restored relationship with God, which is the ultimate goal of our Christian walk.

Conclusion: Friends, the letter to the Church in Ephesus serves as a mirror reflecting both our strengths and our shortcomings. As we evaluate our spiritual lives, let’s ensure that we serve God fervently and love Him deeply.

I hope this sermon outline provides a comprehensive expository breakdown of the message to the Church in Ephesus.

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