Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.
7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God (Revelation 2:1-7).
These things saith He
that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
This is a statement that reveals some important attributes of Christ. We see that Jesus has authority and control over the servants of God, and Jesus who is one with God walks among them.
Jesus Holds all Servants of God in His Hand.
Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and my Father are one.” [i]
Jesus holds the servants of God in His right hand—the hand that is symbolic of strength and control. The idea of God holding all things in His hand—particularly His servants—is a theme that repeats throughout the scripture. Below are a few examples. These are beautiful scriptures that attest to the nature of God towards His servants, and we can gain more insight by considering these in context. Explore further for your personal edification:
- Thou whom I have taken from the ends of the earth, and called thee from the chief men thereof, and said unto thee, Thou art my servant; I have chosen thee, and not cast thee away. Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness (Isaiah 41:9-10).
- Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me (Psalm 139:7-10).
- Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me (Isaiah 49:16).
The above scriptures are encouraging for those who serve Jesus and need some reassurance of the fact that He holds them up and He will not forsake them. However, there is another side to the control that Jesus has over His servants.
Not all that Jesus has chosen to serve Him are ordained by God to become the sons of God. Some servants that Jesus holds are created to betray Christ and those who follow Him. Judas Iscariot is an example of this. Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil? He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.[ii]
We might wonder why God would choose some servants to serve Him faithfully and choose others to betray Him. Paul the Apostle acknowledges this in his epistle to the Romans. Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?[iii]
Here are some additional scriptures that demonstrate this attribute of God—He who ordains some as servants of honor and some of dishonor. Explore these scriptures in context yourself for a more well-rounded and informed understanding:
- The Lord hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil (Proverbs 16:4).
- The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished (2 Peter 9).
- For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth (Romans 9:17-18).
- Forever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven. Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth. They continue this day according to thine ordinances: for all are thy servants (Psalm 119:89-91).
“For all are thy servants.” This is an important statement that summarizes all the points made so far. Whether a minister of God (a star) is created for honor or dishonor, for faithful service or for betrayal, they are created by Him and for His purposes—and His purposes are always good because He is good, and all things are coming together for the good of the servants who truly love Him. And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.[iv]
Whether a servant is created for honor or for dishonor, God is glorified and in full control. This idea can be reassuring on one hand. We know that if we are chosen by God to become the sons of God, then nothing can stand in the way. We can also have peace that is not shattered by corruption within the faith, because we know that all things serve a good purpose. For example, there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.[v]
On the other hand, the idea of God’s sovereignty over His servants can cause fear. We might fear that we are created to be vessels of wrath. If the love of Jesus is true and sincere in us—if we hear the words of Jesus and want to grow in our understanding and ability to live as He would have us to live—then that is a good indicator that He is for us. If the Spirit of Truth is in us, then we are the children of God in the making, and He will cause the Christ-like nature to grow in us throughout the course of our lives. Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.[vi]
Fear God and thank Him knowing that there are some created for destruction, and it is by grace alone that any would have a different fate. It is appropriate for us to fear Him, but we trust in Him also. We are His work. He upholds us, and no one can take us away from God—a God who not only has full control over His servants, but also walks among them.
Jesus Walks Among His People.
Jesus walked among us as an obedient Son to the Father. He walks with us as the Spirit of God lives within us. He is always fully present. He sees all things and He knows all things because the Son, the Father, and the Holy Ghost are God.
Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.[vii]
Jesus is the word of God who became flesh and dwelled among us.[viii] This is important for a few reasons. Firstly, this important because of the gospel. Jesus, the Son of God, lived as one of us, died for us, and now lives. Through faith in Him, we are saved from death.
