The book of Revelation, the last testament given by Jesus (through His angel) to his Apostle John, was written about AD 100 on the small island called Patmos, just south of Sicily.
After the opening statements by John, Jesus appears and actually gives a review of seven churches in seven cities or towns located in present day Turkey. In this review, Jesus promotes the good the church has done, chastises the bad, then offers a way to correct and improve their service in that community.
The church in El Dorado, the composite body of believers, has been a contributing factor to the exercise of decency and morality for all the decades of its existence. The organization of mayor, city council and various city services provide for the leadership, safety and welfare of the community at large. Schools teach, educate and develop our young men and women to assume proper and civil behavior and integrate responsibly into society. Local businesses provide for the capital goods and services which all citizens need to enjoy and sustain livelihood within our town.
Church denominations exist since freedom of worship and expression allows folks to render service and reverence in formats they understand as acceptable to the one, and 3-in one, God of heaven. God’s Spirit energizes citizens with what is called fruits — fruits of the Spirit: Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance (Gal 5.22-23). These attitudes, qualities and characteristics are not man-made. They are a derivative of a Spirit-led and controlled life. They are not developed or created by the human being. They are a product of God, our eternal Father and Creator, expressed through His earthly Son, Jesus, and imparted by the power and dynamic intervention of the Holy Spirit.
As the Holy Spirit envelops a community, like El Dorado, the outcome should be and in fact will be greater efficiency in community operations. As these so-called fruits of the Spirit are exercised, there will be less incidents in the categories called works of the flesh: sexual immorality, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings and such like (Gal 5.19-21). As these characteristics (works of the flesh) of a town are reduced and decrease, productivity and achievement and prosperity (fruits of the Spirit) will increase for the common good of all — efficiency and productivity of community operations will abound.
In church language this is called — blessings!
New sanctuaries have been built in El Dorado and the picture looks like progress.
Prayer walks have been organized in El Dorado and the picture looks like progress.
Church meetings occur on Sundays in El Dorado and the picture looks like progress.
Yet, with the pictures of progress, our community is still plagued with irresponsible behavior (works of the flesh) which produces a crime report, written or unwritten, every week that are detrimental to the common good.
Fruits of the Spirit need to be more at work, in every level of our community government, in every level of education, in every level of business and in every level of churches. In particular, all those who belong to Christ Jesus, are to demonstrate that we have crucified the sinful nature — the works of flesh — and that we live by the Spirit and keep in step with the Spirit.
We do not become conceited, we do not provoke and we do not envy each other. El Dorado can and should be a light, a city on a hill, setting an example for others to follow.
Led by the Spirit of God, all things are possible.
Scott Johnson ministers with East Faulkner Church of Christ and BRG Bible. Bible questions can be sent to email@example.com.