The Gifts And The Fruit Of The Holy Spirit
The Gifts And The Fruit Of The Holy Spirit
By Rodney W. FrancisOver the years there has often been controversy about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and the Fruit of the Holy Spirit with regards their importance and emphasis. Many believe the Fruit is much more necessary, while others emphasize the importance of the Gifts. It is not a matter of Fruit versus Gifts at all. Both are God-ordained for the Christian to be developing in their lives and walk with God. It is not “either or,” but “both and.” By that I mean that both the Fruit and Gifts of the Holy Spirit are to have a very special place of importance in our lives. They are an integral part of the Holy Spirit, Who lives inside the Spirit-filled believer. They are within us to be cultivated and activated.
In this message I am placing before you the importance of the Gifts and the Fruit of the Holy Spirit working together. It is one thing to have revelation from the Holy Spirit for someone else (Gifts) ~ it is entirely another thing to be able to administer or deliver that revelation according to the Fruit of the Holy Spirit. When we can know the two working together we shall see and experience a much greater impact of the Kingdom of God in our midst than ever before.
Gifts can be instant. Developing Fruit takes time. Prophetic Ministry and the exercising of the Spiritual Gifts (1 Corinthians 12:7-11) should be a growing and maturing ministry that sees us becoming more effective and accurate as we allow the Fruit of the Spirit to come forth within us. Often the Prophetic Ministry is spoiled and discredited by the mannerism of the delivery rather than the accuracy of what is being said or done. Hence the need for us to understand more of what the Fruit of the Spirit really means.
For the Gifts to be developed in us in a God-glorifying way we need to also demonstrate a consistency in displaying the Fruit, i.e. love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faith/faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-26). It is easy to love some times. It is easy to be joyful some times. But, what about our demonstrating an ongoing consistency in these Fruits? It is obvious that life is not simply love, joy and peace; for other Fruit speak strongly of the need for endurance (when things are going against us); for self-control (when we feel like giving in to temptations, etc.); for faithfulness (when it seems others are not remaining faithful), etc.
The Gifts display the revelation and power of God available to bless and edify others. The Fruit will bring the cross of Jesus Christ to bear in our lives, for it will cause us to deny ourselves, as well as guard ourselves against those who would want to manipulate us to live differently. Those who live “carelessly” do not like to be in the presence of a disciplined follower of Jesus for long!
The following is a break down of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit (for more on these please see my“School Of The Holy Spirit” manual):
THE GIFTS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Definition: “The Gifts . . . of the Holy Spirit are the transrational (“beyond the mind and understanding”) manifestations of God. They are given by God for the purpose of ministry taking place for the good of the Body of Christ” (the late John Wimber, “Vineyard,” USA).
“But to each one is given the manifestation of the (Holy) Spirit – that is, the evidence, the spiritual illumination of the Spirit — for good and profit. To one is given in and through the (Holy) Spirit [the power to speak] a message of wisdom, and to another [the power to express] a word of knowledge and understanding according to the same (Holy) Spirit; To another (wonder-working) faith by the same (Holy) Spirit, to another the extraordinary powers of healing by the one Spirit; To another the working of miracles, to another prophetic insight —that is, the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose; to another the ability to discern and distinguish between [the utterances of true] spirits [and false ones], to another various kinds of [unknown] tongues, to another the ability to interpret [such] tongues. All these [achievements and abilities] are inspired and brought to pass by one and the same (Holy) Spirit, Who apportions to each person individually [exactly] as He chooses” (1 Corinthians 12:7-11, AMP.).
THE WORD OF WISDOM (1 Corinthians 12:8):
Definition: “The supernatural application of knowledge” (Rev. Dennis Bennett, USA).
The meaning of “wisdom” is “skill, cleverness, the right application of knowledge.” The Word of Wisdom gives us the skill in knowing how and when to minister accurately by the Holy Spirit into peoples’ lives. It makes the timing right and enables the other Gifts to make a significant impact.
