But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. (Gal. 5:22-23, NIV)
The amplified Bible explains spiritual fruit to be the result of His presence within us. We can’t produce spiritual fruit. It just happens when we abide in Christ.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5, NIV)
Spiritual fruit is visible results of the process of sanctification. But spiritual gifts are not related to sanctification (even newbie Christians can receive them), they’re given to enable and enhance some tasks in the kingdom of God.
What do you think? Which one is more valuable – spiritual fruit or spiritual gifts? One way to look at it is to see how many times each is mentioned in the Bible.
The Bible talks about spiritual gifts lengthily in 1 Cor. 12 and shortly in Romans 12:6-8, Ephesians 4:8 and 1 Timothy 4:14 and 2 Timothy 1:6. But spiritual fruit is mentioned in every letter. And almost in every chapter. Spiritual fruit seems much more important than spiritual gifts in this light.
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. (1 Cor. 13:1-3, NIV)
This does not mean that spiritual gifts should be neglected. We are told to ask for them. But we should especially contend for spiritual fruit. And that means we need to focus on Jesus. When we do that, all is well. Spiritual fruit will appear when the Holy Spirit so wills. Spiritual gifts will appear when we need them.
Meanwhile, we are called to worship God. He is the giver of life and all the good things in our lives. We are called to worship Jesus, the giver of grace and hope. We are called to worship the Holy Spirit, who makes everything come to life, us included. Hallelujah!
We praise you for giving us life upon life.
We praise you for giving us grace upon grace.
We praise you for not leaving us alone here on earth.
We praise you for blessing us with spiritual fruit.
We praise you for equipping us with spiritual gifts.
Help us to seek only you all the days of our lives.
May only your will happen in and through our lives.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: What do you think? Which one is more important – spiritual fruit or spiritual gifts?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you abide in Christ and let the Holy Spirit work in and through you as he pleases.