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OH HOW I LOVED JESUS

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Revelation 1–11: The MacArthur New Testament Commentary Chapter 4: Ephesus: When Loves Grows Cold (Revelation 2:1–7)

The late Francis Schaeffer once observed that “the meaning of the word Christian has been reduced to practically nothing.… Because the word Christian as a symbol has been made to mean so little, it has come to mean everything and nothing” (The Mark of the Christian [Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity, 1970], 11). The term Christian in contemporary usage can mean anyone who is not Jewish, anyone who lives in a “Christian” nation (as opposed, for example, to a Buddhist or an Islamic one), or anyone who claims any kind of allegiance to Jesus Christ. The term evangelical is following the same trend toward imprecision.

But though the world may be confused about what a Christian is, the Bible is clear. Christians are those who are savingly united to God through Jesus Christ, those whom “God has chosen … from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth” (2 Thess. 2:13; cf. Luke 18:7; Rom. 8:33; Eph. 1:4; Col. 3:12; 1 Thess. 1:4; 2 Tim. 2:10; Titus 1:1; 1 Pet. 1:1–2; 2:10). As a result, they have exercised saving faith in the only Savior (Acts 4:12), the Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:15–18, 36; 5:24; 6:47; Rom. 1:16; 4:5; 10:10; 1 John 5:1), and repented of their sins (Rom. 2:4; 2 Pet. 3:9). God has forgiven their sins (Acts 10:43; Eph. 1:7; 1 John 1:7, 9; Rev. 1:5), made them His children (Rom. 8:16–17; Gal. 4:7; Eph. 1:5; 5:1, 8; Phil. 2:15; 1 John 3:2), and transformed them into new creatures (2 Cor. 5:17) indwelt by the Holy Spirit (John 14:17; Rom. 8:4, 9, 11, 14; 1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19; Gal. 4:6; 2 Tim. 1:14; 1 John 3:24).

Many things characterize Christians, including reverential fear of God (2 Cor. 7:1; Phil. 2:12; 1 Pet. 1:17), a desire to imitate Him (Eph. 5:1; 1 John 2:6), holiness (Matt. 5:48; 2 Cor. 7:1; Titus 2:11–12; Heb. 12:14; 1 Pet. 1:15–16; 2:24; 2 Pet. 3:11), and obedience (John 10:27; 14:21; 15:14; Rom. 1:5; 16:26; Heb. 5:9; 1 Pet. 1:2; 1 John 3:24). But the supreme characteristic of a Christian is love for his Lord and God. When challenged to name the single greatest commandment of the law, Jesus replied, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment” (Matt. 22:37–38). He challenged His disciples to make love for Him the highest priority of their lives: “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me” (Matt. 10:37–38). In John 14:21, 23 He added, “He who has my commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.… If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.” True children of God, Jesus declared, will love Him (John 8:42; cf. 1 Pet. 1:8) and be known by Him (1 Cor. 8:3). To discern Peter’s spiritual condition, Jesus asked him three times, “Do you love Me?” (John 21:15–17). Paul defined Christians as those controlled by “the love of Christ” (2 Cor. 5:14). Those who love Jesus Christ are blessed (Eph. 6:24); those who do not are cursed (1 Cor. 16:22). While love for the Lord Jesus Christ will always be present in true Christians, it can fluctuate in its intensity. Christians will not always love Jesus Christ with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to fail to do so is sin. There is no better illustration in Scripture of the seriousness of allowing love for Christ to wane than this letter to the church at Ephesus.