THE WORD OF KNOWLEDGE (1 Corinthians 12:8):
Definition: “The revelation of facts past, present or future which were not learned through the efforts of the natural mind” (Rev. Dennis Bennett). Words of Knowledge are “God-given disclosures” (Michael Green, England).
“Knowledge” is from the Greek “gnosis” ~ “knowing, or recognition, the knowledge or understanding of a thing, the insight which manifests itself in the thorough understanding of the subjects with which it meets and in the conduct determined thereby” (Bullinger’s).
A GIFT OF FAITH (1 Corinthians 12:9):
Definition: “The mysterious surge of confidence which sometimes arises within a person faced with a specific situation or need” (John Wimber).
This can apply personally, or for others, or for Christian projects, i.e. finance for church building. “Faith” here is translated from the Greek word “pistis” meaning: “faith, faithfulness, steadfastness” (Young’s); “firm persuasion, the conviction which is based upon hearing, not upon sight or knowledge; a firmly relying confidence in what we hear from God in His Word” (Bullinger’s).
THE GIFTS OF HEALING(S) (1 Corinthians 12:9):
Definition: “To supernaturally bring cure for the sick, physical, spiritual and emotional; to make whole in the fullest sense of the word; saving from disease and its effects” (Rodney Francis).
Notice this Gift is in the plural: “gifts.” “Healing(s)” in 1 Corinthians 12:9 is translated from “iama” meaning: “healing” (Young’s); “a cure, healing” (Strong’s); “healing (the termination denoting the complete act; the result or product of the act)” (Bullinger’s).
THE GIFT OF THE WORKING OF MIRACLES (1 Corinthians 12:10):
Definition: “A remarkable or surprising event that happens by the direct intervention of God, not following the general known laws of nature” (Dr. David Yonggi Cho, Korea).
The word “working” is, of course, an action word and is translated from the Greek word “energema” meaning: “an energy, inworking” (Young’s); “to be in work, to be effective, active, operative, to energize or be energized” (Bullinger’s).
The word “miracles” is translated from the well-known word “dunamis” meaning: “act of power” (Young’s); “special miraculous power (usually by implication a miracle itself)” (Strong’s); “capability, power to do anything; then, power, might in action . . . a miracle as wrought by divine power; a work, with reference to the power required for its performance” (Bullinger’s). (See my booklet, “The ‘Dunamis’ Power Of God”).
THE GIFT OF PROPHECY (1 Corinthians 12:10):
Definition: “The Gift of Prophecy is the special ability that God gives to members of the Body of Christ to receive and communicate an immediate message of God to His gathered people, a group among them, or any one of His people individually, through a divinely anointed utterance” (Peter Wagner, USA).
The Greek word for prophecy, “propheteia,” implies that one is speaking for another; speaking on behalf of God. We are exhorted to specifically desire to prophesy (1 Corinthians 14:1, 31). Prophecy touches the Church at its point of need. It is based on revelation . . . the revelation of God’s love, care and desire for His people to be built up. It is not to be used to criticize or “bash” the Church.
THE GIFT OF DISCERNING OF SPIRITS (1 Corinthians 12:10):
Definition: “The Gift that gives the Christian insight into the supernatural world. The Gift is to enable the person to know the motivation behind a situation or person” (Rev. Alistair Taylor,England).
The word “discerning” is from the Greek word “diakrisis” meaning: “a thorough judging” (Young’s); “a distinguishing, discerning clearly, discriminating” (Bullinger’s); “recognizing or perceiving clearly (the differences)” (Collins Dictionary). This Gift discerns both good and bad spirits.
MANY KINDS OF TONGUES (1 Corinthians 12:10):
Definition: “The Gift of Tongues is the supernatural ability to speak to others and/or to God in a language or utterance never learned by the speaker” (Dr. Bill Bright, Campus Crusade for Christ, USA).