It is remarkable that God—the Creator of all things and He who upholds all things—would humble Himself to such a degree as to become human like us. Being made human like us, He has compassion for us, and He understands the weakness that we all have due to our sinful nature—though He was without sin because He is not merely flesh but God, and God cannot sin. [ix]
Not only did God humble Himself in becoming human, but He further humbled Himself to allow mere men to crucify Him—and He did this on behalf of those who would believe in Him. This is a God that loves His people, even to the point of sacrificing Himself for us. However, having sacrificed Himself for us, He is even more justified in having full authority over His servants. [x]
The knowledge that Jesus walks among the candlesticks is also important because this demonstrates that Jesus is God, specifically as we refer to Old Testament scriptures about God walking among His people. Consider the fuller context for a picture of the judgment, justice, and mercy of God:
- Thou shalt have a place also without the camp, whither thou shalt go forth abroad: And thou shalt have a paddle upon thy weapon; and it shall be, when thou wilt ease thyself abroad, thou shalt dig therewith, and shalt turn back and cover that which cometh from thee: For the Lord thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee (Deuteronomy 23:12-14).
- And I set my tabernacle among you: and my soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people. I am the Lord your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright. But if ye will not hearken unto me, and will not do all these commandments; And if ye shall despise my statutes, or if your soul abhor my judgments, so that ye will not do all my commandments, but that ye break my covenant: I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you terror, consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it (Leviticus 26:11-16).
We might refer to Old Testament scripture concerning God walking among us, like Leviticus 26, and see that those who despise the commandments of God and break His covenant are sorely punished. In Christ, we have a new and better covenant.
This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them (Hebrews 10:16).
For the Christian who follows the new covenant, the commandments that we follow are summarized as loving God with all your might and loving your neighbor as yourself.[xi]
The new covenant was paid for by the blood of Jesus and we continue with Him in faith, knowing that our sins are forgiven and that He will fulfill all promises that He made to us—promises that result in our adoption as sons of God and life from the dead.
This adoption hinges on God with us, specifically Jesus who is the Son of God who died for our sins, and now lives in heaven, and whose teachings we strive to be faithful to. Jesus taught that if we strive to keep His commandments, then He would send the Holy Spirit to us—and by the Holy Spirit, God is both with us and now, most importantly, He is within us. [xii] The same Spirit that conceived Jesus in Mary’s womb indwells us, and we too can become the sons of God.
With the Spirit of God within us, we have the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.[xiii] The Spirit of God reveals the things of Jesus to us, searches our hearts for sin, encourages repentance, and provides us with strength to do as our Father would have us to do—which is to keep the commandments of God and remain faithful to the teachings of His Son, Jesus.
The commandments of God and faith towards Jesus matter greatly. Although we are not under the old covenant, we are dealing with the same God—a God of mercy but also a God of judgement and justice who should be feared.
Jesus lived with us. He died for us. He lives and He has full control over all things, and He will reign forever in righteous judgement and justice.
Jesus is our God, and He has a lot to say by the words He spoke and by the Spirit that dwells with and within us. He is worthy to be heard, so let us explore what Jesus has to say to Ephesus.
“I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.”
Jesus is in control of all, and He is aware of what His servants are up to. As for the Church of Ephesus, Jesus seems to praise them for their hard work and endurance as they stand against false apostles and general evil within in the church. However, they have “lost their first love.” What is their first love, and how did they lose it?
As followers of Jesus, we should take a stand for what is true. For example, Apostle Paul instructs the Corinthians to beware of “false apostles” and “deceitful workers.”[xiv] In His epistles to Timothy, he instructs that sound doctrine should be enforced, gives details about what it means to be a faithful minister of the gospel, and He calls some people out by name Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme. [xv] Paul’s epistle to Titus provides additional instruction pertaining to the conduct and requirements of Christian ministers.
Paul also instructs the Romans to take notice of and stay away from those who cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.[xvi] When writing to the Romans, Paul also addresses “doubtful disputations” that cause unnecessary division, including things like eating meat verses herbs and observing the sabbath.[xvii]
With these ideas in mind, along with the attributes of Christ mentioned previously (His authority over His servants as He who walks among them all), we might be able to understand what the Ephesians’ “first love” is and how they lost it.
There is a time for standing up for what is true and good. Doing so requires a lot of work and patience, especially when done in the face of great opposition. However, when being factually right and tearing down those who disagree with us becomes most important, we can lose sight of what matters most: Jesus Himself and His commandments—commandments to love God and one another.
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets (Matthew 22:37-40).
