They are commended but also there is a fault. They have forsaken (left) their first love.Revelation 2New International Version (NIV)
To the Church in Ephesus
2 “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. 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 are not, and have found them false. 3 You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary.
4 Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. 5 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. 6 But you have this in your favor: You hate the practices of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
7 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God.
While they were doing a lot of the right things, they were not doing them for Christ, he had been removed from their priorities and focus.
While commended, they are also rebuked.Strong's Number: 863 Browse Lexicon
Original Word Word Origin
afiemi from (575) and hiemi (to send, an intens. form of eimi, to go)
Transliterated Word TDNT Entry
Phonetic Spelling Parts of Speech
- to send away
- to bid going away or depart
- of a husband divorcing his wife
- to send forth, yield up, to expire
- to let go, let alone, let be
- to disregard
- to leave, not to discuss now, (a topic) 1c
- of teachers, writers and speakers
- to omit, neglect
- to let go, give up a debt, forgive, to remit
- to give up, keep no longer
- to permit, allow, not to hinder, to give up a thing to a person
- to leave, go way from one
- in order to go to another place
- to depart from any one
- to depart from one and leave him to himself so that all mutual claims are abandoned
- to desert wrongfully
- to go away leaving something behind
- to leave one by not taking him as a companion
- to leave on dying, leave behind one
- to leave so that what is left may remain, leave remaining
- abandon, leave destitute
Here we already see the beginnings of moving away from the leadership and teachings of Christ to those of men. The start of denominations.
We see a similar warning elesewhere.
1 Corinthians 1
10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters,a]">[a] in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11 My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephasb]">[b]”; still another, “I follow Christ.”
13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you?
6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9 As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!
]8 Formerly, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those who by nature are not gods. 9 But now that you know God—or rather are known by God—how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again? 10 You are observing special days and months and seasons and years! 11 I fear for you, that somehow I have wasted my efforts on you.