There are two approaches: One, that The Gift of Tongues, when coupled with The Gift of Interpretation of Tongues, is equal to The Gift of Prophecy. The second approach suggests that Tongues is expressing praise to God, and therefore any interpretation is also in terms of prayer, praise or thanksgiving to God Himself. The emphasis is that true Tongues and Interpretation of Tongues are directed toward God, rather than directed from God to the Church. “The man who speaks in a ‘tongue’ addresses not men (for no one understands a word he says) but God: and only in his spirit is he speaking spiritual secrets” (1 Corinthians 14:2, J.B. Phillips).
THE GIFT OF INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES (1 Corinthians 12:10):
Definition: “The Gift by which God made intelligible what was hidden from all” (Leon Morris).
The word “interpretation” here is from the Greek “harmeneia” meaning “explanation” or “full interpretation” (Bullinger’s). It is the ability through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit to bring understandable meaning to an inspired public message in tongues. If one accepts that The Gift of Tongues is directed toward God in the form of prayer, or praise, or thanksgiving, or exaltation of the Name and Majesty of God, then The Gift of Interpretation of Tongues will be of the same character. Dr. Michael Harper (United Kingdom) said: “We should expect the interpretation to be mainly an expression of prayer or worship and, therefore, different from a prophecy.” It is a Spirit-inspired declaration of praise, exaltation and honouring of God Himself.
THE FRUIT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Let us now take a closer look at the meanings of the Fruit of the Holy Spirit:
LOVE (Galatians 5:22):
Definition: The Greek word is “agape” meaning: “affection or benevolence; a love feast:- (feast of) charity, dear, love” (Strong’s).
The word “benevolence” is “1. inclination or tendency to help or do good to others; charity. 2. an act of kindness” (Collins). “Benevolent” is “1. intending or showing good will; kindly; friendly. 2. doing good or giving aid to others, rather than making profit; charitable” (Collins).
Love is a word not found in the profane writers . . . it is unknown to writers outside of the New Testament. Philanthropy was the highest word used by the Greeks, which is a very different thing. “Agape” denotes the love which springs from admiration and veneration, and which chooses it object with decision of will, and devotes a self-denying and compassionate devotion to it. Love in its fullest conceivable form” (Bullinger’s).
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35).
JOY (Galatians 5:22):
Definition: Greek is “chara” meaning: “cheerfulness, i.e. calm delight: gladness; exceedingly joyful” (Strong’s).
“Delight, joy, gladness” (Bullinger’s).
PEACE (Galatians 5:22):
Definition: Greek is “eirene” (from a primary verb “eiro”) meaning: “(to join); peace (literally or figuratively); by implication prosperity:- one, peace, quietness, rest, set at one again” (Strong’s).
“Peace, rest; in contrast with strife, and denoting the absence or end of strife . . . a state of health or well-being, it denotes a state of untroubled, undisturbed well-being. The Peace which is the result of forgiveness enjoyed must not be confounded with the Peace Christ has ‘made’ by the blood of His cross.”
”The Peace of God in Philippians 4:7, is the Peace which God has, as being free from all anxiety and care, and arising from His perfectly knowing the future. In proportion, therefore, as we ‘make our requests’ unto Him, a measure of the peace which He has will ‘keep’ us from being ‘careful’ (full of care). See Isaiah 26:3-4 . . . “You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in YAH, the Lord, is everlasting strength.” (Bullinger’s).
LONGSUFFERING (Galatians 5:22):
Definition: Greek is “makrothumia” meaning: “forbearance or fortitude – longsuffering, patience” (Strong’s).
“Forbearance” is “1. The act of forbearing. 2. self control; patience. 3. abstentation from or postponement of the enforcement of a legal right, especially by a creditor allowing his debtor time to pay” (Collins).
“Long before being angry, patient endurance, forbearance.” Hebrews 6:12 . . . “That you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” James 5:10-11 . . . “My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord ~ that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful” (Bullinger’s).
GENTLENESS or KINDNESS (Galatians 5:22):
Definition: Greek word is “chrestotes” meaning: “usefulness, i.e. moral excellence (in character or demeanor): gentleness, goodness, kindness” (Strong’s).