It is loving to lead people away from sin and away from false teachings. It is loving to point out false teachers that cause the faith of others to faulter. “Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.” [xviii] However, this should be done out of love of Christ and the brethren. If that love is replaced with a love of tearing people down and a love of raising yourself or others up as better than another, then the person delivering the rebuke needs a rebuke themselves.
“Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.”
As Christians, we should strive to continue in the love of Jesus Christ. When we fall away from that, all that we do is corrupted. Therefore, to Ephesus, the church above all others (in their estimation), full of pride and not love, “I will remove your candlestick out of his place.” This might not be surprising when we consider another attribute of God: He resists the proud and gives grace to the humble.[xix]
Therefore, we should humble ourselves before God—He who we all see “as through a glass darkly.” None of us have all understanding, so we should retain patience with our brethren so long as the faith is not hindered, trusting in Jesus to return and set all things right.
When Jesus returns, errors in Christian doctrine will be resolved and we have reason to believe that grace is extended to those who humbly misunderstood secondary issues while showing love towards God and others. Grace is also extended to those who patiently wait on the judgment of the Lord instead of becoming quick to take judgment into their own hands wrongly.
Jesus said, “If that evil servant shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; And shall begin to smite his fellowservants, and to eat and drink with the drunken; The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” [xx]
Those who are found “drunken” and “smithing their fellow servants” are counted as unbelievers. Such as these along with all unfit things pass away when Jesus comes because He Himself will reign. One thing will not pass away, and that is His word—a word that commands us to love Him and one another.
See 1 Corinthians 13:
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
4 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
“But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.”
Although the Church of Ephesus is rebuked, Jesus acknowledges one thing that they have right, and this is that they hate the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which God also hates. As explained further in The Symbolism, it is the opinion of the author that the Nicolaitanes refers to the worldly church.
There is a time for hate. We should love righteousness and hate iniquity, just as God does. Ephesus has not confused good and evil, and they take a stand against evil and support that which is good. In a world that calls evil good and good evil, this is a righteous and necessary endeavor that requires a lot of labor and patience, and the ability to stand firm and not faint in the face of opposition.
“To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.”
From the beginning, man has killed man with their knowledge of good and evil that came from a forbidden tree. Because of this, man must die. In Jesus we have forgiveness and the promise of eternal life within a truly righteous kingdom.
We cannot build paradise using our own knowledge and strength. We cannot build paradise by joining with this world and the ways of this world that destroy all who stand in its way. We wait on our first love, Jesus Christ. He will come and He will make all things right.
However, the Wicked One comes first—and He “was and was not and yet is.” He tempts us using our pride, self-righteous indignation, resentment, fear, and impatience. When He comes in a full way, the spirit of Ephesus unrepented of leaves this church vulnerable to great deception. If we follow the spirit of Ephesus, we are already fallen away from the grace of God and the gospel of Jesus Christ in some measure.
It is good to know that Jesus overcame the world already, and we will overcome also if we continue to put our faith in Him. However, because we trust in Him, we know that God is not someone to trifle with, so we fear Him also—and this is good—because God gives mercy to those that fear Him grace to the humble.
We have to humble ourselves to know that we depend on He who holds us all in His hand, and He will complete His work in us and in our brothers and sisters in Christ. He will also judge us, and this is His right, because He alone lived a human life as one of us and died for the forgiveness of our sins. He showed us mercy, so we should instruct others with love, gentleness, and self-control with a desire to show mercy as much as possible. Then, when a sharp rebuke is needed, Christ Himself is in it by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us—and the words spoken are just.
Before we can rebuke others, we must remember what Jesus said about removing the beam out of our own eye. We should honestly evaluate ourselves first and others last as one who loves the word of God, respects His righteous judgment, and as one whose first love is Jesus Christ Himself and by extension, our brethren in Christ.
That’s a lot of words, but what does this look like practically?
Concern for Present-Day Ministers of Jesus
Remaining humble before God knowing that we all see in part and know in part is key. It is also critical to know which doctrines are truly matters of salvation, and not something that is merely a pillar in the temple of our favored denomination—denominations of which will all come to nothing once Jesus returns, because these are not His true church. Are we loyal to them or to Him?
