Living by Grace

Dedicated to providing guidance in daily living through the power of God's grace as experienced in our union with Christ.

Repent and Do the First Works


Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lamp stand from its place—unless you repent.  Revelation 2:5

These words are in the context of a message from Jesus to the Pastor of the church in Ephesus. Jesus began his message with complimentary statements about the church. However, in verse 4, Jesus said, “Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” The words of verse 5 immediately follow.


Approximately 30 years earlier, Paul wrote to the Ephesus church about love because the Jews and Gentiles in the church were obviously having a difficult time becoming one “in the Lord.” In that letter, Paul wrote that he prayed for them “to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith” (Ephesians 3:16-17). This is another way of saying that he was praying for them to be filled with the Spirit. The first aspect of the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22 is “love.” when we obey the 5 commands of Romans 6:11-13, we are filled with the Spirit


Paul follows his words in Ephesians 3:14-16 with the most profound statement about love found in his letters (Ephesians 3:17-19). If the church at Ephesus remembered what Paul had written and began to pray as Paul described, they were not guilty of self destruction.


As in the case of Paul, new believers enter into a sovereign period of being filled with the Holy Spirit. They do works of love. Possibly, the words of Jesus “repent and do the first works” is a reference to the works of that sovereign period.


Not any Spirit-filled church is in danger of self destruction.