How Gifts Of The Spirit Overshadow The Fruits Of The Spirit

How Gifts Of The Spirit Overshadow The Fruits Of The Spirit September 21, 2018

Every believer has at least one gift of the Spirit, but why do gifts often seem more important than the fruits of the Spirit, even though we can produce neither without God’s help?

Gifts of the Spirit

The Bible teaches that each one of us have a gift from the Spirit, and likely more than one gift. The Apostle Paul said, “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ” (1 Cor 12:12), however, just “as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function” (Rom 12:4). The body of Christ would not function well if many members all tried to do the same thing. It would not function well because other parts of the body would be absent and others would be doing what they are not equipped for. If everyone wants to be a particular member of the body, what happens to the function of the body? It becomes dysfunctional, so even though we “are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another” (Rom 12:5), each of us have different gifts and consist of differing members of the body. We know “there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit” (1 Cor 12:4), so to one it is “faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit” (1 Cor 12:9), but these gifts are “for the common good” (1 Cor 12:7b) of the church, not for the individual. They are not to be flaunted before others. We have nothing that we did not receive from God, so what right do we have to boast about it (1 Cor 4:7), and it is not we who decide which gifts we receive but “the same Spirit who apportions to each one individually as he wills” (1 Cor 12:11b). It is God’s choice, not ours. It is for God’s church, not us. It is for His glory, not ours.

Fruits of the Spirit

The Apostle Paul mentions that “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Gal 5:22,23). These are all fruits of the Spirit. They are not human fruits. We know what they look like, because “the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal 5:19-21). Humanity produces sinful fruits while God’s Spirit produces godly fruits. In fact, one way to identify false prophets is by their carnal fruits, as Jesus said, “You will recognize them by their fruits” (Matt 7:16a). Even nature proves to us that “healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit” (Matt 7:17), because “A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit” (Matt 7:18). The fruits reveal where the roots is at.

Abiding in Christ

When Jesus was speaking to the disciples, He reminded them that they could do nothing without Him, and that’s exactly how much fruit we can produce without Him…nothing! Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit” (John 15:1-2). We cannot bear fruit apart from Christ, which is why He says, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me” (John 15:4). His point is that abiding in or dwelling in the Lord and His Word, is abiding in Him, and nothing of significance can be done without Him. He says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). I would remind you (and myself) that “nothing” is not a little something. It is zilch! To produce fruit, we must abide in Christ…or bear no godly fruit for God.

Overshadowed

I think it’s easy to put more emphasis on the gifts than it is the Gift Giver. For example, two churches I visited, believe that unless you speak in tongues, you are not filled with the Spirit. Some even go so far as to say, you are not saved if you’ve never spoken in the tongues. Then there are miracle healers who are quite different from Jesus. Jesus would tell the person who was healed to tell no one about it, but today “miracle healings “ are on TV, posted on You Tube, and flaunted by some ministries, but most say nothing about the gospel of the kingdom of God, which Jesus said includes repentance and faith (Mark 1:14-15), or about the fruits of the Spirit. Jesus said there are at least two ways we can know who is and who isn’t His disciple; by their love for one another (John 13:34-35) and by their fruits (Matt 7:15-20). James said that a faith with no works is a dead faith, or not genuine saving faith at all (James 2:14-16). Even though we’re not saved by works (Eph 2:8-9), we are saved to do works (Eph2:10), but even these works are from God and to His glory, so why would we ever put more emphasis on the gifts of the Spirit than the fruits of the Spirit? Why are gifts of the Spirit often elevated over the fruits of the Spirit? In a few cases, they overshadow the giver of those gifts, and that is God Himself, from which all good things come (Psalm 107:9).

Conclusion

If we put more emphasis in our walk with Christ in our gifts and not in our fruits, then we’ll be focusing on the exterior or external, while God is concerned with the heart, and these fruits of the Spirit and from the Holy Spirit, and so all glory goes to Him. Fruits and gifts are essential to the body of Christ, but one should not be elevated over another, or be focused on to the exclusion of the other. Balance is the key. But most of all, the source of these gifts and fruits must be acknowledged, and we must say what the psalmist wrote, “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness” (Psalm 115:1).

Article by Jack Wellman

Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is a writer at Christian Quotes and also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • pud

    “Every believer”…LOL There ya go! You do realize don’t you that there have been at least 10,000 various religious cults through the ages where every one of them had “believers” just as convinced as you are that their make believe version of reality was true? Today there’s a billion Hindus and a billion Muslims and a billion catholics who all “believe” some version of the nonsense you peddle …tell everyone jack why you alone have it all right and how all the billions of people before you were wrong in their “beliefs” in their version of supernatural nonsense….waiting…

    “The Bible teaches that each one of us have a gift from the Spirit, and likely more than one gift. The Apostle Paul said…”

    Who cares what the “buybull” says or what one religious lunatic said…CAN YOU SHOW THAT ANY OF IT IS ACTUALLY TRUE? Of course you can’t and you don’t care….”TRUTH” is a meaningless babble word for you to ASSERT and CLAIM as some authority even as you cannot demonstrate the veracity of ANYTHING you spew.