The true church is not a building or a set of certain doctrines that makes one loyal to a particular Christian sect—sects that often view themselves as being more Christian than another. The true church is in spirit, made of those who worship the Lord in spirit and in truth. Meaning, the heart sincerely desires the Lord and seeks Him in faith. If we sincerely desire Him and seek Him, then He will reveal the issues that matter most to us, and He will rebuke our petty divisions and our love of our denominations and apologetic ministries that so often exalt themselves higher than He.
In relation to this, we will learn that Jesus expect His ministers to stand up for the truth, but the truth includes ideas like:
- Rebuke in the spirit of meekness.
- With what judgement you judge, you will be judged.
- What do you have that you did not receive from God?
- We all see God in part.
- We do not want to be old wine skins.
- God resists the proud and gives grace and mercy to the humble.
- None is higher than He, and all things are created by Him for His honor and glory.
Concern For Christian Brethren Generally
It seems that we overcome by putting Jesus first so that we avoid being led by ministers who would cause the candlesticks that they are responsible for to be removed. Although stronger judgment is reserved for leaders, every Christian bears individual responsibility for their relationship with Jesus.
To that end, it is a good idea to remain humble before Jesus, knowing that all the brethren are doing what they can to seek Him, and they look for Him by looking to various leaders in the faith with who we might disagree at times.
As for ourselves, we can trust that God is in control, and He will lead us to faithful ministers if we put Him first. He must come before our loyalty to ministers and Christian denominations and sects of all varieties. We must also strive to get to a place in our Christian development in which Jesus is our teacher and master in all things.
Although we need to surround ourselves with believers because we need continual support in the things of God, we do not need to be continually led about by others. We need to mature, and to mature, we need to learn to rely on Jesus more and on man less.
As for rebuking our brethren, this is needful at times. It is also needful to stand up for things that are good and true in general. However, all things should be done in love and as gently as possible. If harsh words are needed, then these words should come from the Holy Spirit and not from ourselves, or else we might experience some chastening from the Lord who does not tolerate those who are spiritually drunken with self-righteous indignation.
What if a person has trouble with over-reacting to the sins of others or otherwise jumping to harsh rebuke? There could be many reasons why this happens. Sometimes this is learned behavior and sometimes this is a trauma response that is hard to break. In all struggles with sin that we have, honesty and a sincere desire to do right is important. If we are honest about our sin and seek Jesus and the person we harm for forgiveness and attempt to make things right, then grace covers us. We all have room to grow in Christ, and the troubles that are addressed in the letter to the church of Ephesus are common to many.
It is by grace that we all stand, and if the grace of God is for us, who can be against us? Why do we judge one another who stand by grace through faith in Jesus Christ?
Many judgments within the household of the faith concern secondary or tertiary issues of which many within the faith disagree. With these judgments, we begin to excuse and condemn one another. We begin to consider ourselves to be more righteous than another—forgetting that the righteousness we hold is not of our own works, but of the works of Jesus and the perfect life He sacrificed for us.
There is a time for taking a stand against corruption within the Christian faith and within this world in general. However, this must be done with diligence and great care to ensure that the judgments we make are just and needful lest we find ourselves falling under the weight of our own judgments.
If we want gracious judgment, we must give gracious judgment as much as this is possible.
This begins by learning to weigh what matters most for us as Christians.
What teachings are indeed necessary for salvation? It is not difficult to connect any teaching we like to the issue of salvation, but if we seek the Spirit to help, He will show us how to remove our biases so that we can judge rightly—not according to the corruptions of our spirit—but according to the faithfulness of the Holy Spirit.
When all else fails, we can fall back on Jesus Christ and Him crucified for the forgiveness of sins. Of course, much is built upon this, and as Paul the apostle instructs, we must “take heed what you build,” and what are we building if not Christ-like Christians? We might have some debate about what it means to be Christ-like, but to a large degree we should be of one mind and one spirit by the unity of the Holy Spirit.
