There are fruits and there are gifts. Both reference the Spirit. So what’s the difference?
Fruits of the Spirit are what a Christian should exhibit as they live their life connected to God, relying of the Holy Spirit to work in them. The more we feed our spirit man inside, with the Word of God, prayer, worship, godly fellowship, teaching and evangelism, the more our reborn spirit grow. The natural outworking of a healthy fruit tree is, well, it produces fruit! If a tree is bad it won’t produce fruit or, the fruit it does produce will be rotten. It may even look tasty on the outside (just don’t bite into it).
The spiritual gifts are different in that they are tools so to speak, that God graces us with to use in our Christian walk, during worship services and in evangelizing the world as we share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We may operate in one or two of the gifts or maybe even more. This is different than the fruit because ideally, we should exhibit all 9 fruits of the Spirit. We can’t just be like “Well, I’ve got love and kindness but I’m not so good at patience and that self-control stuff. That’s just not my fruit.” Wrong! We all have the spirit of Jesus living inside if we have been born again and because of this, His nature should exude from our lives.
The gifts allow us to demonstrate God’s power, typically for the benefit of others. Gifts reveal the supernatural into the natural. For example, when sharing the Gospel with someone, we may operate in the gift of a ‘Word of Knowledge’. This is a supernatural revealing about something in that person’s life we would otherwise have no way of knowing. It’s something we could possibly share that could prove to them God cares about them and/or knows exactly what they are going through. Or maybe a public message in tongues with an interpretation. This could happen in a worship service. This is God’s direct message to His people and can encourage and/or convict. Either way, it draws people to Him. Spiritual gifts ALWAYS draw people to God. They are NEVER about the individual.
In summary: we should exude all 9 fruits (or at least be working having all 9 in our life), while we may only have some of the gifts. To note however, Paul says to pray for the greater gifts. I believe the Holy Spirit distributes the gifts as we have need for them at that moment and situation, if we are surrendered and willing to operate in them. It is a beautiful thing to operate in the spiritual gifts and see it radically affect people for Jesus!
One thought on “Fruits & Nuts (Gifts)”
Loved the analogy. Spot on as always