Receiving the Gifts and Cultivating the Fruit of the Holy Spirit
Receiving the Gifts and Cultivating the Fruit of the Holy Spirit


For the past two months, we have been studying the subjects of the gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit. In this lesson, we will be trusting God to teach us how to operate in the gifts of the Spirit and to show forth His fruit.

Main Texts: Mathew 25:14-30, Galatians 5:16-18

Spiritual Gifts, Availability, and Commitment

Mathew 25:14-30

The parable of the talents teaches us that if we do not use what God has already given us, we run the risk of losing it. We are always looking for more, but what are we doing with what we already have? God forbids that the little responsibility we have is given to someone else. When God looks into His church and sees needs, He looks around for available vessels and fills them in order to meet the needs. Why should the Holy Spirit endow us with His gifts if we are not available to use them? As the master in the parable was away for quite a while, for enough duration for the servants to do business and make good profits, only God knows how long He has been waiting on us to start doing more with what we have. The following are worthy of note:

  • Use what you have now, be available and be committed.
  • God knows us and we are responsible to Him. The unprofitable servant was unhappy because he was entrusted with little. But he failed to realize that the master knew his ability. In fact, all the servants were given a little (Mat 25:21,23).
  • Be humble. The servant with one talent was arrogant. Why would a servant talk to his master in the manner he did, saying his master wanted to reap where he had not sown. The hope is that we are not doing the same.
  • The reward for hard work is more work (Mat 25:28-29) but God will reward us (Heb 11:6) and will not forget how hard you have worked for Him (Heb 6:10 NLT).

Love is a More Excellent Way

1 Corinthians 12:27-31, 1 Corinthians  13, 1 Corinthians 14:1

Given the choice of receiving all the gifts of the Spirit and receiving the ability to love, would you go for the gifts rather than love? After Paul enumerated the gifts and even encouraged believers to earnestly desire the best, he went ahead to show a more excellent way – pursue love and desire spiritual gifts, but especially that you may prophesy (1 Cor 14:1).

Cultivating the Fruit of the Spirit

The components of the fruit of the Spirit are not a to-do list. We grow into them as we live in the Spirit. They are traits that we develop as we continue in our walk with the Holy Spirit. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit (Gal 5:25).

The Father is looking for those who will worship Him in truth and in Spirit. The flesh accomplishes nothing, it is the Spirit that gives life. The fruit of the Spirit is not to be cultivated or attained by human effort, any more than we can attain salvation by our strength.

What Does it Mean to Walk in the Spirit?

We walk in the Spirit when we align our lives with the Holy Spirit, letting Him take the lead and we, simply willing to follow. The more we do that, the more the fruit of the Spirit finds expression in us. Who instructs us to love? Who teaches us to refrain? Who guides us to peace? There is no formula or method that would work. The fruit is of the Holy Spirit and only Him can guide us in them.

  • You already live in the spirit (Rom 8:9)
  • Love fulfils the law, walk in love (Gal5:13-15)
  • Depend on the Holy Spirit, not on your understanding. He will teach you all things (John 14:26)
  • Be spiritually-minded (Rom 8:1-8)
  • Walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfil the desires of the flesh (Gal 5:16-18)


Let us take active steps and measures. This is a call to action, it is a call to take up the responsibility for our spiritual growth and not live as one who is unwise, but as one who knows the hope of his calling and his inheritance in Christ. We are people on a journey. Though we live in this world, we do not belong in this world; our commonwealth is in heaven. Let us have the consciousness of who we are. If we live in the Spirit, let us walk in the Spirit.

The Vocal Gifts of the Holy Spirit
The Vocal Gifts of the Holy Spirit

Like other gifts (the revelation gifts and power gifts) which we have already studied over the last three weeks. You will all agree with me that all are the manifestations of the Holy Spirit, with reference to our last lesson on “The Power Gifts of Holy Spirit“. They are not simple characters or learning abilities. They are from the Holy Spirit and they are supernatural. Each one is a visible evidence of the Holy Spirit’s presence.

