The seven letters of chapters 2 and 3 are all similar in structure, beginning with titles descriptive of Christ, which have already occurred in the vision in 1:9-20, then giving Christ’s message to the church, and closing with a summons to hear and a promise to ‘him who overcomes’. In the last four letters the promise precedes the summons.
- State in your own words what Christ found to commend in the church at Ephesus (verses 2, 3, 6).
- What was the proof that their love had declined? How could this condition be remedied? What further danger might otherwise occur? How should we take such a warning to heart?
- Verse 7a. Note the present tense ‘says’, and the combination of individual appeal and universal application. How does Christ still speak through these scriptures, and to whom? Cf. Mark 4:9, 23; 8:18. How can we have an ear that hears?
- Verse 6. ‘Nicolaitans’: and see also verses 14, 15: ‘Nicholaos’ may be meant as a Greek equivalent of ‘Balaam’, intended to describe a person who destroys the people of God, as Balaam did through the introduction of idolatrous and immoral practices. Cf. 2 Pet. 2:15, 16.
- Verse 7. ‘The tree of life’: in contrast to the corrupt fruits of idolatrous and sensual self-indulgence. Cf. 22:2.