Gifts and Fruit

There are gifts of the Spirit, and there is the fruit of the Spirit.

Gifts are given freely from the One who has to the one who has not. The gifts do not provide any evidence as to what is inside a person’s heart.

Fruit, however, is produced from within and clearly shows what is inside a person’s heart.

So a believer’s spiritual maturity should not be determined by their gifts, but rather by their fruit.

A Christian who has the gift of prophesy, healing, or tongues is not necessarily a mature believer. The Corinthian church was operating heavily in the gifts, but they were all immature believers.

But look at the life of a Christian who is strong in love, is full of joy and peace, is patient, is kind, is good, is faithful, gentle, and can control himself–now there is a mature believer.

Notice that Galatians 5:22 does not say: “…the fruits of the Spirit are…”. It actually says: “…the fruit of the Spirit is…”. So even though there is a list of fruits, they are all to be considered one thing–they are a package deal. So you can not say something like: “I’m strong in all those fruits except self control and patience. But because I’m strong in 7 out of the 9 fruits, I’m a very mature Christian.” I don’t think you can say that–just like a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, you are only as mature as your weakest fruit.

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