There are three gifts under the vocal category: prophecy, diverse tongues, and the interpretation of tongues.

Main Text: 1 Corinthians 4:2-5

Prophecy – Joel 2:28

Prophecy is a vocal miracle of speech in one’s own language. It is speaking under the inspiration of God for “edification, exhortation, and comfort.”  The Hebrew word for “prophecy” means “to flow forth or to spring forth.”  It means to “speak for another.”  It also means to be the spokesman for someone else.  Literally, it means to speak for God or to be His mouthpiece.

Prophecy and What You Need to Know

Pastor John MacArthur (a popular preacher on many radio stations) claims that the gift of prophecy is merely the gift of being able to preach the gospel.  However, to preach means to proclaim, to announce, to cry to tell.  Prophecy is not simple oral ability.  Many people, politicians, lawyers, and teachers have oral ability even though they have never received the Holy Spirit.  There is nothing supernatural about oral ability. An oral ability can come through education and training, but prophecy only comes through the Holy Ghost.  Prophecy is a supernatural gift and should not be confused with the natural ability some people have to remember and quote Scripture.  Even the devil can quote Scriptures.

The Relationship Between Preaching and Prophecy

Sometimes there is an element of prophecy in preaching when one is anointed by the Spirit and is inspired to say things which come from the spirit rather than just from the mind, but that is only one of many ways in which prophecy is expressed.  Sometimes a Spirit-filled believer may be witnessing to someone when the Lord suddenly anoints the witness to say things which he or she didn’t plan on saying. They are inspired by the Holy Spirit to say it, and it causes the person to break or to repent.  That is another way the gift of prophecy is applied in our Christian walk.  Prophesy always exalts Jesus as the only Savior of men (Revelations 19:10).  It is for women as well as for men (1 Corinthians 11; Acts 2:15-16).  It is to be “desired” (1 Corinthians 14:1).  It always agrees with God’s Word.

Diverse Tongues

Some have claimed that the gift of tongues is nothing more than the ability to learn foreign languages.  They have claimed that this is an ability which God sometimes gives those who are preparing themselves to go into a foreign country to preach the gospel, so they can communicate with those whom they are going to witness to.  However, this idea does not line up with the Word of God in 1 Corinthians 14:14 where Paul plainly states that he doesn’t know what he is saying when he speaks in tongues.  Paul says his spirit (the inner man) knows, but Paul’s mind did not understand it. 1 Corinthians 14:14 says: “For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.”  This plainly rules out the ability to learn a foreign language because a person who speaks in a foreign language is both able to speak it and understand it.

Some have claimed that the gift of tongues is a childish thing which was meant only for the most immature Christians.  They have claimed that the more mature Christians go on to better things and eventually cast off the gift of tongues.  However, if this was the case, the Apostle Paul (a mature Christian and Apostle) would not have claimed that he spoke in tongues “MORE THAN…ALL” of the immature believers at Corinth.  Paul makes this statement in 1 Corinthians 14:18 “I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:”

What is Speaking in Tongues? (1 Corinthians 14:4)

The gift of tongues is a supernatural utterance in a language or languages (earthly or heavenly) which the one doing the speaking does not understand.  It is a vocal miracle.  It is a miracle of speech (Acts 2:4-8; Acts 10:46; Acts 19:1-6; 1 Corinthians 12-14).

What Can We Use Speaking in Tongues for?

The gift of tongues can be used to witness (Acts 2), to pray (1 Corinthians 14:2), to sing (1 Corinthians 14:15), to give thanks (1 Corinthians 14:16-17), and to praise the Lord (Acts 10:46).  Tongues with interpretation is equal to prophecy (1 Corinthians 14:5).  The gift of the Holy Spirit prays through a believer and make intercession according to the will of God causing everything to work together for Good (Romans 8:26-28).

