Study Guide: Revelation 2:1-7 (Ephesus)
“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: ‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands. 2“ ‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. 3 I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. 4 But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. 6 Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. 7 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will grant to eat of the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.’
Without a heart of love, right beliefs and right actions are worthless.
Ephesus was a major religious and economic center in first-century Asia Minor. Jesus commends the Ephesian church for its rejection of false teachers and the strength to stand against the challenges they faced. But although they were doing and believing the right things, they were not motivated by love. He warns them of the consequences of not turning back to him and promises a reward if they repent.
- What do we learn about the attributes and character of God through this passage?
- Jesus commends the Ephesian church for several things. List out the things they were believing and doing well. What was missing, and why is this such a big deal?
- Read Genesis 3:22–24 and Revelation 22:1–5 about the tree of life. Then read Revelation 2:7 again. What hope does the “one who conquers” have?
- What will happen if our church does and believes the right things but does not love God and others? How would beliefs and actions motivated by love be different?
- What would you say to another believer who struggles to love God and others (see 1 John 4:9–12)?
- What is one way that you can practically demonstrate God’s love for others this week?
Repent of apathy, anger, or selfishness that keeps you from loving God and others. Remember the good news that he has poured out his love on us because of Jesus, and ask for his Spirit to cultivate that kind of love in you.