The late Francis Schaeffer once observed that “the meaning of the word Christian has been reduced to practically nothing.… Because the word Christian as a symbol has been made to mean so little, it has come to mean everything and nothing” (The Mark of the Christian [Downers Grove, Ill: InterVarsity, 1970], 11).
The world may be confused about what a Christian is, the Bible is clear. Christians are those who are savingly united to God through Jesus Christ, those whom “God has saved by the Spirit and faith in the truth” (; cf. ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ). As a result, they have exercised saving faith in the only Savior (), the Lord Jesus Christ (, ; ; ; ; ; ; ), and repented of their sins (; ). God has forgiven their sins (; ; , ; ), made them His children (; ; ; , ; ; ), and transformed them into new creatures () indwelt by the Holy Spirit (; , , , ; ; ; ; ; ).
Many attributes characterize Christians, including reverential fear of God (; ; ), a desire to imitate Him (; ), holiness (; ; ; ; ; ; ), and obedience (; ; ; ; ; ; ; ).
However the supreme characteristic of a Christian is love for his Lord and God. When challenged to name the single greatest commandment of the law, Jesus replied,
Matthew 22:37–38 ESV
And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.
-28
).
He challenged His disciples to make love for Him the highest priority of their lives:
He challenged His disciples to make love for Him the highest priority of their lives:
Matthew 10:37–38 ESV
Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.
In
John 14:21 ESV
Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”
In , He added, “He who has my commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.… If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.” True children of God, Jesus declared, will love Him (; cf. ) and be known by Him (). To discern Peter’s spiritual condition, Jesus asked him three times, “Do you love Me?” (). Paul defined Christians as those controlled by “the love of Christ” (). Those who love Jesus Christ are blessed (); those who do not are cursed (). While love for the Lord Jesus Christ will always be present in true Christians, it can fluctuate in its intensity. Christians will not always love Jesus Christ with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to fail to do so is sin. There is no better illustration in Scripture of the seriousness of allowing love for Christ to wane than this letter to the church at Ephesus.
John 14:23 He added, “He who has my commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.… If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.” True children of God, Jesus declared, will love Him (; cf. ) and be known by Him (). To discern Peter’s spiritual condition, Jesus asked him three times, “Do you love Me?” (). Paul defined Christians as those controlled by “the love of Christ” (). Those who love Jesus Christ are blessed (); those who do not are cursed (). While love for the Lord Jesus Christ will always be present in true Christians, it can fluctuate in its intensity. Christians will not always love Jesus Christ with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to fail to do so is sin. There is no better illustration in Scripture of the seriousness of allowing love for Christ to wane than this letter to the church at Ephesus.
John 14:23 ESV
Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
True children of God, Jesus declared, will love Him (; cf. ) and be known by Him ().
To discern Peter’s spiritual condition, Jesus asked him three times, “Do you love Me?” (). Paul defined Christians as those controlled by “the love of Christ” (). Those who love Jesus Christ are blessed (); those who do not are cursed ().
While love for the Lord Jesus Christ will always be present in true Christians, it can fluctuate in its intensity. Christians will not always love Jesus Christ with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to fail to do so is sin. There is no better illustration in Scripture of the seriousness of allowing love for Christ to wane than this letter to the church at Ephesus.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1999). (pp. 53–55). Chicago: Moody Press.

CHRIST

Christ walked in their midst.

Christ is present among his people and is both watching over them and watching them.

Christ sends a word to his messenger.

CHURCH

Ephesus was the most important city in Asia Minor. Its population in New Testament times has been estimated at between 250,000 and 500,000 people. The city’s theater, visible today held an estimated 25,000 people. The city hosted athletic events, rivaling the Olympic games.
events, rivaling the Olympic games.
Ephesus was the primary harbor in the province of Asia. It was also strategically located at the junction of four of the most important Roman roads in Asia Minor. That, along with its harbor, prompted the geographer Strabo (a contemporary of Christ) to describe Ephesus as the market of Asia. This was the New York City and Los Angles combined of its day.
It was also strategically located at the junction of four of the most important Roman roads in Asia Minor. That, along with its harbor, prompted the geographer Strabo (a contemporary of Christ) to describe Ephesus as the market of Asia.
The temple of Diana, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, was located in its midst. The temple grounds were a chaotic cacophony of priests, prostitutes, bankers, criminals, musicians, dancers, and frenzied, hysterical worshipers. One philosopher, called the weeping philosopher because no one, he declared, could live in Ephesus and not weep over its immorality.
However, huddled in the midst of such pagan idolatry that characterized Ephesus was a faithful group of Christians. It was to them that Christ addressed this first of the seven letters.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1999). (p. 57). Chicago: Moody Press.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1999). (p. 58). Chicago: Moody Press.
Ephesus was a city of 250,000 people. It sat at the crossroads of the three major trade routes. It was a seaport city. The temple of Diana, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, was located in its midst.
He starts with Ephesus because they were first on the postal route and they were the most prominent of the seven in terms of potential influence.

Perhaps no church in history had as rich a heritage as the congregation at Ephesus. The gospel was introduced to that city by Paul’s close friends and partners in ministry, Priscilla and Aquila (Acts 18:18–19). They were soon joined by the eloquent preacher and powerful debater Apollos (Acts 18:24–26). Priscilla, Aquila, and Apollos laid the groundwork for Paul’s ministry in Ephesus.