The gift of tongues has a multitude of purposes.  but I will list a few to give a general idea.  Jude 20 states that the gift of tongues builds up the believer.  Romans 8:26-27 teaches us that the gift of tongues allows the Holy Spirit to help us pray right or pray according to the will of God.  1 Corinthians 14:16-17: the gift of tongues helps us to “give thanks well” (when we don’t know what else to say and we still have a heart full of thanksgiving, we can pray in tongues to give thanks to God).

Interpretation of Tongues (1 Corinthians 14:13)

It is a spiritual gift of the Holy Ghost for the supernatural manifestation of the Spirit of God using one’s vocal organs, giving utterance in one’s own language, telling the meaning of the words which have been spoken. It tells the meaning of what is spoken in a supernatural language. It is a vocal miracle. Paul says that interpretation of tongues is equal to prophecy (1 Corinthians 14:15). He says this gift helps us to profit as a church (1 Corinthians 14:16). God says for us to pray for this gift if we speak with tongues (1 Corinthians 14:5), and for us all to speak with tongues (1 Corinthians 14:5 & 1 Corinthians 14:13). Paul said LET someone interpret (1 Corinthians 14: 27). There should be SOMEONE to interpret each message. It doesn’t need to be a CERTAIN one, neither should there be competition (1 Corinthians 14:27).

What You Need to Know

Interpretation of tongues is not the ability to translate languages. It is not a written word and it cannot be written. Though one without the Spirit of God can have the natural talent of translating languages, he or she will never hear or understand or translate the tongue of the spirit of God.

Because the interpretation of tongue is not a word for word translation, it may be given in first, second, or third person. Which means God can pass a message in different ways but with the same meaning.

It is not the gift of interpretation, but the interpretation of tongues. It is not, and cannot, be used if there have been no supernatural tongues spoken. It is not an interpretation of people’s, thoughts, or hard sayings, actions, riddles, dreams, or anything in the natural; but it is the interpretation of supernatural tongues. It cannot be learned at school in a million years but can be given by the Holy Spirit in a moment to any Spirit-filled person.

The Power Gifts of the Holy Spirit
The Power Gifts of the Holy Spirit

In the last study, we began a study of the specific gifts of the Holy Spirit. We looked at the revelation gifts – Word of Wisdom, Word of Knowledge and Discerning of Spirits – and the differences between these gifts. Today, we will be studying in detail the power gifts of the Holy Spirit – Gifts of Healings, Working of Miracles, and Faith. May the Lord incline our hearts to His Word. Amen!

Main Text: 1 Corinthians 12:1-11

Significance of the Power Gifts

The revelation gifts we considered last week are manifested for the Christian to know something God wants him to know. While the vocal gifts we will be considering next week are gifts the Christian can exercise to speak God’s will. Power is simply defined as the ability to do something; hence, power gifts are used by the Christian to do God’s will.  Thus, this set of gifts are quite important. Why? James 1:22, Matthew 7:24. The power gifts are useful for (a) doing the Father’s will (b) offering service to humanity (c) edifying the body of Christ and (d) living a victorious Christian life.

The Gift of Faith

What is Faith? Hebrews 11:1 (AMP) How is this gift used to “do” God’s will? Faith is the fuel that causes us to believe the unseen and do the impossible. All the heroes of faith in Hebrews 11 did remarkable things because they were not low on this fuel. How is the gift of faith different from the fruit of faith? The gift of faith, as other gifts of the Holy Spirit, is primarily for the edification of the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:7) while the fruit of faith is the result of God’s presence within us and is primarily for our personal walk with God (Galatians 5:22-25). Is the “mustard seed faith” prescription in Matthew 17:20 for those with the gift of faith or for every Christian?

The Gifts of Healing

It is interesting to note that the Bible says the “gifts” of healing in verse 9, suggesting that there are different components of the healing and different types of healing (some translations say “the gifts of healings”). God is interested in healing every area of our lives – mentally, physically, spiritually, socially and financially. Is it mandatory for the sick person to have faith as well for healing to manifest?

