"You have left your first love........."?

Quiet Storm

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I was reading the early books (single-digit chapters) of Revelation the other night, and in Christ's letters to the seven churches, He stated "You have left your first love" to one of them; I forget which one exactly. Can anybody tell me what this means? I doubt that it means anything dealing with one's spose; I was thinking it could've meant first love pertaining to a specific lifestyle or, although I hate to say it, career, or something of that nature, although I doubt it now that I really sit down and think about it. And I don't think He was referring to Himself because I think in all of the letters, He first expressed what He liked about what they did before He expressed what He didn't like. Can someone please :help:  me out?
 

Kristine

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The short answer is, in Revelations 2, Jesus was rebuking the church of Ephesus because although they were doing much of the right deeds, they had forsaken the real source and reason for their deeds: their love for Him. 

I would HIGHLY  recommend that anyone interested in better understanding the letter to the churches read through the following page on this site devoted to the commentary and study of Revelations.  The authors are quite thorough in explaining their reasons for their interpretation of the verses, referencing church history and other scriptural passages, and even giving alternative interpretations and good arguments against them.  I haven't had time to read it all, so use your own judgement, but it does seem very good (also does the rest of the book of Rev.)

http://www.apocalipsis.org/rev-2.htm

Enjoy.  Hope that helps you.
Kristine
 
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Kristine

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A couple snipits from that text:

Ephesus was sound in doctrine and persevered under hardship, neither the world or persecution was the problem. However they had lost their first love, for Christ and each other and had therefore almost become sub-Christian. John, as his first epistle makes clear, considers love to be the essential response to God's love; 'We love because God first loved us' (1 John 4:19); 'Whoever loves God must also love his brother' (1 John 4:21). One of the features of the churches witness was that her members love each other (John 13:34-35), it is not an option it is a commandment. God's counterpart to the hatred of the world is to be the love of Christians for each other.

And later on... (you will want to read the v1-v3 sections which talks about Christ' commending them for trsting the false prophets and how that historically occurred)

v4 - Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. - Rebuke: they had deeds but not their love for each other and Jesus as at first. The word used for love is agape a stronger form of love rather than phileo which is brotherly love. Agape most characterises the love that Christ has for us which is a deeply committed love and which depends more on the nature of the giver than the attractiveness of the one loved (cf. eros the love between lovers). We are to love one another as Christ has loved us (John 13:34), agape love and not just brotherly love. It is likely that they had lost their initial love for Christ which resulted in a lack of love for each other. This is the great test for the saints, do they love one another (1 Cor 13:3, John 13:35). Their testing of everyone to see whether they are false apostles or false brethren had created an atmosphere of mutual distrust in which love could not grow (Mounce).

v5 - Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. -

Jesus now gives three steps to recovery:

i. Remember your former condition (stop and recall your love in the past, realise your current position and compare to how you used to be).

ii. Repent (change your direction, stop doing the negative)

iii. Do the things you did at first (do the positive, repentance is not just turning from wrong but also doing what is right).

Repentance does not merely involve us in stopping doing bad things but learning to do good things (Isa 1:16-17). We are to produce fruit in keeping with repentance (Mat 3:8). 'Do the things you did at first' their love was to be practical (1 John 3:16-18, James 2:14-17. The positive thing is to love one another as Christ loved us (John 13:34-35, Rom 13:8, 1 Pet 1:22, 1 John 3:11 ff.). A survey of the term 'one another' in the NT indicates that in practise this means: agreeing with one another, forgiving one another as God forgave us, being patient with one another, encouraging one another, spurring one another on toward love and good deeds, not judging or slandering one another, offering hospitality to one another.
 
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JohnR7

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Originally posted by Quiet Storm
I was thinking it could've meant first love pertaining to a specific lifestyle or, although I hate to say it, career, or something of that nature, although I doubt it now that I really sit down and think about it.

