What is "first love"?

gordon 2

Senior Member
Thread starter #1
What do you say a Christian's first love is--as in Revelation 2:1-7 "return to your first love"?

What is this first love?
 

hobbs27

Senior Member
#2
It was their love of Christ. Not that they no longer loved, but it wasn't like it had been.

Much like we explain by saying, the honeymoon is over. Christ wanted them to return to that passionate love for Him they once held.
 

gordon 2

Senior Member
Thread starter #3
It was their love of Christ. Not that they no longer loved, but it wasn't like it had been.

Much like we explain by saying, the honeymoon is over. Christ wanted them to return to that passionate love for Him they once held.
That's what I thought. I been researching this a bit and I'm surprise that a lot of well known commentators say it means that they had stopped diving in scripture or studying scripture!

How can we be sure that it was the love for Christ? Scripture?
 
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Israel

Senior Member
#4
That would be something, no?
 

Israel

Senior Member
#6

Spineyman

Senior Member
#7
That's what I thought. I been researching this a bit and I'm surprise that a lot of well known commentators say it means that they had stopped diving in scripture or studying scripture!

How can we be sure that it was the love for Christ? Scripture?
If you truly love Him, then you will want to spend time with Him in His Word, and in prayer Remember, it is not knowing Christ that is important, but Him knowing us! Matthew 7 depart from me you workers of iniquity, I never knew you declares the Lord!.
 

gordon 2

Senior Member
Thread starter #8
"We love him, because he first loved us."
All of 1 John 4 is very interesting. Thanks.

Is the first love of the church of Ephesus the intellectual apprehension that " he first loved us"? Had they forgotten this, or was it something else? I think it was something else. I'll try to explain.

How about if it was the love which they had experienced of themselves now capable due to a radical change in their makeup as human beings?

13 " Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit."

16"God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him."


I hope this is clear. ( Our first love is that we dwell in love and this is radical.) My point is that the first love is something tangible not just an intellectual realization. Some say it is love for scripture. Some say it is the realization that God loved us first, so the first love is God. But I can find cause in 1 John 4 that the first love meant in Revelations regards the Church of Ephesus is the love the Church and the individuals in it had experienced when Paul and others initially ministered to them with signs following.

They were changed due to the ministry of Paul not because of some intellectual insight, or that they believed Paul because scripture backed Paul up, but because the Spirit of God in them had transformed them to experience a previously unknown love in themselves or a love they previously hand not experienced. That love was not only to love God and that God loved them, but that they could love individuals and the community they lived in and foreign. Those individuals and whole communities they had previously "judged" as wanting, they now realized they had judged as the world judges... but now they loved from a new make-up within themselves that was life shared intimately with God ( for real!). And therefore they loved as this without following a law, but it was intrinsic to their new makeup:

"And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also."

Before they had loved as the world loved, they had judged as the world judges. But no more. And this was their first love--a new radical love. The loves- the judgements- of before were no more. Within themselves, and from their changed make-up due to the Spirit of God woven within and without --they were now capable of a new love which was really the first love of the new born in Christ? It is this love which Ephesus was lax in. They were taking it for "granted" or without great reverence. They were upright in many things as a church, but the essential was not to forego their first love--- or else every item for which they were upright in was going to be for nothing.

Does anyone know any scripture that would somehow shed light for or against my understanding?
 
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gordon 2

Senior Member
Thread starter #9
If you truly love Him, then you will want to spend time with Him in His Word, and in prayer Remember, it is not knowing Christ that is important, but Him knowing us! Matthew 7 depart from me you workers of iniquity, I never knew you declares the Lord!.

This is a view I see often in commentaries. I have to say with trembling I don't agree. It is not God knowing us. ( God know us in any case left and right.)

