Gifts and Fruit

The Church today places an emphasis on the gifts of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12) and this is good as we need supernatural gifts to touch the lives of non-believers for Jesus.

However, we must not neglect the development of the fruit of the Spirit as we grow and mature in Jesus. Jesus remarked, “You will know them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7:16). He never said you will recognize them by their gifts. In fact, He said, “Not everyone who says o Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of God…Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your Name, and in Your Name cast out demons, and in Your Name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.” (Matthew 7:21-23). Gifts and proclamation alone are not enough.

It was not the gifts that really distinguished a Spirit-filled Church or Christian. The Corinthian Church had every gift (1 Corinthians 1L7), but was carnal, full of division (1 Corinthians 3:2-4), and even had extreme immorality in their midst (1 Corinthians 5:1-2). Gifts are not as important as the fruit of the Spirit. One can use gifts in a selfish manner, but one cannot exhibit love in a selfish way.

Paul tells us that we could have all of the gifts possible in their maximum expressions, but if we do not have love (the fruit of the Spirit), we are nothing (1 Corinthians 13:1-3).

Jesus said, “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.” (John 15:8). The evidence of the Holy Spirit in our lives is the fruit, not the gifts.

The ultimate proof of God’s presence in us is the fruit in our lives.

“The greatest of these is love. So, pursue love, and earnestly seek after the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy.” (1 Corinthians 13:13b-14:1)

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