Rev 2:4-5 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. (5) Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.
What was the first love the author writes about? …And, what were the first works? These two questions need to be answered to help the saint of God progress properly in the transformation process. Well, the answer is simple when you examine it. The “first love” is the incredible joy and peace that one felt the minute they believed the gospel. Once they realized that they were declared righteous by the blood of Jesus, and that they were accepted by God as an heir and joint heir with Christ, that all of their sins were completely forgiven they experienced a peace that surpasses all understanding. that was the “first love.”
Think back to that moment saint. Think back to the moment of your acceptance of the gospel. How did it make you feel? Do you remember the peace and joy? It was indescribable wasn’t it? So then, what would cause one to lose that “first love?” Why are so many saints burnt out, tired out, and overwhelmed? There is a simple yet profound answer. It is simply because they think that they are on a working contract with God. They essentially read the scripture as a legal constitutional document and they believe that God is unhappy with them when they fail to live up to the letter of the contract.
Further, many judge themselves against others in the body of Christ and believe that so in so is really living holy, and that somehow they are not as righteous as the other person. Comparing yourself to others is absolutely devastating. Yet further, all too many leaders set themselves on a pedestal of sorts and do not allow the saints to see the real true them. If you were to ask them if they do this they would deny it but in reality they do it merely by not being honest. I have heard so many preachers and pastors say that they need to shield the congregation from any of their short comings. All of these various attitudes and beliefs work together to rob the saint of the “first love.”
So then, what is the cure? What will restore the “first love?” This is also a profoundly simple answer. The pristine gospel is the answer. The gospel reassures the saint that they are not on a working contract with God. It assures them that they are righteous and holy because of the blood of Jesus. The gospel puts the saint at peace with God and in this place of peace and rest… the “first love” resides. The gospel presents the fact that the saint is always in the presence of God and can be there with boldness because of the blood of Jesus. It creates an atmosphere of holy boldness in which the first love is a natural outflow of God’s incredible, unlimited grace. Repenting is as simple as changing your mind to believe the gospel all the time!