Is there a difference between the gifts of the Spirit and the fruits of the Spirit?

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The scriptures in Romans 12:6-8, 1 Corinthians 12:4-11, and 1 Peter 4:10-11 speak about the gifts of the Spirit. These are the gifts of prophecy, wisdom, knowledge, faith, healings, grace, miraculous powers, distinguishing between spirits, speaking of tongues and interpretation of tongues. These gifts are given “so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other” (1 Corinthians 12:25) “that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ” (1 peter 4:11)

It should be noted that the gifts of the Spirit are not necessarily the miraculous gifts of the Spirit. Throughout the Bible, God used the miraculous powers of the Holy Spirit to accomplish His purposes. In 1 Corinthians chapters 12-14, Paul gave instructions that would help Christians use the miraculous powers of the Holy Spirit according to God’s will and His plans. But these miraculous powers were not an indication of the spiritual status of the person empowered by the Holy Spirit. As a matter of fact, some of the wicked people were also empowered with such abilities as in the case of King Saul, his captains (1 Samuel 19:20-24) and Caiaphas (John 11:46-57).

As for the fruits of the Spirit, these are: “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22). From this verse we understand that the true fruit of the Spirit, that indicates that the Spirit lives in a person and that shows that person is saved, begins with love.

Paul’s shows in 1 Corinthians 13 that there is a clear difference between the miraculous powers bestowed by the Holy Spirit, and the fruits of the Spirit. And he explains that miraculous powers given by the Holy Spirit do not prove anyone’s salvation. In fact, if those powers are being used by a person who does not have love in his heart, then that person is lost. Paul said: “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become as sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:1-2). Thus, it is possible for a person to have the miraculous power of the Holy Spirit and yet not have the Holy Spirit dwelling inside him.

In His service,

The BibleAsk Team

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