“Demeanor” is “the way a person behaves towards others; conduct” (Collins).
“Benevolence, benignity; that sweetness of disposition, active beneficence in spite of ingratitude” (Bullinger’s).
“Benign” is “1. showing kindliness; genial; favourable; not threatening to life or health; not malignant” (Collins). “Benignity” is “1. the quality of being benign; favourable attitude. 2. a kind or gracious act” (Collins).
GOODNESS (Galatians 5:22):
Definition: Greek is “agathosune” meaning: “goodness, i.e. virtue or beneficence: goodness” (Strong’s).
“Virtue” is “1. the quality or practice of moral excellence or righteousness. 2. a particular moral excellence: the virtue of tolerance. 3. any of the cardinal virtues (prudence, justice, fortitude and temperance) or theological virtues (faith, hope, and charity). 4. any admirable quality, feature, or trait. 5. an effective, active, or inherent power or force. 6. chastity (Collins).
“Goodness and kindness, the quality of him who is ruled by and aims at the good, moral worth, and sterling goodness apart from attractiveness” (Bullinger’s).
FAITH / FAITHFULNESS (Galatians 5:22):
Definition: Greek is “pistis” meaning: “persuasion, i.e. credence; moral conviction (of religious truth, or the truthfulness of God or a religious teacher), especially reliance upon Christ for salvation . . . assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity” (Strong’s).
“Fidelity” is “1. the devotion to duties, obligations, etc. faithfulness. 2. loyalty or devotion, as to a person or cause. 3. faithfulness to one’s spouse. 4. adherence to truth; accuracy in reporting detail . . .” (Collins).
“Faith, i.e. firm persuasion, the conviction which is based upon hearing, not upon sight, or knowledge; a firmly relying confidence in what we hear from God in His Word” (Bullinger’s).
MEEKNESS or GENTLENESS (Galatians 5:23):
Definition: Greek is “praotes” meaning: “gentleness; by implication humility:- meekness” (Strong’s).
“Meekness, mildness, or gentle, enduring all things with an even temper, tender, free from haughty self-sufficiency, tender of spirit, the exhibition of that tenderness in bearing with others” (Bullinger’s).
TEMPERANCE or SELF-CONTROL (Galatians 5:23):
Definition: Greek is “egkrateia” meaning: “self-control (especially continence): temperance” (Strong’s).
“Continence” is “exercising self-restraint, especially from sexual activity; chaste” (Collins).
“Mastery or dominion over; self-command, self-control (opposite to self-indulgence) the grace by which the flesh is controlled” (Bullinger’s).
It is good that we take a little time and allow the meanings of these words to sink in. Far too often we can skim over words ~ not realizing their meaning and significance ~ and so lose the power and impact of them in our lives, and those we minister to. It is significant to note that the Fruit of the Spirit always demonstrate a consistency in what they are. They do not waver; they are not “up and down” in the developing of their Fruit. Jesus said, “It is by our fruits that we are known” (Matthew 7:15-20). The context is in the discerning of true and false prophets! The Prophetic Ministry must pass the Fruit test!
To apply the Gifts and the Fruit of the Spirit together in ministry means that we do have to cultivate a skilfulness (wisdom) and understanding in how to minister to each individual, according to the revelation or Gift that is given at that particular time. To have a revelation of God for a person and then to deliver it “like pointing a shotgun and pulling the trigger” is going to cause more harm than good to the person(s) concerned. The revelation will be lost because they have been blinded by the insensitive method of delivery. Allowing the Fruit of the Spirit to come forth within us in an ongoing and consistent way will cause the Gifts to become much more accepted and respected, and the doors will open for you to minister them to others.
My prayer is that this message will be helpful to you, and encourage you to further recognize the need for the Gifts and Fruit of the Holy Spirit to be working together in and through your life. That way you will be glorifying God more with the Gifts He has given you.