The apostle Paul stopped briefly in Ephesus near the end of his second missionary journey (Acts 18:19–21), but his real ministry in that key city took place on his third missionary journey. Arriving in Ephesus, he first encountered a group of Old Testament saints, followers of John the Baptist (Acts 19:1–7). After preaching the gospel to them, he baptized them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 19:5). That began Paul’s work of building the church at Ephesus—a work that would last for three years (Acts 20:31). Later, on his way to Jerusalem near the end of his third missionary journey, he taught the elders of the Ephesian church the essential principles of church leadership (Acts 20:17–38), the gist of which he later expanded in his pastoral epistles. Paul’s protégé Timothy served as pastor of the church at Ephesus (1 Tim. 1:3). Onesiphorus (2 Tim. 1:16, 18) and Tychicus (2 Tim 4:12), two more of Paul’s fellow laborers, also ministered at Ephesus. Finally, according to the testimony of the early church, the apostle John spent the last decades of his life at Ephesus, from which he likely wrote his three epistles in which he calls himself “the elder” (cf. 2 John 1; 3 John 1). He was no doubt leading the Ephesian church when he was arrested and exiled to Patmos.

Perhaps no church in history had as rich a heritage as the congregation at Ephesus. The gospel was introduced to that city by Paul’s close friends and partners in ministry, Priscilla and Aquila (). They were soon joined by the eloquent preacher and powerful debater Apollos (). Priscilla, Aquila, and Apollos laid the groundwork for Paul’s ministry in Ephesus.
The apostle Paul stopped briefly in Ephesus near the end of his second missionary journey (), but his real ministry in that key city took place on his third missionary journey.
Arriving in Ephesus, he first encountered a group of Old Testament saints, followers of John the Baptist (). After preaching the gospel to them, he baptized them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ (). That began Paul’s work of building the church at Ephesus—a work that would last for three years ().
Later, on his way to Jerusalem near the end of his third missionary journey, he taught the elders of the Ephesian church the essential principles of church leadership (), the gist of which he later expanded in his pastoral epistles.
Paul’s protégé Timothy served as pastor of the church at Ephesus (). Onesiphorus (, ) and Tychicus (), two more of Paul’s fellow laborers, also ministered at Ephesus.
Finally, according to the testimony of the early church, the apostle John spent the last decades of his life at Ephesus, from which he likely wrote his three epistles in which he calls himself “the elder” (cf. ; ). He was no doubt leading the Ephesian church when he was arrested and exiled to Patmos.
Dramatic and remarkable events accompanied the birth of the Ephesian church. Paul’s ministry profoundly affected not only the city of Ephesus, but also the entire province of Asia ().
God supernaturally affirmed Paul as His spokesman through a series of spectacular miracles (). Attempting to emulate Paul’s success, a group of Jewish would-be exorcists were beaten and humiliated by a demon-possessed individual (). Their debacle spread consternation and fear throughout the city, causing “the name of the Lord Jesus [to be] magnified” (). Shocked into realizing the futility of trusting in pagan practices, “many also of those who had believed kept coming, confessing and disclosing their practices. And many of those who practiced magic brought their books together and began burning them in the sight of everyone; and they counted up the price of them and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver” (vv. 18–19). That staggering sum, equivalent to 50,000 days of workers’ wages, reveals the magnitude of Ephesus’s involvement in the magic arts.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1999). (p. 56). Chicago: Moody Press.

COMMENDATION

The opening words of verse 2 can either be chilling or comforting; “I know”. There are two for know in Greek. One means; the progressive acquisition of knowledge. The second, which is the word used in our text means, complete and full knowledge. The Lord of the church knows everything there is to know about the church - both good and bad.
Before rebuking them for their failings, the Lord Jesus Christ commended the Ephesians for what they were doing right.
He commended them for being a . . .

SERVING CHURCH

MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1999). (p. 59). Chicago: Moody Press.
Works refers to more than just “good deeds” but refer to the whole spiritual walk of the believer. In his letter Jesus does give us some specific works that of exposing and expelling false teachers.
Osborne, G. R. (2002). Revelation (p. 112). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.Jesus tells us their greatest work was that of exposing and expelling false teachers.

SACRIFICING CHURCH

Christ first commended the Ephesian believers for their toil. Kopos (toil) denotes labor to the point of sweat and exhaustion. It describes an all-out effort, demanding all that a person has to give—physically, mentally, and emotionally.
The Ephesians were diligent workers for the cause of Christ. Theirs was no spectator mentality; they did not want merely to be entertained.
Perseverance denotes patience in trying circumstances. It does not denote a grim, fatalistic resignation, but a courageous acceptance of hardship, suffering, and loss. This commendation indicates that, despite their difficult circumstances, the Ephesian believers remained faithful to their Lord.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1999). (p. 59). Chicago: Moody Press.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1999). (p. 59). Chicago: Moody Press.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1999). (p. 59). Chicago: Moody Press.

