To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good (1 Cor. 12:7 ESV)
The gifts of the Spirit recorded in 1 Corinthians 12, and the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5 are all manifestations of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the individual believer and the Church as a whole. But what is the difference between the gifts and the fruit?
Firstly, it is important to remember that both the gifts and the fruit are manifestations or expressions of the same Holy Spirit. It is one Spirit expressing Himself through us. The gifts and the fruit are different in nature and purpose.
1 Cor. 12:7 gives us a fundamental rationale for the gifts of the Spirit—“for the common good.” The gifts of the Spirit are supernatural abilities imparted by the Spirit for the SERVICE of others. They make us become more effective in ministering to others around us, whether in the church or the world. The two keywords are ABILITY and SERVICE.
The fruit of the Spirit is character VIRTUES or qualities that are built in the believer for the purpose of revealing God’s character and personality to the world. The fruit such as love, joy, and peace are divine attributes infused and meddled with the spirit of the believer, transforming him or her into the full expression of the image of Christ already in the inward man.
The fruit and the gifts are both essential but are not at the same level of importance. Priority in God’s eyes is on the fruit. He desires FRUIT but does not neglect to give the GIFTS because they are also essential to strengthen the Church.
Why does God put the fruit above the gifts in His priority scale for you and the Church at large? It is possible to have the gifts and not the fruit, or vice versa?
APPLY THE WORD
Increase in fruit and do not neglect the gifts. Abundant fruit will make you a godly believer. The Gifts will make you more useful and useful in helping people here and now!
Ask the Spirit to help you abound in fruit and mature in the gifts.