Church at Ephesus

Intoduction
Ephesus, at the time of John writing the book, was a bustling commercial city noted for its amphitheater and the Temple of Diana or Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the world. Be that as it may our concern is not the historicity of the place and the manner of worship that the early Christians conducted on the Lord’s Day. It is for us a cross-section of churches of today. Its spiritual level must show also the attitudes, needs as well responses of its members. In a manner of speaking that the word of God preached and brotherly love practiced there in circumstances similar to the present assembly of believers drawn from different social backgrounds. There were pagans, slaves and freed men, Jews and Christians in the first century AD. Slavery no longer exists by name but the world of economically indigent is so bound to be considered as though slavery existed. “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus (Gal.3:28-29)”.
The message of the risen Christ.”Write the things which thou hast seen, and….(Re.1:19)” is valid in our times as well. Task of John was to ‘send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia…(1:11)”. Also note that the presiding minister over a church is designated as an angel. “Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write”, for instance. Angels in this context is different from the angel of his presence who is entrusted with giving the testimony of Christ to the apostle. “For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak (He.2:5)” so it is churches of men we are concerned with. There were Judaic influence in the early churches. Apostles who were sent by Sanhedrin to collect the temple tribute we find mentioned in the Acts of apostles(Ac.9:1-12). When the Spirit set apart Paul his apostleship was in true sense(ac.13:2) setting him according to the principle of Association as though sent from God direct. The point is to understand the church as a body of men where the Spirit sets an order and how conventions of traditions of Jewry or any other also impose order which can become blurred. The problems were to be addressed and settled by the Word and the indwelling Spirit in a spirit of humility. The church was to conduct their worship and the daily business of attending to spiritual and physical needs of the flock in fear as though they served God rather than some empty form of tradition. In our present day we have cultural baggages to contend with. White evangelicalism and ethnic minorities are forces thrust from outside and the problem is solely man made. In this context grace to overcome such divide in a spirit of humility is from the throne of grace. On the other hand we have the seat of Satan where a local church enforces any rule that vitiates ‘ye are all one in Christ’.
In the following post we shall consider each church one after the other.
Benny

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About bennythomas

I am a Dutch citizen. An architect by profession I am married and have six grandchildren. I am still keen on expressing myself and each day is new and an occasion where I might bring out from within something worthwhile.
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