SEPARATED CHURCH

Another praiseworthy aspect of the Ephesian believers was that they refused to tolerate evil men. Four decades earlier Paul had commanded them not to
Ephesians 4:27 ESV
and give no opportunity to the devil.
Nor was the Ephesian church lacking in spiritual discernment, since it put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and … found them to be false. The Ephesians never forgot the admonition Paul had addressed to their leaders so many years earlier:
Nor was the Ephesian church lacking in spiritual discernment, since it put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and … found them to be false. The Ephesians never forgot the admonition Paul had addressed to their leaders so many years earlier:
Acts 20:28–31 ESV
Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears.
Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves men will arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. Therefore be on the alert. ()
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1999). (pp. 59–60). Chicago: Moody Press.
The early church father Ignatius, writing not long after John penned the book of Revelation, also commended the Ephesians for their vigilance:
“You heed nobody beyond what he has to say truthfully about Jesus Christ.… I have heard that some strangers came your way with a wicked teaching. But you did not let them sow it among you. You stopped up your ears to prevent admitting what they disseminated”
Through all the difficulties the Ephesians faced over forty years, through all their hard labor and patient enduring of trials, their refusal to tolerate evil, and their spiritual discernment, they maintained their perseverance. They endured, Jesus declared, for the highest of motives: for His name’s sake. And they had done so without having grown weary (cf. ); they had not yielded to disappointment, ingratitude, or criticism. They remained faithful to the Lord, loyal to His Word and to the work to which He had called them.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1999). (p. 60). Chicago: Moody Press.

CONCERN

Despite all the praiseworthy elements in the Ephesian church, the penetrating, omniscient gaze of the Lord Jesus Christ had spotted a fatal flaw.
The problem of the Ephesians is the abandonment of their “first love”. Abandon means; “to be sent away” it was used of a husband divorcing his wife. The tense of the verb tells us that this had occured over a considerable time.
The word “first” does not mean our primary love but almost certainly means “the love you had at first,” that is, shortly after their conversion. They had lost the first rush of enthusiasm and excitement in their Christian. Though they maintained their doctrinal orthodoxy and continued to serve Christ, that service had degenerated into mechanical orthodoxy. They had fulfilled Christ’s prophecy in
Matthew 24:12 ESV
And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold.
, “The love of many will grow cold.”
“The love of many will grow cold.”
Osborne, G. R. (2002). Revelation (p. 115). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.
Though at one time they had love (; ; ), forty years later the affection of the first generation of believers had cooled. The current generation was maintaining the doctrine handed down to them, but they had left their first love.
This love included love for Savior, the Saints, and their society. Love is defined as obedience
2 John 6 ESV
And this is love, that we walk according to his commandments; this is the commandment, just as you have heard from the beginning, so that you should walk in it.
). They had sunk to the place where they were carrying out their Christian responsibilities with diminishing love for their Lord and others.
They had sunk to the place where they were carrying out their Christian responsibilities without love.
It is clear that the Ephesians loved truth more than they loved God or one another. This does not mean that they were not believers or that they had no love at all, for the commendations of verses 2–3 would be impossible in that case. Rather, their early love had grown cold and been replaced with a harsh zeal for orthodoxy.
Osborne, G. R. (2002). Revelation (p. 116). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.
The loss of a vital love relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ opened the doors to spiritual apathy. Despite its outwardly robust appearance, a deadly spiritual cancer was growing at the heart of the Ephesian church.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1999). (p. 63). Chicago: Moody Press.

CORRECTION

The Great Physician issued a prescription to the Ephesians which, if followed, would cure their spiritual malaise.

REMEMBER

First, they needed to remember (lit. “to keep on remembering”) from where they had fallen. Forgetfulness is frequently the initial cause of spiritual decline, and the Ephesians needed to recognize the seriousness of such a lapse.
To “remember” is not just to bring it to mind but to act on it. Remembering often included an “actualization” of the original experience: “Actualization is the process by which a past event is contemporized for a generation removed in time and space from the original event. When later Israel responded to the continuing imperative of her tradition through her memory, that moment in historical time likewise became an Exodus experience”.
Osborne, G. R. (2002). Revelation (p. 116). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.
Osborne, G. R. (2002). Revelation (p. 116). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.