Matthew 8:1-3; Luke 4:31-35, Luke 5:1-7

The Gift of Working of Miracles

A miracle is an extraordinary event that cannot be explained by natural/scientific laws. Is it possible for a miracle to occur in your life even without you having faith? Consider Moses and the burning bush. Because God is sovereign, He can work miracles as He chooses. When He does these, they are usually to draw our attention to Him.

John 2:1-11; Luke 7:11-17; Matthew 8:23-27, Matthew  14:13-21

Relationship between the Power Gifts

The gift of faith is the foundation on which the other two power gifts are built (Matthew 14:28-31; Matthew 17:14-20). Is it possible for someone to have either one of these gifts without first having the gift of faith? Also, some healings that do the impossible are miracles themselves. So, we can say there is an intersection between the gifts of healing and the gift of working of miracles. Hence, it’s possible for a Christian to operate in both power gifts.

Power Gifts' Relationship
Power Gifts’ Relationship

How Can I Build up my Faith?

Given that all the gifts of the Holy Spirit become manifest through faith, we should desire to build up our most holy faith. We can do this by hearing and reading the Word of God (Romans 10:17), praying in the Holy Spirit (Jude 1:20-21), and getting associated with people who have great faith (Proverbs 27:17).

The Revelation Gifts of the Holy Spirit

In the last study, we began a study of the gifts of the Holy Spirit. We established that God is the giver of these gifts. God demands purity before power. We also learnt that there are three categories of the gifts; revelation gifts, inspiration gifts, the power gifts. In this study, we will look in details at the revelation gifts (Word of Wisdom, Word of Knowledge and Discerning of Spirits).

Main Text: 1 Corinthians 12:1-14

The Gifts of the Word of Knowledge

The word of knowledge is the supernatural revelation by the Spirit of certain facts in the mind of God. God has a storehouse of knowledge from eternity past to eternity future. He knows everything, but He doesn’t reveal everything He knows to man. He gives him a word or part of what He knows. The word of knowledge is, therefore, a fragment of God’s knowledge revealed to one of His children. It is a peep into the Divine’s mind. The word of knowledge can be manifested through:

  • The audible voice
  • Visions (Acts 9:10-12, Acts 10:9-20)
  • Inward revelation (John 4:16-18)

God Never Does Anything Without a Purpose

Since our God never does anything without a purpose, there are several reasons why God gives the gift of the word of knowledge. Some of the reasons are:

  • To enlighten a discouraged servant – 1 Kings 19:2-4, 1 Kings 19:14, and 1 Kings 19:18
  • To give us an edge over the enemy – 2 Kings 6:9-12.
  • To expose the hypocrite – 2 Kings 5:25-26
  • To discover man in hiding – 1 Samuel 10:11-23

The Gifts of the Word of Wisdom

The word of wisdom is a supernatural revelation by the Spirit of God concerning the divine purpose in the mind and will of God. To understand the term “Word of Wisdom”, we need to note that God has all wisdom and in His divine wisdom, He knows all about the future. He gives only a bit of it at a time of need (Acts 8:26-29). The word of wisdom and word of knowledge often operate together (Act 9:10-16).

The Purpose of the Word of Wisdom

Depending on the circumstances, there are various reasons why God may manifest the gifts of the word of wisdom in His body. Some of the reasons could be:

  • To solve human problems
  • To confuse the enemy
  • To turn a fool into a learned person thereby demonstrating the superiority of God’s wisdom over man’s
  • To give direction and protection (Acts 27:10, Acts 27:23-24)
  • To set apart for ministry (Acts 9:15).

