Pleasing God, Making Disciples of Jesus Christ

Human Suffering, Injustice and the Christian Response – Part 2

“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 lamp stands. 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 lamp stand from its place, unless you repent. Revelation 2:1-5

A. What We Must Recover: First Love for Jesus Christ

1. First Love Defined: Romans 5:5

2. First Love Present

a. Newness of First Love: Romans 6:4

– New desires in life: 2 Cor. 5:17

– New direction for life: Phil. 1:21-23

b. Enthusiasm of First Love

– Zeal for God’s Word: Psalm 119:103, Psalm 119:127, Job 23:12

– Zeal for Prayer: Psalm 109:4

– Zeal for Fellowship: Psalm 119:63, Malachi 3:16, Rom. 1:11

– Zeal for the Lost: Psalm 119:136, Romans 10:1

– Zeal for Christ-likeness: Psalm 17:15, Gal. 4:19

c. Objects of First Love

– God: Luke 10:27

– God’s people: John 13:33-34

– Lost sinners: Matthew 9:36

3. First Love Lost

a. Dullness of Christian Practice: Jeremiah 48:10, Romans 12:9-13

b. Decay of Spirituality: Matthew 24:12, 2 Tim. 4:10

c. Deterioration of Spiritual Relationships: Philippians 2:19-21, Psalm 142:4

4. First Love Recovered

a. Repentance of current condition: Revelation 2:5

b. Restoration of zealous devotion: Acts 2:42

c. Rediscovering the Biblical Church: Acts 2:43-48