Carrying on from something which was mentioned yesterday, it is important that we notice the difference between spiritual gifts and the fruits of the spirit. We need to make sure that we connect the “Fruit of the Spirit” with the “gifts of the Spirit.” Yet we also need to note there is a difference.
Let’s break it down first by identifying what the Word of God means by “gifts” versus “fruit.” James 1:17 and 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, both refer to Spiritual Gifts just as people are all different, the gifts are different for each person, but they are all given to us by the same Spirit.
The “fruit” of the Spirit, on the other hand, is the expression of our renewed nature as it is seen by others. Galatians 5:22-23 tells us what this “fruit” is “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness gentleness, self-control. Against such there is not law.
Christ is coming back for His body, which is the Church. He’s coming for those who possess His nature. It doesn’t matter on that day, how many spiritual gifts you may have. Jesus is coming back to connect with those who possess His own nature; and that goes far beyond merely exercising spiritual gifts. Consider again Matthew 7:22-23.
If your not sure if your amen is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, now would be a great time to make it certain.
Gifts are services to be performed for others; “fruit” speaks of the graces or character traits of a person indwelt by the Holy Spirit. When the Spirit of God takes up residence in a man, He not only enables him to serve, but He also begins to cultivate holiness, the evidence of which is a deep-seated “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance” (Galatians 5:22-23).
Both the fruit and the gifts are essential. Both are manifestations of the indwelling Spirit. But the two are not the same. We should be careful not to confuse the gifts of the Spirit with the fruit of the Spirit.
In Ephesians 5:9, Paul describes more “fruit” of the Christian life: “goodness, righteousness and truth.” The Holy Spirit also produces life and peace (Romans 8:6), hope (Romans 15:13) and spiritual wisdom (1 Corinthians 2:6-15). All Christians should have all these qualities.
As we yield to God’s Spirit (Romans 8:13-14), and as we are led by the Spirit of Christ (verse 9), we will have Jesus Christ’s mercy and compassion for others and his love for God’s way of life.