    “God is concerned with the heart, and these fruits of the Spirit and from the Holy Spirit, and so all glory goes to Him”

    The only FRUIT here is you jack. Tell everyone what a “spirit” is, what a “holy spirit” is and how you know…waiting…come on, explain how you KNOW this woo woo word(s) actually represent something true and real. Tell us all why a timeless, omnipotent “being” LOL needs “glory”….Why would such a “being” LOL “need” anything? Could it be that your “god” (like all “gods”) are created in mans image? Funny how EVERY “god” ever invented bears a striking resemblance to those who created him/her/it

    You spew woo woo…Do you know what “woo” is jack? Woo is mindless nonsensical unsupported mindless goblygook that sounds pretty, offers false hope to the credulous and gullible and means absolutely NOTHING.

  • Glory

    This user is blocked. The comments section reads this for whoever posted above me first in the thread.

    Must be another atheist who selectively denies atheists created communism then mass murdered tens of millions of believers.

    These people are truly xenophobes. Harping on Christian faults while blind to their own crimes but they want to be heard. Not only that they want to be respected.

    But psychopaths don’t respect others and you have to give respect to get it in this world.

    • Jack Wellman

      True. They must be miserable inside, but thankfully, not all atheists are like Pud and Arthur.

      • pud

        Happy as a clam! And, we don’t make our living lying to and the terrorizing of children with make believe nonsense!

      • Glory

        That’s true not all are. Must be why Jesus told everyone to inspect himself for sin and get the beam out of their eye.

        I haven’t met a perfect person yet. Almost everyone has an issue which correlates with the human sin nature the Bible expounds on.

        God is just so right about human nature when you check what He says about it against real life examples that it is eerie.

        • Sin is a religious construct. There is no such thing as sin. There is evil and you cultists are manipulating people into believing your evil.

          The bible was written by ancient, ignorant, barbaric and bloodthirsty savages and you keep on pretending that it is the Word of some god called Yahweh, the one who is alleged to have commanded the murder of defenseless women, little children and babies. He’s the one who commanded their slaughter by the sword, then to burn their cities to the ground.

      • Breathe, Jack! Then you won’t be miserable. Thankfully, some of us have peace. This doesn’t depend on believing religious nonsense.

      • “They must be miserable on the inside,”

        What nonsense! Stop letting the bully bull misguide you. It’s full of inaccuracies, misconceptions, and ignorant barbarism and was written by bloodthirsty savages who created god in their own likeness. You need to breathe, deeply.

    • pud

      Your invisible make believe deity slaughtered every living thing on the planet didn’t he? Including plants, fish, insects, baby seals, pregnant women, kittens etc….or did you purposefully forget that?

    • Atheists in general did not create Communism. It was Marxist atheists who created Communism. Humanist atheists did not create Communism and were NOT responsible for what Marxists leaders did in the countries where Communists ruled. As usual, you are an idiot who is thoroughly confused. Jack should have Christians who bear false witness banned from his site. Or does Jack want liars for Jesus visiting here?

      Your lies are doing a great job in turning people from Christianity. Keep up the good work.

    • Aren’t you the psychopath? It is you who doesn’t respect others. And why do you tell lies for Jesus? Why not tell the truth?

  • Glory

    Thanks for the good clarifying teaching, Pastor.

    Nothing wrong with praying to God to ask for and receive all the spiritual gifts though as the Apostle Paul said to do.

    • pud

      Actually there is. First of all you have to guess which of the 10,000 made up “gods” to pray to. Then you have to delude yourself into believing that anyone is listening…Then you have to rationalize why nothing happens AND you have to reject the premise that “thy will be done” by thinking your mindless bleating will change this invisible undetectable “being’s” mind. See, there’s everything wrong with it

    • Well, you can pray to God, all you like. He won’t hear you because he does not exist. But if he did exist, he wouldn’t hear you because you lie for Jesus.

    • Goometialiska suduki shrianda cometi salara.

      You now have the gift of tongues. Don’t you know that tongues is a purely human phenomenon where Christians speak gobbledegook all made up and then pretend to interpret it?

    • I hope that you are praying to your non existent god to save you from your false cult. Is it the Cumberland Presbyterian church?

  • Glory

    Pastor Wellman do you think you could lay out what behaviors will be tolerated on your blog and which will not?

    And include arguing as prohibited. That will put an end to contentious people on Patheos showing up to break God’s peace.

    Something like Roger Olson does on his blog on here.

    Really this is an evangelical blog and unruly malcontents should not be allowed to take it over.

    Arguing on here is not possible without serious moderation.

    Even if a reasonable atheist were found to debate you can’t keep the vindictive ones from chiming in and mocking derailing the debate. It just becomes a verbal melee.

    • Martin

      What you are talking about is, unfortunately, the way our society has become. We have no idea how to think critically or debate. It’s all about being right and if you disagree with me I will call you names. We are Rome and we (this country, not the Church!) are failing.

  • Ellen EJ Lefavour

    Excellent article, Jack, and you should Praise God for Pud and Arthur, as they are evidence that Satan is displeased with your ministry and so sends his minions to try to derail it. Our God is more powerful than any barrage of fiery darts Satan can try to send our way. Armor up and soldier on!

    • Jack Wellman

      Thank you so much for the encouragement. Armor up, indeed.

    • There is no “Satan”. He is a mythical being used by Christians to represent evil.

    • pud

      What stupid infantile gibberish. Demonstrate the existence of your imaginary invisible undetectable agents who have nothing better to do than fuck with people. How do you people feed and dress yourselves?

    • Jack Wellman

      You are so right Mrs. Lefavour. Matt 5:10-12 supports what you wrote, You are so right. THank you for the encouragement.