Fruit and Gifts of the Spirit are given by our heavenly father for different purposes at diverse occasions to bring Glory to his awesome and wonderful name and nature. Fruit of the Spirit as mentioned in Galations 5:22 are – joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Please note that all the above attributes are of One FRUIT, which indicates that the one who practices self control under the influence of the Spirit is also capable of being kind and gentle and have the power to be patient and faithful at all times, by the strength of the same spirit.
Gifts are given for the edification of the receiver and the welfare of the Church, as mentioned in 1 Corinthians12:7, Gifts are “of the message of wisdom, message of knowledge, faith, healing, miraculous powers, prophesy, distinguishing between gifts, speaking in tongues, interpretation of the tongues.”
Both Gifts and fruit of the Spirit have distinct nature, time of maturity, purpose and they are exercised at different times according to the will and purpose of the one who has blessed us in his great love through his son Jesus Christ.
MATURITY OF THE FRUIT AND GIFTS
Fruit of the Spirit takes time to mature. The process doesn’t depend on our own strength but the strength of the Holy Spirit that works in us by reminding us without ceasing that our salvation is much precious than anything else for it has come down to us by Jesus Christ. Having been received the word of salvation in faith, when we strive to meditate on it daily and put it into practice, fruit of the spirit starts becoming apparent in our lives.
Gifts become apparent the moment they are received. The receiver adds to his/her gifts by practising them the way Father intends them to be used. Gifts are given for the personal edification of the receiver as well as for the encouragement of the Chruch. Gifts play a great role in the body of Christ and they deserve much honour and respect on the part of the one who exercise them so that everything results in glory and honour to the giver, who is our heavenly father.
TIME TO EXERCISE
Fruit is exercised throughout the life of a believer. And moment by moment it brings a resemblance in the nature of the believer with Jesus himself. Gifts are used as and when the Spirit leads the believer to use them for Father’s glory.
Fruit of the Spirit with its different attributes brings a change in the nature of the believer. A believer’s desire to be found in the nature and image of Christ is fulfilled by the great blessing of the fruit of the spirit.
Gifts are for the personal edification and encouragement of the Church. Gifts bring tremendous power to the one who uses them, that brings a great responsibility on the part of the receiver, for the one to whom more is given much more will be required. Those who are blessed with spiritual gifts must strive to exercise fruit of the spirit by bringing themselves under the authority of the WORD otherwise they might get caught up in temptations that will eventually cost their pure spirituality and leave them puffed up with vanity.
WHICH IS MORE IMPORTANT GIFTS OR THE FRUIT
Gifts and fruit of the Spirit, both come down from the father of lights, the source of all perfection. And both deserve great honour and respect. Paul wrote to Timothy in 1Timothy 4:14, “Do not neglect your gift.” Paul spoke about the spiritual fruit in 1Corinthians 13:1-2, “If I speak in the tongues of men and angles, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cyambal. If I have the gift of prophesy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge and if I have faith that can move mountain, but have not love, I am nothing.”
Is Paul comparing the gifts with the fruit of the Spirit and advising us that the fruit has a greater value than the gifts of the Spirit?. By no means, Paul is making it plain and simple by the guidance of the Holy Spirit that the love as commanded by Jesus himself is the greatest obligation we have to live with as followers of Christ. When our gifts are exercised in the shadow of love, it brings glory to the one through whom all blessings flow in heaven and on earth.
Let’s seek the way of love by exercising the fruit of the spirit and also not be slow to seek the gifts of the Spirit for the glory and honour of our heavenly father.