I think of the simple story of Zacharias is a case in point. He of small stature wanted to know who this Jesus was, to the point that he climbed a tree so he could put himself in the way of Jesus going by... And the story is that Jesus invited himself to his house. And Zacharias was changed from the evening or time he spent with Jesus. Jesus says that salvation had come to Zacharias' house. So it was not that Jesus knew him that saved him, but that he had had a personal encounter with Jesus and now knew of Him. ( and the change in Zacharias was his radical changed outlook about the people he lived with in that he would manage is own life to match his new outlook!) Zacharias' new declaration was not that he was driven to dive in scripture-- it was far more organic what he declared on what was to be the new orientation of his efforts from now on.
 

Israel

Senior Member
#10
And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.

And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.

And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.

And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.

And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.

And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.

And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.

And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.

And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.

For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
 

gordon 2

Senior Member
Thread starter #11
And Jesus entered and passed through Jericho.

And, behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus, which was the chief among the publicans, and he was rich.

And he sought to see Jesus who he was; and could not for the press, because he was little of stature.

And he ran before, and climbed up into a sycomore tree to see him: for he was to pass that way.

And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up, and saw him, and said unto him, Zacchaeus, make haste, and come down; for to day I must abide at thy house.

And he made haste, and came down, and received him joyfully.

And when they saw it, they all murmured, saying, That he was gone to be guest with a man that is a sinner.

And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.

And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.

For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.
I think this is a very important part of scripture. I speaks of people of little stature, sinners, getting in the way by getting to where Jesus was/is! I think this is still valid today and not only this, but a person's personal encounter with Jesus, and many forms it might take, is the most powerful source of Christian security. It trumps the wisdom of tradition and a life of bible study as the steadying source of a believer's most certain walk with and in Christ.

A bible example might be Paul the apostle. His confidence was not a personal arrogance-- its source was muchly of something else.

"And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do."

"And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost."

"...And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God."

But maybe I'm wrong... ??? What do you think?

And here is a question for Art. What does Son of God mean here? King of the Jews maybe?
 
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#12
I don't get it. Put it this way. If my wife starts to take me for granted, no longer writing the notes she once did, or doing things for me in an effort to be sweet, the way she once did, yet she still loves me, am I going to divorce her? No. It's not that she has abandoned me of love. We are saved by grace, yet this implies that it's no longer grace, that I must now earn my way. This is why I don't acknowledge Revelation as an inspired book. It's a total contridiction to the gospel.
 

gemcgrew

Senior Member
#13
All of 1 John 4 is very interesting. Thanks.

Is the first love of the church of Ephesus the intellectual apprehension that " he first loved us"? Had they forgotten this, or was it something else? I think it was something else. I'll try to explain.

How about if it was the love which they had experienced of themselves now capable due to a radical change in their makeup as human beings?

13 " Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit."

16"God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him."


I hope this is clear. ( Our first love is that we dwell in love and this is radical.) My point is that the first love is something tangible not just an intellectual realization. Some say it is love for scripture. Some say it is the realization that God loved us first, so the first love is God. But I can find cause in 1 John 4 that the first love meant in Revelations regards the Church of Ephesus is the love the Church and the individuals in it had experienced when Paul and others initially ministered to them with signs following.

They were changed due to the ministry of Paul not because of some intellectual insight, or that they believed Paul because scripture backed Paul up, but because the Spirit of God in them had transformed them to experience a previously unknown love in themselves or a love they previously hand not experienced. That love was not only to love God and that God loved them, but that they could love individuals and the community they lived in and foreign. Those individuals and whole communities they had previously "judged" as wanting, they now realized they had judged as the world judges... but now they loved from a new make-up within themselves that was life shared intimately with God ( for real!). And therefore they loved as this without following a law, but it was intrinsic to their new makeup:

"And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also."

Before they had loved as the world loved, they had judged as the world judges. But no more. And this was their first love--a new radical love. The loves- the judgements- of before were no more. Within themselves, and from their changed make-up due to the Spirit of God woven within and without --they were now capable of a new love which was really the first love of the new born in Christ? It is this love which Ephesus was lax in. They were taking it for "granted" or without great reverence. They were upright in many things as a church, but the essential was not to forego their first love--- or else every item for which they were upright in was going to be for nothing.

Does anyone know any scripture that would somehow shed light for or against my understanding?
In the matter of God, Scripture, Christ or Spirit being first love, I think that you are making distinctions where I can't.

As far as intellectual insight/realization is concerned,

"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."
 

gordon 2

Senior Member
Thread starter #14
In the matter of God, Scripture, Christ or Spirit being first love, I think that you are making distinctions where I can't.

As far as intellectual insight/realization is concerned,

"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."
Interesting again. Thanks. 2 Corinthians 4
 
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gemcgrew

Senior Member
#15
I don't get it. Put it this way. If my wife starts to take me for granted, no longer writing the notes she once did, or doing things for me in an effort to be sweet, the way she once did, yet she still loves me, am I going to divorce her? No. It's not that she has abandoned me of love. We are saved by grace, yet this implies that it's no longer grace, that I must now earn my way. This is why I don't acknowledge Revelation as an inspired book. It's a total contridiction to the gospel.
What is why you don't acknowledge Revelation as an inspired book? Is it your unintelligible argument or your human analogy?

In either case, Paul tells us why you think this way and what the solution is.
 

Israel

Senior Member
#16
Since Gordon is the OP I'll try to frame what I am getting a sense of with that in mind.
Whether there's agreement to this I don't know, but I see clearly in a multitude of places (especially in the parable of the sower) that
1. there are warnings against distractions.
2. warnings that distractions will come.

There is opposition. The forms it may take are many and may have much to do with previous dispositions towards things.

Things of this world attempting again to take a foothold and obscure the glory of Jesus Christ. Jesus definitely warns, Paul warns (by the Spirit of Christ) against leaving the simplicity of devotion to Christ. Peter warns against being vexed by trials as though a strange thing were happening. Some things may seem to deter by an obvious presentation of resistance, others perhaps, could even take the form as an appearance of "good things"...prudent things to pursue.

If we are not yet aware of our enemy being able to take on the appearance of light (again we are warned) and our senses are not rightly exercised, well...we may learn we are still susceptible at whatever points, to mistaking a lesser thing for the glory bestowed, and to be revealed.

We share a collective walk of encouragement, by sharing the comforts and encouragements we ourselves have received (sometimes in reproofs and rebukes, too, that we have personally received) to "stay the course".

There is a thing that wants us to lose sight of the Lord's goodness and glory and will do all within its power to resist that revelation to us, that might be seen through us. He never fights...fair.

Thankfully we have a Lord who is so much more than fair, as He is merciful.
 

gordon 2

Senior Member
Thread starter #17
Since Gordon is the OP I'll try to frame what I am getting a sense of with that in mind.
Whether there's agreement to this I don't know, but I see clearly in a multitude of places (especially in the parable of the sower) that
1. there are warnings against distractions.
2. warnings that distractions will come.

There is opposition. The forms it may take are many and may have much to do with previous dispositions towards things.

Things of this world attempting again to take a foothold and obscure the glory of Jesus Christ. Jesus definitely warns, Paul warns (by the Spirit of Christ) against leaving the simplicity of devotion to Christ. Peter warns against being vexed by trials as though a strange thing were happening. Some things may seem to deter by an obvious presentation of resistance, others perhaps, could even take the form as an appearance of "good things"...prudent things to pursue.

If we are not yet aware of our enemy being able to take on the appearance of light (again we are warned) and our senses are not rightly exercised, well...we may learn we are still susceptible at whatever points, to mistaking a lesser thing for the glory bestowed, and to be revealed.

We share a collective walk of encouragement, by sharing the comforts and encouragements we ourselves have received (sometimes in reproofs and rebukes, too, that we have personally received) to "stay the course".

There is a thing that wants us to lose sight of the Lord's goodness and glory and will do all within its power to resist that revelation to us, that might be seen through us. He never fights...fair.

Thankfully we have a Lord who is so much more than fair, as He is merciful.
Isreal you are so articulate! :) I have to agree with joy to your every letter, word, meanings and much more. :) I don't know why but I'm compelled to share this: The light is the light, and there is no other light from which light is all wholesome. The light lights up scripture and not the inverse. The light informs tradition. The light quickens life.

