The Church at Ephesus: Revelation 2:1-7

Revelation 2:1-7

Letter to the Church in Ephesus


In Chapter 1, we see the exalted Jesus. In Chapter 2–3 we see the church. Jesus is perfect and glorified and good, and the church is a work in progress. It’s made up of people who some love God; some don’t. Some love him a little bit; some love him a lot. Some are very faithful; some are very unfaithful. Some claim to love him; some don’t at all. Some are struggling; need encouragement. Some are sinning; need rebuke. Some have a complete misunderstanding of Jesus and need instruction. And some are disobedient and they need correction.[1]


A major league theme of Revelation is worship!


The church at Ephesus will worship in it’s response to Jesus instruction.


How will you and I respond as Jesus speaks and leads us individually and corporately?


1. Jesus maintains the spiritual vitality of the church and is present with his church 2:1


The presence of the Lord Jesus is affirmed by the Lord Jesus in John 14 when speaking about the work of the Holy Spirit (John 14:15-20).

A. Encouragement

B. Conviction of sin

C. Clear direction

D. Wisdom / Discernment


2. Jesus knows the good work done by his church 2:2, 3, 6

A. Perseverance

B. Cannot bear evil

C. Tested teaching and uncovered false teachers

1. Nicolaitans:(Gk. Nikolaïtēs) A party or sect present in the churches of Ephesus and Pergamum (Rev. 2:6, 15).

Little is known about this group aside from the biblical references. Some scholars suggest that the Nicolaitans and the followers of Balaam (v. 14) were one and the same, a theory based largely on the similar etymology “to conquer the people” ascribed to both names (Gk. niká laón, Heb. bāla˓ ˓ām); the LXX, however, never uses Gk. nikáō to translate Heb. bāla˓ Others speculate that the Nicolaitans were followers of Nicolaus (Nikolaos) of Antioch, one of the seven original elders (Acts 6:5), but again there is no evidence other than a similarity of names (cf. Irenaeus Adv. haer. i.26.3; iii:11.1), 1).

The Nicolaitans may have practiced idolatry (especially eating meat offered to idols) and immorality (Tertullian Adv. Marc. i.29; De praesc. her. 33; De pubic. 19; ClementofAlexandria Strom. ii:20; iii:24), like other sects mentioned by name such as the followers of Balaam (Rev. 2:14) and Jezebel (vv. 20–24). Accordingly, some scholars have sought to establish a connection between this sect and the later Gnostics (cf. Hippolytus Ref. vii:36; Eusebius (HE iii:29).[2]






It refers to the development of a priestly caste (clergy) in the church that throws aside the common believers. While there must be pastoral leadership in the church, there must not be a distinct “clergy” and “laity” in which the former lords it over the latter.[3]


3. Jesus knows the faults of his church 2:4, 5

A. Left their first love

1. Some argue they have left their first love of Jesus

2. Some argue they have left their first love of people assuming Jesus’ love is in tact

3. Yes!

a. Commands 1-4 = love God

b. Commands 5-10 = love neighbor

Jesus said the most important law is “Love God (1-4) and the second is like it; love your neighbor as yourself (5-10)” (Parenthesis mine).


Their problem was that they were not loving God by not properly loving the image of God in man by seeking to build / repair the image of God in each other.


What did this look like?

1. Lack of church discipline

2. Allow “lesser” sin to remain because, well, it’s not that bad

3. Correcting some and not correcting others

4. Perhaps the leaders were in sin and were not corrected (immoral leadership)


4. Jesus offers sustained vitality to the church that repents 2:7

Mark Driscoll, Mark Driscoll Sermon Archive 2000-2004 (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2000).

Adv. Adversus omnes haereses

haer. Adversus omnes haereses

Adv. Adversus Marcionem

Marc. Adversus Marcionem

Ref. Refutatio omnium haeresium (Philosophoumena)

HE Historia ecclesiastica

Allen C. Myers, The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1987), 762-63.

Warren W. Wiersbe, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the New Testament (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1997), 802.


Revelation 5b-20: Worship the King

Revelation 1:5b-20

Worship the King


1. The Worship of Jesus for his Great Salvation 5b-6

Note the movement of worship in these verses. There is revelation of the grace of God in salvation in three movements (A-C) then there is the response of those who Jesus is revealed to.


This informs worship services: Revelation leading to Response!


Definition of worship: Worship is communion with God, in which believers by grace, center their mind’s attention and their heart’s affection on the Lord, humbly glorifying God, in response to the revelation of his glory and majesty.


A. Jesus has redeemed us from slavery to sin


B. Jesus has redeemed us through his blood (sacrifice on the cross)


C. Jesus has made us a Kingdom and Priests

1. The church is a Kingdom among kingdoms

2. The church has direct access to it’s great God


D. Jesus has glory and dominion ascribed to him from his thankful subjects

1. Glory – significance, weight, status

2. Dominion – present and significant force (kratos)


2. God Brings Himself Great Global Glory 7

Jesus is not just revealed to the church. Jesus will reveal himself to the whole world and every eye will see that He is King.


Matthew 24:30 says that when the nations see him they will mourn. The reason will be that they have not believed and they will know then that they have failed to honor this awesome king.


A. Jesus is revealed to Jews v. 7a


B. Jesus is revealed to Gentiles v. 7b


3. Jesus is the Awesome, Resurrected King: The Church’s Senior Pastor 8-20

A. Jesus is eternal and reveals himself to his people v. 8-11

1. Jesus is the beginning of history and also the goal of history v. 8


2. Jesus speaks and reveals himself to his servants as they worship in Spirit v. 9-11


B. Jesus the Resurrected Priest / King v. 12-16

1. Son of Man who receives universal dominion from the Ancient of Days

(Dan 7:1-14)

2. He is dressed like a Priest / King


3. His white hair speaks of his eternal reign (Daniel 7:9)


4. His eyes see all and they judge what they see (Daniel 10:6; Hebrews 4:12; Rev 19:12)


5. His voice is mighty and heard as an overpowering roar


6. He holds the hosts of heaven in his hand and they serve his will (Hebrews 1:14)




C. Jesus Comforts v. 17-18

1. Jesus has been raised

2. Jesus owns death and hell and we do not have to fear either one


D. Jesus Shepherds v. 13, 19-20

1. Jesus stands among his churches and rules them and the mission well