The Manifestation of the Word of Wisdom

The gift of the word of wisdom could be manifested through:

  • Audible voice Ex 20:1-26
  • Vision or dream – Acts 9:10-12, Acts 10:9-20, Daniel 2:19-23
  • Prophecy or through tongues and interpretation of tongues
  • Reading scriptures
  • Inward revelation – John 4:17-19

The Gifts of Discerning of Spirits

To discern means to see, that is, seeing into the spiritual realm. All visions are the manifestation of discerning of spirits. A vision might bring with it a word of wisdom or knowledge but the vision itself is the gift of discerning of spirits. The discerning of spirits gives us insight into the spirit world. This gift is not for discerning of devils nor discerning of evil spirits only, it is the insight into the realm of spirits of both good and bad. Following this line of reasoning, if the gift of discerning of spirits is in operation, we can also discern likeness of God, angelic beings, Satan and his legions. Also, we can discern human spirit with its good or evil tendencies.

Biblical examples:

  • Discerning the similitude of God- Exodus 33:20-23, Isaiah 6:1
  • Discerning the Holy Spirit – Rev 5:6
  • Discerning spirits – Acts 16:16-18

How to Obtain the Revelation Gifts

The revelation gifts are usually given to covenant men and people whose sole aim is to serve the Lord with all they have. If you want the gift, you must be prepared to pay the cost. Galatians 3:5, Philippians. 3:7-10.

Holy Spirit: The Giver, the Gifts, and the Fruit
Holy Spirit: The Giver, the Gifts, and the Fruit

Our discussion today is an overview on the operations and the person of the Holy Spirit in the life of a believer. This is so important to us believers because the Spirit of God wants us to understand and utilise His things (abilities and persona) that are freely given to us to function and live in this world.

Hebrews 4:12 declares that God in us is alive and active. As we begin this series, we trust His gifts and person will become operational in our lives in Jesus name. The study is structured as follows: “The Giver”, “The Gift”, “The Fruit” and “How to Cultivate Them”.

The Giver

Now concerning spiritual gifts, I don’t want you to be ignorant (Uninformed), the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 12:1.  It means we are encouraged to understand and prioritize this subject.

We should be fully informed that:

  1. God is the giver of spiritual gifts and abilities. In other words, no one can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit
  • All good and perfect gifts come from above and come from the father of light (James 1:17)
  • There are diversities of gifts but the same Lord (in operation) (1 Corinthians 12:4)
  • To each one of us grace was given (Ephesians 4:7)
  1. The Spirit has given us these gifts for a purpose
  2. These gifts are precious divine resources that should not be wasted or abused (Matthew 25:14-30) – Discuss the Parable of talents
  3. They are given according to His will
  4. They can come and increase in measure through faith (so you are allowed to covet them)

The Gifts of the Spirit

The gifts of the Spirit are special abilities given by the Holy Spirit to believers for the purpose of church edification, service (meeting needs), and for exercising dominion.

1 Corinthians 12:8-10 includes the spirit of wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, discernment of spirits, speaking in tongues, working of miracles, prophecy, and interpretation of tongues. The chapter further includes administration and helps.

Ephesians 4:7-13 enlists the ministering or office gifts as follows: Prophets, Apostles, Evangelist, Pastors and Teachers.

Romans 12:3-8 includes exhortation, giving, leadership and mercy.

The Purpose of the Gifts

  • To profit all – 1 Corinthians 1:7
  • For equipping saints in the ministry
  • For navigating through life

The Fruit of the Spirit

The expression “fruit of the Spirit “ is a metaphor used to sum up the nine major spiritual virtues or attributes a true Christian should possess. In short, they are physical manifestations of a transformed life.

The Purpose of the Fruit of the Spirit

  • To make heaven
  • To produce lasting changes in character /behaviour that is consistent with who we are
  • To make visible the Holiness/Persona of God
  • To be a Christian

How to Acquire, Cultivate, and Increase the Measure of the Gifts and the Fruit

  • You must be born again
  • Glorify God for whatever He has given you now
  • Identify new operations in your life. If confused meet spiritual elders close to you
  • You must use or you may lose them
  • Sharpen, pray, study and walk closely with those who have the gifts you want
  • Dare to use them in seemingly difficult situations and believe God for more