Fruit of the Spirit – Love, Joy and Peace
Spiritual gifts are not the same as the fruit of the Spirit. Spiritual fruit is produced from within; spiritual gifts are imparted from without. Fruit relates to a Christlike character; gifts relate to Christian service. The fruit of the Spirit, especially love, should be the context for the operation of the gifts of the Spirit. Paul made it clear in 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 that spiritual gifts without spiritual fruit are worthless. Fruit is eternal, but gifts are temporal (1 Corinthians 13:8); the former is a true measure of spirituality, but the latter is not. According to bible.org:
“Spiritual gifts are not the same as natural talents. Unlike the natural abilities which everyone has from birth, spiritual gifts belong exclusively to believers in Christ. In some cases, the gifts of the Spirit coincide with natural endowments, but they transcend these natural abilities by adding a supernatural quality. Both are given by God (James 1:17), and should be developed and used according to their purpose for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31)”
Main Texts: 1 Corinthians 12:1-11, Galatians 5:22-26
In my opinion, spiritual gifts and fruits should be working together in the life of a believer. Having one without the other can make a Christian life unfruitful and hypocritical.
We will focus on Love, joy and peace in this outline (Galatians 5:22).
Love has many definitions but Romans 5:5 is our text for the love that we should have first: The love of God.
Without loving God we can’t love men. Anybody that does not love others is a hater of God.
Joy can be described as the assurance and confidence that we have concerning an issue even without evidence. Nehemiah 8:10 – the joy of the lord is our strength.
We rejoice in the Lord even if we cannot see Jesus face to face yet we rejoice in hope.
Peace – Philippians 4:6 John 14:27. Jesus said peace I leave with you, My peace I give it you not as the world gives.
Romans 14:17, Romans 5:5 – The source of this joy, peace, and love is from the Holy Spirit.
It is good to note that all the components of the fruit are described with God in them, the love of God, the Joy of the lord, the peace of God, which points to the fact that we need to abide in Him if we will be fruitful in our Christian walk.
Every believer should aspire to develop Godly character as stated in Galatian 5:22. The body of Christ is under watch by unbelievers and our character and Behaviour should reflect what we profess to the world. Every believer should seek God and cleaved to the Holy Spirit that produced the Joy, Peace, and Love.
How would a Christian know that he or she is exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit?