good church: ephesus

In all the time that Jesus walked this earth he never started a formal church. I guess that would have been a little narcissistic of Jesus to start a community that worshiped him and told all their friends about him while he was still alive.  Although Jesus never started a church, he did critique seven of them.  It seems to me that Jesus’ critique of these churches is something that we would want to pay attention to.

The first church that Jesus critiqued was in Ephesus (Rev 2:1-7).  It was a community with great theology.  They were people who kept doctrine and they kept it strictly.  There is this inherit problem with keeping doctrine though, it’s easy to get stricter and stricter with keeping it.   In some churches this manifests into rules such as no makeup, no cards, no dancing, essentially add the word “no” before anything and that is what the church believes.  The problem with keeping doctrine so stringently is that it becomes what you fall in love with.

Jesus praised the church in Ephesus but he also rebuked them because doctrine became their god.   They had forsaken their first love.  A church that forgets the most basic thing like loving God will usually forget to love its neighbors.  So the question that I will be looking at in these seven posts is, what makes a good church? The first response to that question is a church that passionately loves God.

So if you’re a church leader or if you go to a church, ask yourself what makes a good church?  How would Jesus view my church?  Are we an Ephesus?  Have we lost our first love?  Does your church love Jesus, or are they really good at keeping doctrine alive?

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