First Love | The Institute for Creation Research
 
First Love
 

It seems appropriate, as we enter the season devoted to "love," that we look at the subject through God's eyes. Since I have been studying in Revelation recently, I would like to take a look at "love" through chapter 2, verses 116, and how God dealt with compromised love in His church at Ephesus.

First, let's remind ourselves that the "love" of Revelation 2:4 is the noun agape. It expresses the very nature of God (I John 4:8); it is the love that God the Father has toward His Son (John 17:26), and toward all human kind (John 3:16). It is also the love possessed by those of us who receive the Savior and demonstrate that love through knowing and obeying His commandments (John 14:15,21,23).

We note, in Revelation 2:2 and 3, that in the matter of obedience, the Church at Ephesus seems to have excelled. They had labored for Christ with patience and had exposed false teaching and teachers. Their faithfulness (love) toward God is further confirmed in verse 6, where He commends them for "hating the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate." It is important to note here that "Nicolaitanes" means "overcomers of the people." They were, at the very least, those who promoted doctrine that encouraged allegiance and loyalty toward themselves rather than toward Christ. The Ephesians had obviously done well in demonstrating their love by hating the Nicolaitanes' deeds, since Christ also hated their deeds.

Why, then, did He accuse that church of "losing its first love" and threaten to remove His presence from them unless they repented? (verses 5,6). Consider the thoughts of William MacDonald on the matter:

. . . the tragedy of Ephesus was that it had left its first love. The fire of its affection had died down [from the time when] their bridal love for Christ flowed warm, full, and free. They were still sound in doctrine and active in service, but the true motive of all worship and service was missing.

It seems, then, that their passion for the Lord and those He loves had become a passion for doctrinal purity without love—the love that God would otherwise have used to convict men of sin and draw them unto Himself. Harshness had rendered the Ephesian church unusable. To the extent that we in the Church today hold to doctrinal purity without the passion for the lost that drove Christ to the Cross, we will be rendered useless unless we, too, repent.

Cite this article: Tom Manning. 1999. First Love. Acts & Facts. 28 (2).

The Latest
NEWS
Mutation, Design & Randomness
Article highlights: • A genetic mutation is a change—most are bad and some are good. • Evolutionists claim that good mutations come...

NEWS
Ireland’s First Dinosaur Bones Found in Flood Rocks
Ireland finally has some dinosaur fossils of its own.1 The ground-breaking discovery came as a bit of a surprise, however, as the bones were...

NEWS
Control Loops in Humans and Nature
Ever had a blood test? Along with a value measured, there are also the normal max/min limits for that value. This implies that the body normally controls...

NEWS
Creation and Climate Science with Dr. Jake Hebert
ICR physicist Dr. Jake Hebert* recently made a guest appearance on Good Heavens! A Podcast About the Universe with Wayne and Dan. Dr. Hebert presented...

NEWS
Inside May 2021 Acts & Facts
How should Christians respond when authorities are in conflict with God’s Word? Can we trust scientific measurements and reports about fossil...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Volcanoes
Christy Hardy and Susan Windsor* You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation with...

ACTS & FACTS
Tributes of Honor and Remembrance
At the end of a long day, a boss I had early in my career would often tell me, “No more today, Henry. My brain is full.” I found his comments...

APOLOGETICS
Guided by Lynx to Appreciate Christ
Not all tour guides in Alaska are human. Amazing animals of Alaska can guide us into learning creation truth. In fact, such animals should direct us—like...

ACTS & FACTS
Zion National Park: Evidence of Deep Water Sand Waves
Brian Thomas, Ph.D., and Tim Clarey, Ph.D.* It was like driving into another world when we emerged from Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel right at dawn....

ACTS & FACTS
Is the Bible Evidence for Creation?
Have you ever had a skeptic tell you to keep the Bible out of it when discussing origins? Skeptics claim we Christians argue in a circle, that we are...