However, when dealing with our brethren—and we must remember that they are brethren of whom Jesus upholds and walks among—taking the most humble and gracious position will not be frowned upon by our Lord. He would rather that we stand up for what we believe is true, with a willingness to agree to disagree on secondary and tertiary issues, than for us to fuel accusation, slander, division, and strife among His house.
We must have faith, knowing that if the grace of God is for us, then He will work all knowledge in us and our brethren according to His perfect timing and methods by the Spirit of God in us. We do not have to force the matter.
In humility, we can accept that none of us knows all truth as we should know it, and one day we will. We can accept that every Christian will give an account of themselves to Jesus, and He will set all things right. In so doing, it is likely that we will be amazed at His judgments, fall on our faces before Him, and thank Him for how incredibly patient, gracious, and merciful He is with us all.
This idea applies to more than the household of the faith. However, judgement begins from within and thereby we can have the right heart as we go out into the world, doing the work of our Lord and not the works of this world.
To that end, we have things to overcome as well.
When dealing with contentious issues, we need to remember Who we serve first. From large-scale conflicts on the national and global sphere to daily disagreements with people in our lives, Jesus comes before our worldly disputes—and He would have us to deal with one another in a fashion that mirrors His dealings with us.
It is not wrong to test ideas, sift the good from the bad, and take a stand for what is right. However, if we are not doing so with the leading of God and His Spirit according to the teachings of Jesus and the apostles, then we have “left our first love” in pursuit of another. It does not matter how good this other might be, it is not Jesus Christ our Lord.
How should we deal with people during disagreements? We should be quick to listen and slow to speak, quick to mercy and slow to wrath, humble in our own righteousness and wisdom and gracious towards the goodness and intelligence of those with who we disagree.
Stand up for what is right. Rebuke evil. However, do so in love, self-control, and the goal of persuasion instead of the goal of condemning others as you exalt yourself because of how right you are. Repay no one evil for evil but do good to all and trust in God who is the Avenger. Hope in mercy.
This is a high calling, but with persistence we can learn to stand up for what is right and in the right way. We can seek the Lord to forgive us of our pride, anger, resentments, fear, envy, and all other evils of the heart and spirit that cause us to leave of first love in favor of another. Jesus knows our frame and He forgives. He can see when we value what is right according to His Spirit as we wrestle with the sins of our flesh.
However, let us not deceive ourselves. Seek the Spirit to test our hearts, reveal things to us, and lead us to repentance by the patience of God that we all need. Seek strength to perform that which is not natural to man. What is natural to man is to kill, steal, and destroy for the sake of what man deems to be right, good, and true. This is not the Christian way, and this is not the way of the gospel: a gospel of peace and grace through faith in our Lord and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.
Thanks to God for His mercy and love that covers our sins. If we are honest about our shortcomings that have a nature that has similarities to the Church of Ephesus, then we can trust in the forgiveness paid for by the Son and the power of the Spirit to help us overcome.
Additional Scriptures when Considering the Letter to the Church of Ephesus
Below are additional scriptures that helped to inform the author’s understanding of the letter to the Church of Ephesus. The key scriptures are noted for simplicities sake, but the reader will gain more when reading these in their full context, looking at the whole chapter at the least.
- As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you (John 1:9-12).
- Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes (1 John 8-11).
- Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace (James 3:13-18).
- I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith (Romans 12:1-3).
- For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence.But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord (1 Corinthians: 26-31).
[i] John 10:27-30
[ii] John 6:70-71
[iii] Romans 9:19-21
[iv] Romans 8:28
[v] 1 Corinthians 11:19
[vi] Philippians 1:6
[vii] Matthew 1:23, Isaiah 7:14
[viii] John 1
[ix] Hebrews 4
[x] Philippians 2
[xi] Mark 12:30-31
[xii] John 14
[xiii] Ephesians 1:14
[xiv] 2 Corinthians 11
[xv] Timothy 1:18-19
[xvi] Romans 16:17-18
[xvii] Romans 14
[xviii] Leviticus 19:17
[xix] Proverbs 3, James 4, 1 Peter 5
[xx] Matthew 24:48-51