What does first love or do the first works mean?
Revelation 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.
The book of Revelation was written by the apostle John. Just like every other apostolic writing, it is built upon the truth of Christ’s sacrificial death and resurrection.
Revelation 1:2 Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Vs 3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand. John’s prophecy was founded on the testimony of Christ. He firstly described Christ’s work and what he had accomplished for us as believers. This he did before writing out his personal encounter. Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, Vs 6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Taking a closer look at his statement we see that all he spoke of was God’s action of love towards us. He never mentioned nor implied a part we played. Observe also that God’s expression of love for us was in the past. He never pointed us to any experience whatsoever. The love of God was demonstrated by the death and resurrection of Christ and it remains the bedrock of the Christian love walk. As earlier explained, God never placed a demand us to love him. The scriptures rather reveal his desire for us to receive and know his love. Revelation 2:4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. This verse is similar to what John said in 1st John 4. 1st John 4:19: "We love him, because he first loved us". So when the phrase ‘first love’ was used, he was actually referring to God’s love for us.
Revelation 2:4 ‘… left your first love’ means to neglect God’s love for you. God’s love is the First love. The word repent was mentioned twice in Revelation verse 5 and it means to change one’s mindset. This further buttresses the fact that John was addressing a wrong mindset in many of the churches.
Their negligence of God’s love for them affected their work towards others. This was what he described as "first works". Often times believers struggle with the their first works and this is never God’s will for us in Christ. Once our attention is on the depth of the father’s love for us, we will find it easy expressing the same to others around us.
Therefore the phrase ‘first works’ in this context never referred to believer’s love for God or "doing good works for God to get Him pleased with us". To "do the first works" means to KNOW/BELIEVE & RECEIVE God’s love for us; which He demonstrated by the sacrificial death and resurrection of Christ.
TODAY MANY BELIEVERS FALL SHORT ON THIS; hence God's warning to the church is as current as it was then!
READ: Then said they ( disciples) unto Him, "What work shall we do, that we might work the works of God?" And Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God: That you believe on Him whom He has sent." (John 6:28-29).
Grace and peace be multiplied to you!
# Disseminating the truth
# Bringing freedom
# Perfecting the saints