Agonizomai: Rev 2:6 - Ephesus the Steadfast Church<br>Hating False Teachers and Teachings

Friday, April 24, 2009

Rev 2:6 - Ephesus the Steadfast Church
Hating False Teachers and Teachings

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Rev 2:6 Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.

There are various thoughts on who these "Nicolaitans" may have been. Some think this is a play on words, taking the Greek meaning "power over the people" as a parallel of the Hebrew name "Balaam," which means "a ruler of the people." In other words a comparison is being made between the sin of Balaam, who sold the people of God out for licentiousness and gain - and the Nicolaitans who were gnostic heretics and libertines professing to be Christians, but propagating a licentious lifestyle.

Others link the name to Nicolaus one of the deacons appointed in Acts to help in the daily distribution to the widows. All were Greeks, by the sound of their names. But it seems that all reference to him is strictly rumor.

Whatever they were there is little doubt that they practiced a religion at odds with the gospel of grace that Paul had preached in Ephesus - distorting freedom into licentiousness. The pastor had hated these gospel perverters. In other words, the Ephesian church was strong in doctrine - they tested false apostles and rejected them and they hated the Nicolaitan error of perverted license. Note the word "hate". It is a strong word. It is a word that is offensive to many in today's love-crazy church. "We can't hate because God is love." Well it says that God hates the false works of the Nicolaitans - are we better than He? And are they not commended for their hatred of this sacrilegious perversion of the truth?

So doctrine alone is not enough to satisfy Christ. The soundest doctrine held in a heart that is cool towards Christ falls short of the mark. Love for Christ - passion for Him - must be the gasoline in the engine of the propagation of truth.

To preach because it is true is better than not to preach at all. To preach the truth out of a heart thrilled with and abiding in the love of Christ is the standard.


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