Essay 2 Instructions

Begin by choosing 1 of the 7 messages written to the angels of the seven churches addressed in Revelation Chapters 2 and 3. Then, in a 1000–1500-word essay, in current Turabian format, complete the following:

  1. Write an interpretive exposition on the passage that comprises the chosen message (i.e., the message to the angel of the church at either Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, or Laodicea).
  2. Detail the specific application of the message as received by the 1st century church to whom the message was addressed.
  3. Explain legitimate applications of the message to the church today.

Step 1 must be 800–1000 words, step 2 100–250 words, and step 3 100–250 words.   

Submit Essay 2 by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of Module/Week 5.

ORDER A PLAGIARISM-FREE PAPER NOW

Introduction

            Apostle John wrote Revelation while on the island of Patmos. The book was a revelation of Jesus Christ and what people would expect in the second coming of the messiah.   John writings have remained applicable for a long time. They are still applicable today because we are the church. The letters were written for all believers to read, understand what the Lord wanted and examine their standing in Christianity. The letters gave warning and directives to the church. The seven churches in revelation describe the features that Jesus Christ wants from Christians today.  Christ describes himself and why he has the right to judge the church. This study aims to examine the messages written to the angels of Ephesus in revelation 2:1-7. The paper will provide an interpretive exposition on the Ephesus message. The paper will detail the specific application of how the message was received by the 1st-century church, the addressee. Lastly, the paper will describe legitimate applications of the message to the church today.

Interpretative Exposition

           Ephesus a city in Asia was what is known today as turkey. The city was desirable and admired for its culture, wealth and structure.  It played an imperative role in the spread of Christianity.  Ephesus is used as one of the setups for many New Testament events. The city survived multiple attacks although it was under different conquerors. The church of Ephesus is associated with lost love but Jesus allowed the church to repent. According to revelations 2:4 “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first”, believers had abandoned their first love.[1]  The church first love has would have different interpretations. As stated by Kruse, Colin, first love would imply love for Christ, passionateness by new Christian adherents or the true mission of the church. The letters were sent to seven literal churches located in Asia. Revelation 1:9 “I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus.”[2] The Holy Spirit revealed to john how the seven churches would be. The vision picture the church of Ephesus as a holy place filled with true adherents and worker of God. The church did not tolerate evil or impishness. (Revelation 2:2) I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance. I know that you cannot tolerate wicked people, that you have tested those who claim to be apostles, but they are not, and have found them false.[3] The church of Ephesus underwent and withstood hardship. Lying apostles tried them, but they overcame. True believers toiled, persevered, had patience and did not become feeble or pale.

              During the 1st century, Ephesus was a dissolute place of idolatry and other detrimental activities. The temple of goddess Artemis also referred to as Diana was located in Ephesus. It also hosted other commercial and religious cities. If churches of today were to apply their spiritual view, they assume that Ephesus is one amongst worldly places with a church but maintains the standards of decency. “To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: These are the words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand and walks among the seven golden lampstands” (Rev 2:1). From the verse, Christians can reckon that God is aware of everything that happens in churches today.  Similarly, 1 Peter 4:17 states “For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” The church of Ephesus had experienced a lot of things and their love for the lord started to fade away.  The church started to prioritize others things. Believers had lean faith in God.

            The main characteristics of being Christianity were unheeded. God had to use john to call them back to resume being staunch Christian and focus on the superlative priorities.  The Lord wanted people to have strong faith and love. When love is lost, evil crops in thus affecting the creed of being Lord Adherent. Consistent with Matthew 24:12-14, “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,  but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved, and this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” The church of Ephesus got carried away by inferior priorities and despised growing in grace and knowing who God is. People had a robust connection with God things and forgot their purpose.  Jesus had to denounce their behaviour caution them so that they would start loving and glorifying god.  Failure to rekindle their love for the lord, they were subject to punishment.

              1 John 2:15, NIV: “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them.” [4] The verse can be resonated with today’s churches that have let love wither and grow cold. These churches are not functioning differently from how they are supposed to. They must seek forgiveness or else, they will be judged by the lord.  Ephesus like the churches of today let the love for the lord fade and grow cold. Churches change from serving the Lord and focus on other things that compromise the love for God.

           Church of Ephesus nature can be associated with, losing patience in the promise of the holy word, abandoning the dependence on God and losing faith in God. The church of Ephesus contemplated exercising human will. The Lord denounced the church, presaged them about their behaviours.  The Lord requested the church to return to his ways and leave their will. Revelation 2:5, NIV: “Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.”[5] The passage shows the lords request Ephesus to ask for forgiveness and become obedient like they used to be. Christians of today learn to denounce evil and live according to God ways if they implement the teachings in Revelation 2:7. The verse states, “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the victorious one, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.”

Specific Applications to the First Century Church

              The message of Ephesus can be related to the first-century church because it was focused on prayer, communion and teaching the word of God. It is expected that the church would remain spiritually and socially strong. The 21st church would emulate the 1st-century church due to the organismic approach to the word. The 1st-century church met both gods and church needs. The church should emulate the first-century church which did not lose its core mission and vision.[6] Christians should thrive on godliness and rely on the Holy Spirit for guidance and direction. Nevertheless, personal character impacted their spiritual needs. Even though the people of Ephesus knew the word, they would evaluate the genuineness of people who claimed to be prophets of the Lord. Love was the only thing that disturbed their relationship with God is a lack of love. They had to repent and return to the Lord so that they could overcome persecution and non-believers.

Legitimate Applications to the Church Today

           John writing revelation focused on the churches that existed at that time and the churches that would succeed. The letters are important for the present today church. The scripture shows that those who remain faithful, hear the word, respond to God words, listen to the warning and rebuke evil will enjoy paradise and eternity. Today’s church should learn from the church of Ephesus and seek guidance from the ever-present Spirit of the lord. Christians should differentiate between good and evil.[7] The church should learn to live as god request. Failure to live according to God’s teaching, Christians will be judged by God himself. From the Ephesian story, today’s church should be in a position to fight internal heresy and falsehood (teachings and worship). The church learns the importance of love, unity and embraces building relationships. It should come as no surprise that, the church of today should look ahead.  The church should expect more struggles, but it must uphold God’s truth.

Bibliography

Kruse, Colin G. The letters of John. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2020.

Akin, Daniel L. 1, 2, 3 John: An exegetical and theological exposition of Holy Scripture. Vol. 38. B&H Publishing Group, 2001.

Miszczak, Izabela. The Secrets of Ephesus. ASLAN Publishing House, 2020.

Beeley, Christopher A. Leading God’s people: Wisdom from the early church for today. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2012.

De Wet, Wynand. “Jesus is Life—Live for Him! A study on 1 John 1-2.”


[1] Colin K. The letters of John. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2020.

[2] Colin k. The letters of John. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2020.

[3] Daniel A, 2, 3 John: An exegetical and theological exposition of Holy Scripture. Vol. 38. B&H Publishing Group, 2001.

[4] Wynand. “Jesus is Life—Live for Him! A study on 1 John 1-2.”

[5] Daniel A, 2, 3 John: An exegetical and theological exposition of Holy Scripture. Vol. 38. B&H Publishing Group, 2001.

[6] Izabela. The Secrets of Ephesus. ASLAN Publishing House, 2020.

[7] Christopher B. Leading God’s people: Wisdom from the early church for today. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2012.