 

Spineyman

Senior Member
#18
This is a view I see often in commentaries. I have to say with trembling I don't agree. It is not God knowing us. ( God know us in any case left and right.)

I think of the simple story of Zacharias is a case in point. He of small stature wanted to know who this Jesus was, to the point that he climbed a tree so he could put himself in the way of Jesus going by... And the story is that Jesus invited himself to his house. And Zacharias was changed from the evening or time he spent with Jesus. Jesus says that salvation had come to Zacharias' house. So it was not that Jesus knew him that saved him, but that he had had a personal encounter with Jesus and now knew of Him. ( and the change in Zacharias was his radical changed outlook about the people he lived with in that he would manage is own life to match his new outlook!) Zacharias' new declaration was not that he was driven to dive in scripture-- it was far more organic what he declared on what was to be the new orientation of his efforts from now on.
Here lets put it this way. Did you know your wife when you were first dating? The answer is absolutely yes. But after years of marriage, and communicating, your knowledge of her is far greater. Spending time with her increases your love for her. that is what Jesus wants from us. Spending time in His Word, spending time on your knees, spending time with Him pouring out your heart, calling upon Him to save, and deliver you. That is the first love He is referring to. And yes He had better know you when you breath your last!
 
#19
What is why you don't acknowledge Revelation as an inspired book? Is it your unintelligible argument or your human analogy?

In either case, Paul tells us why you think this way and what the solution is.
Because I know how the books were put together, the arguments over whether to include them or not. We have tons of writings, example, Eusebius write in 315AD that it is a forgery. I know the time period history in which the canon was formalized. Who decided which books and why. Who the players were, their beliefs, etc. How biased men won out to impose their beliefs. A time in history exactly like we see today with the democrats and republicans, each side trying to win at all cost. Looking for dirt on each other in order to change the outcome by means of association. I know the language differences, the lingo differences, the content differences, the doctrine differences in this book supposedly written by the same John in the NT. However it's not the same person. It was only allowed into the canon under the quize that John wrote it, but he did not. The original KJ bible also did not acknowledge the book of Revelation. Anyone can clearly see that the book is not a book of grace. Grace has zero works. Any works and it's no longer grace. Paul would have faught this fake writing with all his might. Imagine how hard he worked to bring people to grace only to have someone come after him and say saved by grace, maintained by works. I know these things because I don't blindly follow the crowd. You take your stand based on religion, traditional thinking. Not ever once considering what I am saying is true, like a robot programmed to think a certain way. With no reasonable attempt at proving me wrong, I'll just expect a "no it's not"
 

gemcgrew

Senior Member
#20
Because I know how the books were put together, the arguments over whether to include them or not. We have tons of writings, example, Eusebius write in 315AD that it is a forgery. I know the time period history in which the canon was formalized. Who decided which books and why. Who the players were, their beliefs, etc. How biased men won out to impose their beliefs. A time in history exactly like we see today with the democrats and republicans, each side trying to win at all cost. Looking for dirt on each other in order to change the outcome by means of association. I know the language differences, the lingo differences, the content differences, the doctrine differences in this book supposedly written by the same John in the NT. However it's not the same person. It was only allowed into the canon under the quize that John wrote it, but he did not. The original KJ bible also did not acknowledge the book of Revelation. Anyone can clearly see that the book is not a book of grace. Grace has zero works. Any works and it's no longer grace. Paul would have faught this fake writing with all his might. Imagine how hard he worked to bring people to grace only to have someone come after him and say saved by grace, maintained by works. I know these things because I don't blindly follow the crowd. You take your stand based on religion, traditional thinking. Not ever once considering what I am saying is true, like a robot programmed to think a certain way. With no reasonable attempt at proving me wrong, I'll just expect a "no it's not"
I thought there may be more to the "this is why".

PM or email me the verses you claim to show salvation by works and I will be happy to refute your claim.
 
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