REPENT

The only answer is to “repent”, a single response to the ongoing “remembering.” The church is being told to begin reflecting on their past history that will convict them of their present errors and cause them to “repent” of their error and change their actions. In other words, remembering is the basis of repentance.
The word repent is not a new turn but a return to the past.
Osborne, G. R. (2002). Revelation (p. 117). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.

REPEAT

MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1999). (p. 63). Chicago: Moody Press.
He demanded that they change or be chastened: I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.
The coming to which Christ refers is not His second coming, but His coming to them in local judgment on that church. Failure to heed the warning would cause Him to remove their lampstand (symbolic of the church; ) out of its place. Tragically, Christ threatened divine judgment that would bring an end to the Ephesian church.
The emphasis falls not on the word works but on the term at first. These works are not just “good works” but the “acts of love” toward God and one another that characterized the early years of their church. Their battle against the heretics could certainly be construed as “good works,” but because it was not accompanied by love it was insufficient.
Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Book of Revelation (Vol. 20, p. 116). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.These works are not just “good works” but the “acts of love” toward God and one another that characterized the early years of their church. Their battle against the heretics could certainly be construed as “good works,” but because it was not accompanied by love it was insufficient.
1 Corinthians 13:1–2 ESV
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
, it was insufficient. In short, orthodoxy without orthopraxy is a false religion
In short, orthodoxy without orthopraxy is a false religion
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1999). (p. 64). Chicago: Moody Press.acArthur, J. F., Jr. (1999). (p. 63). Chicago: Moody Press.
Osborne, G. R. (2002). Revelation (p. 117). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic.

CONSEQUENCES

Underscoring the seriousness of the situation, Christ warns the Ephesians to take the necessary steps to recover their first love for Him.
He demanded that they change or be chastened. I will come, although translated as a future, is actually in the present tense to indicate immediate action.
The coming to which Christ refers is not His second coming, but His coming to them in local judgment on that church.
The verb “I will remove” is in the future indicative meaning that the threat is not a possibility but a certainty if they fail to repent.
Failure to heed the warning would cause Him to remove their lampstand out of its place. Tragically, Christ threatened divine judgment that would bring an end to the Ephesian church.
Kistemaker, S. J., & Hendriksen, W. (1953–2001). Exposition of the Book of Revelation (Vol. 20, pp. 115–116). Grand Rapids: Baker Book House.I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent.

The example of the Ephesian church warns that doctrinal orthodoxy and outward service cannot make up for a cold heart. Believers must carefully heed Solomon’s counsel: “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life” (Prov. 4:23). Those whose love for God has cooled would do well to heed the exhortation Hosea addressed to backsliding Israel:

Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity. Take words with you and return to the Lord. Say to Him, “Take away all iniquity and receive us graciously, that we may present the fruit of our lips. Assyria will not save us, we will not ride on horses; nor will we say again, ‘Our god,’ to the work of our hands; for in You the orphan finds mercy.” (Hos. 14:1–3)

And to those who return to Him God promises, “I will heal their apostasy, I will love them freely” (Hos. 14:4).

5

The example of the Ephesian church warns that doctrinal orthodoxy and outward service cannot make up for a cold heart. Believers must carefully heed Solomon’s counsel:
Proverbs 4:23 ESV
Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.
). Those whose love for God has cooled would do well to heed the exhortation Hosea addressed to backsliding Israel:
Those whose love for God has cooled would do well to heed the exhortation Hosea addressed to backsliding Israel:
)
Hosea 14:1–3 ESV
Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity. Take with you words and return to the Lord; say to him, “Take away all iniquity; accept what is good, and we will pay with bulls the vows of our lips. Assyria shall not save us; we will not ride on horses; and we will say no more, ‘Our God,’ to the work of our hands. In you the orphan finds mercy.”
Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity. Take words with you and return to the Lord. Say to Him, “Take away all iniquity and receive us graciously, that we may present the fruit of our lips. Assyria will not save us, we will not ride on horses; nor will we say again, ‘Our god,’ to the work of our hands; for in You the orphan finds mercy.” ()
And to those who return to Him God promises,
Hosea 14:4 ESV
I will heal their apostasy; I will love them freely, for my anger has turned from them.
).
What is he saying to the church today?
And to those who return to Him God promises, “I will heal their apostasy, I will love them freely” ().
Return or you will be removed.
What is he saying to those gather here today?
Remember, Repent, and Repeat for the reward is great.
If you can’t remember then repent and trust Christ for your redemption.
MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1999). (pp. 65–67). Chicago: Moody Press.
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