If a person were to love their career more then Jesus, it could apply. Like Paul's thorn in the flesh, the Bible is not real clear on what it is, because it is different for different people. For one person, lust may be their first love, or it could be as with the Nicolaitane their desire for power and to control people. "for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also". Matthew 6:21  There are many different things that could have become more important to them than Jesus. Some people worship their own belly more than God:  "whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame--who set their mind on earthly things". Philip. 3:19 The list of things could just go on and on. There are lots of distractions that can cause us to take our eyes off of Jesus. I can only tell you about some of the things that distract me, as we are not able to judge others only ourselves.

As is the case with all 7 of the churches, if they do not repent, God will remove their lamp stand. They would no longer be a witness and a testimony for God. If they tried to serve God, it would then be a work of their own flesh and not a work of the Holy Spirit of God in them.

For those who overcome: "I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God."

Paradise is in Heaven, but it means to be able to return to Eden. Right now Eden is on the inside of us. When we get to Heaven, then we will abide in Eden. That is what God formed man to do. So man will be restored to God's origional plan and purpose.



 
 
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JohnR7

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Originally posted by Kristine
A couple snipits from that text:

Thanks Kristine, that was really good, it helps me out because I do not have time to do a extensive study on this right now. I need to put together a presentation for a Bible school class I am taking.
 
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GraftMeIn

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As Christians there are many ways we can forget our first Love.

Anytime we don't put God first in our lives we do this.

If we seek recognition, acceptance from others instead of from God and him only. We have forgotten our first love.

If we seek after money, forgetting it is he who provides, we forget our first love.

If we do things to bring glory to ourselves, instead of to God, we forget our first love.

If we go out and help others, and do it so other people can see the good things we do. We have forgotten our first love.

All and All in everything we do and say, we have to make sure we do it in order to please God and him only.
 
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ZiSunka

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Originally posted by Quiet Storm
I was reading the early books (single-digit chapters) of Revelation the other night, and in Christ's letters to the seven churches, He stated "You have left your first love" to one of them; I forget which one exactly. Can anybody tell me what this means? I doubt that it means anything dealing with one's spose; I was thinking it could've meant first love pertaining to a specific lifestyle or, although I hate to say it, career, or something of that nature, although I doubt it now that I really sit down and think about it. And I don't think He was referring to Himself because I think in all of the letters, He first expressed what He liked about what they did before He expressed what He didn't like. Can someone please :help:  me out?

You know when you fall in love and have that passion, you can't wait to be with him/her, you want to know everything about him/her and you want to be seen together? Well, that's not it, completely.

It's more like when a man and woman get married after being high-school sweethearts. They are each other's first love, the love of their lives. Then one day, say the husband, has an affair and leaves his wife for the other woman. It ruins their relationship. It breaks their hearts, it damages the children, it just ruins everything they had based their whole lives on. And it kills any hope for the future.

When a person forsakes their love for Christ, it's cheating on him. You abandon him in order to lust after other things, like plasma tv's or men you shouldn't be with. Sometimes it's love or money, sometimes it's something else, like the desire to have a baby.

I know a man who ruined his faith in God in order to become a father. He wanted a baby so bad that he slept with a married woman whose husband couldn't have children, and promised him that he could be part of that child's life as the father. Well, he knew it was wrong, and he said he decided to thumb his nose at God and His way of doing things and went ahead and fathered this woman's baby. Not only did he walk away from God, his first love, but the woman took his baby and moved far away and made the next twenty-five years of his life a living hell by not letting him have access to the child he wanted so desperately.

He knew that doing it his way would ruin his relationship with God, but he chose to ruin that relationship by engaging in immoral behavior, while literally telling God to get out of his life. As the years went by, he didn't even care anymore that he had left his first love with God. He's a really sad person now.
 
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Kristine

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It's more like when a man and woman get married after being high-school sweethearts. They are each other's first love, the love of their lives. Then one day, say the husband, has an affair and leaves his wife for the other woman. It ruins their relationship.. When a person forsakes their love for Christ, it's cheating on him. You abandon him in order to lust after other things

Wow, lamslove, that puts it so well.  I think your explanation of the text hits the nail a lot faster and sharper than the summary I posted.  Jesus is saying "you're cheating on me."  In their case it was with things that otherwise were very good;which reminds us that putting anything before God, even our ministry, is adultery.

that's something definitely worth thinking about.

K 
 
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