FALLING IN LOVE AGAIN
In the New Testament world the city of Ephesus
was one of the great cities of that day. It had a
metropolitan population. It was a city of culture.
It was a city of great prosperity. Right on the edge
of the city of Ephesus was the magnificent temple of
Diana who was the goddess of sexual, sensual love.
They believed they had an image of Diana in that
temple which had fallen out of heaven. It was an
ugly, grotesque, multi-breasted image. It was a
goddess of sexual, perverted love.
Then there came a man to the city of Ephesus
named Paul one day who brought to that city a
different kind of love altogether. It was a love
expressed in John 3:16. "For God so loved the world
that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever
believeth in him should not perish but have
everlasting life." The people of Ephesus came to
experience a love like this world has never known. In
fact the Bible describes it as "what manner of love is
this." What out of this earth this love is. This
world doesn't know this kind of love. The only way
you can know this kind of love that Paul brought to
Ephesus is to have an experience with God through the
Lord Jesus Christ which is described as "falling in
love with Jesus." Christianity is a love experience
with Jesus Christ. In fact, Jesus Himself summarized
what it was all about when He said that there are two
great commandments: "Love God with everything you
have and love your neighbor as yourself." So, when
you become a Christian you enter into a love
experience. There is someone who loves you more than
you can imagine and His name is Jesus. He loved you
enough to die on the cross for your sins. He loved
you enough to reach down into the depths of despair
and sin where you were and lifted you and brought you
into His family through the new birth experience. Now
He has committed Himself to love you with an
So, Christianity is falling love with the Lord
The church of Ephesus had a series of great
spiritual leaders. There was the Apostle Paul who
came initially and ministered to them. The great
preacher Apollos came there and preached. The young
man Timothy was their spiritual leader at one time.
Then there was man named John who was one of the
original disciples who was their pastors. John was
know as the "beloved disciple." John wrote the Gospel
of John that underscores the importance of the love of
Jesus for us and our love for the Lord Jesus. John
wrote these little letters of John that emphasized the
importance of love. The beloved disciple came to this
city of Ephesus and encouraged them in their love for
the Lord Jesus Christ.
When I first came here almost 18 years ago
someone said to me after I'd been here a few weeks,
"What is the secret of the fellowship of First Baptist
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