COMPARING AND CONTRASTING BETWEEN THE FRUITS AND THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT
By Pastor Mtitu
The fruit of the Spirit enables to show others the character of Christ, while the Gifts of the Spirit enables us to show others the power of Christ, we desperate need both The Fruit and the Gifts of the Spirit should always work together. God’s power and character should always be close friends-sticking together. Men can destroy with their bad character what they build with their Gifts. our character matters than everything. We will be judged by the fruit we bore (character)not the volume of our gifts. It is possible to have all the gifts of the Spirit for service, and yet not to produce the Fruit for personal Christian character. What we do with our gifts and what we are with our character must go together. The excellent way is Gift with character(sum up in love)we want either gifts without character nor character without gifts. we want the beautiful balance of gifts(power of Christ in us ) sand fruit (character of Christ in us)
The gifts of the Spirit are for our service toward God while the fruit of the Spirit has to do with our personal character, and our becoming like God. The development of Christian character and Christ-like attributes in our lives should always take precedence over our display of some special ability. The trouble with the Corinthian Church is not that they came short in spiritual gifts, but that they came short in spiritual fruit. While the fruit of the spirit is Love, they were envying. While the Spirit gives Temperance, they had strife. Though the spirit gives peace, they had divisions. All Christians are capable of discovering their spiritual gifts, but the mature and obedient Christians are the ones who will display the spiritual evidence of Christ-likeness (the fruit of the Spirit).
Spiritual gifts can be abused and neglected, but if they are received at regeneration, it would appear that they cannot be lost. The Corinthian church illustrates the fact that believers can be highly gifted but spiritually immature. Spiritual gifts are not the same as the fruit of the Spirit. Spiritual fruit is produced from within; spiritual gifts are imparted from without. Fruit relates to Christ like character; gifts relate to Christian service. The fruit of the Spirit, especially love, should be the context for the operation of the gifts of the Spirit. Paul made it clear in 1 Corinthians 13 that spiritual gifts without spiritual fruit are worthless. Fruit is eternal, but gifts are temporal (1 Cor. 13:8); the former is a true measure of spirituality, but the latter is not. ‘Fruit’ is the natural result of an inner principle of life brought forth through a process of constant growth. ‘Fruit’ requires time to develop and comes to perfection with the help of many external factors like water, light, sun, etc.In comparison, ‘gifts’ can come through the liberal actions of a giver. They are usually found in a completed condition even though their use can be made more perfect through the recipient in the course of time, e.g. when someone receives a camera as a gift. The quintessence of our present observation is that ‘fruit’ comes gradually from inside, whereas ‘gifts’ come all at once from an outer source. This is only a rough definition, but it helps to clarify the difference that is to be made between the two expressions.
The fruit of the Spirit, therefore, appears as an expression and result of a godly life which was given to the believer when he was born again. The fruit may show almost instantly in some characteristics, but will generally only appear gradually through the process of ‘growing in grace’. Its development is promoted through external means of grace like Christian fellowship, spiritual service, external circumstances, but especially through the reconciliation of the soul with God. This ‘fruit’ has an ability for growth during the entire period of Christian life and, from that point of view, a constant growth in holiness should be taking place. In comparison, the gifts of the Spirit can be given suddenly at any stage of the believer’s life. The New Testament shows clearly that a gift was given to some believers when they first received the Holy Spirit. Other gifts were imparted at various turning points of the Christian walk (i.e. 1 TIMOTHY 4:14 – most likely due to Timothy being chosen for spiritual service – ACTS 16:1-3). Again, other gifts could be desired and asked for at any time (1 CORINTHIANS 12:31 and 1 CORINTHIANS 14:13).The promise of the gifts of the Holy Spirit therefore appears to be unrelated to the maturity of the believer in the ‘growth of grace’, providing, of course, that the person in question is counted worthy of them by the Lord. They do not primarily arise out of the inward life but are sovereign acts of a great Giver. Nine gifts are mentioned in 1 CORINTHIANS 12:8-11, and nine kinds of fruit in GALATIANS 5:22.The large chapter about love (1 CORINTHIANS 13) is planted between the two most important chapters about the spiritual gifts and forms an essential part of the subject described therein.The first point teaches us that gifts and fruit should keep each other in balance. The second fact shows us that they are tightly knitted together. When the apostle writes: “But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way” (1 CORINTHIANS 12:31), he does not intend to indicate that we should neglect the spiritual gifts. He admonishes us to create a balance and undertakes a correction of spiritual values. The greatest thing of all is the increasing resemblance with Christ; and it is a grave error to think that ‘gifts’ could take the place of ‘fruit’ Spiritual Gifts are special abilities and endowments for the purpose of building up the body of Christ. They are activities you do. Spiritual Gifts are selectively distributed (in the Christian community). The Fruit of the Spirit is universally distributed(in the Christian community).
The Fruit of the Spirit is personality redemption. Spiritual Gifts are activities that build up the body of Christ. The Fruit of the Spirit is more important because it is eternal. It never ever goes away. Spiritual Gifts are less important because they are temporary. They are for this life only. In 1 Corinthians 13 verses 8 and 9 the Bible says: But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears The fruit of the Spirit is the manifestation of the character of Jesus in your own life through the indwelling and power of the Holy Spirit. The gifts of the Spirit are the ways in which God empowers a believer through the Holy Spirit to carry out ministry. The offices are simply ways in which God’s power is used in the church body.
In His Service