Bible Reading: Galatians 5:16-26
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things.” [Galatians 5:22-23 NLT]
The Bible speaks about the gifts of the Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit. The word “fruit” is singular but with nine aspects. As we live in the Spirit all nine aspects of this one fruit of the Spirit should be increasingly evident in our lives. The gifts of the Spirit it is different. The word “gifts” is plural and the Holy Spirit gives different gifts to different individuals.
Both the nine gifts of the Holy Spirit [I Corinthians 12:8-10] and the fruit of the Spirit [Galatians 5:22-23] making our character more like Jesus are important if we are to have a balanced Christian life.
A man had a problem with a leak in the roof of his house, and needed someone to repair it. He wanted to make sure the job was done properly and so looked for a workman with good references. He was given the names of two possible workmen and made enquiries about them. He was told that the first man would do an amazing job, and that the roof would probably not leak again for a hundred years, but the man would overcharge him, cheat and even steal from him. He had ability but no character.
Seeking references for the second man, he was told that he was such a lovely, warm-hearted and generous character, but sadly not very good at his job and the roof could well leak again within five years. This man had a good character but no real ability.
The fruit of the Holy Spirit is the character of Jesus being formed in us. In order to be truly effective Christians, we need both the character that the Holy Spirit produces in us, and the gifts of the Holy Spirit that enable us to serve God more effectively. Don’t be like the men with ability but no character or with the character but no ability.
The Bible says that we are to be filled with the Holy Spirit [Ephesians 5:18]. When we are filled with the Holy Spirit He will give us the gifts that we need, and the more we are filled the Holy Spirit the more the fruit of the Spirit will make us like Jesus.
Why do you think that people tend to emphasize either the gifts of the Spirit or the fruit of the Spirit and not hold both in equal tension?
What is the point of having gifts to serve God but not having a character that matches the gifts?