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Fruit Vs Gifts of the Spirit

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Fruit Vs Gifts of the Spirit:

The Gifts of the Spirit: I Corinthians 12: 1ff  1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. 2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. 3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.  4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.  6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. 8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; 9  To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; 10  To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: 11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

The Fruit of the Spirit: Galatians 5:22-23 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.


Gifts are outward manifestations that do not necessarily portray the inward dwelling of the Spirit of God. The fruit of the Spirit on the other hand is an outward manifestation that reveals the inward dwelling of the Spirit of God. This is seen in: I Corinthians 12:27-13:3 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.  29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?  30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? 31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.  1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 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, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.


Notice that the Bible uses the singular fruit not fruits when speaking of the fruits of the Spirit. That is because while the believer may only have one or two gifts of the Spirit. All of the aspects of the fruit are seen in his/her life. Each fruit has a humanistic counterpart that the world often uses to give itself a sense of godliness. There is always a striking difference, though between the counterfeit and the true. Let’s look at some of them now.


During the time Christ walked on the earth, three words in the Greek language were used to describe the different types of love in the world. One of them, (ejra`n, eros) describes an action of self love and is representative of total sexual pleasure with no thought of anything but self. What the Greek seeks in eros is intoxication, and this is to him religion. This word was not used by any of the writers of the New Testament but was extensively used in the Greek culture of Christ’s day.

The second word (filevw, phileo) represents the highest order of human love, is used in the New Testament to represent the outward love relationship of man with others and literally means a brother’s love. It is not an impulse or intoxication which overcomes man, but an order or task which may be evaded if so desired.

Whereas eros is seen as an uncontrollable urge in the individual’s phileo can be controlled.

The last word  (ajgavp, agape) was not introduced into the Greek language until the time of Christ and represents the love that is manifested in a heart indwelt by the Holy Spirit.

As we compare the action of eros with agape some very interesting facts come to light.

Both agape and eros had their focus on and were seen as being a direct gift of a god. Eros was seen as a direct representation of the Greek god. All the forces of heaven and earth were seen as forces of second rank compared with the one and only supreme power of eros. Apape is also the direct representation of the One that we worship.

1 John 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.

So, as we see, both eros (the love of the world) and agape (the love of others) are direct manifestations of the object of our worship. If we worship the god of this world we will be driven by eros but if we worship the God of the universe we will be under the control of agape.

It is also interesting to note that the Greeks of Christ’s day saw eros as a powerful force in the universe and placed agape in the realm of a weak and powerless feeling at the least.

1 Corinthians 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

In Greek literature eros was seen as universally open while agape was depicted as a narrow-minded selective love. In eros any means taken to achieve pleasure is acceptable. Agape is selective in that it focuses only on the moral and just and rejects the sinful and immoral. In eros the end justifies the means in agape the means is paramount. When we apply these two loves to the question of universality we see that while eros is universal in scope of seeking the desired end it is extremely narrow in its benevolence because it focuses only on self. Agape, however, while being narrow-minded in procuring the end result has a universal focus and desires the best for all mankind.

Both eros and agape are evident in the world today and the arguments have not changed through the ages, but the truth remains constant; while eros may give temporary pleasure it is often followed by disease and despair. Only agape will remain true through this life and eternity.

As we saw previously eros and agape are on the opposite ends of the love spectrum, eros being a completely selfish love and agape being a completely unselfish love. As we look at phileo and agape we see the wide chasm of separation narrowing a bit. Phileo (filei`nƒfiliva) signified to the Greek an outward love which is bestowed on an object.

Matthew 6:5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love (phileo) to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
Matthew 23:6
And  (phileo) love  the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues,

Or person,

Romans 12:10 Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love (phileo); in honour preferring one another;

With the focus being that this love is bestowed on that which we feel deserves our love. A brother loves his brother because of the blood relationship. A patriot loves his or her country because of the ties of nationality. Phileo was seen to the Greek as the highest order of love that man could obtain but it was based on reciprocation and was dependent on the return of love or favor to the giver. The hypocrites loved to pray standing in the synagogues and they loved the uppermost rooms at the feasts because these places rewarded them with a high standing to those around them. A mother loves her child or a sister loves her brother when that love is returned to them by the recipient. A patriot loves a country because that country has provided an environment which the patriot finds familiar. Agape, on the other hand, goes one step above the standard of man’s highest order of love.

Note Romans 12: 9.Let love (agape) be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

Agape does not pick and choose the object of its affection based on the return it will receive from its outpouring but the well-being of the recipient is the main requisite. Full focus is given to restoration or renewal, and not reciprocation. Through agape God bestows on us the ability to love the unlovely.

Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love (agape) your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;

And at the same time despise and turn away from the life style they may lead.

Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

Phileo is known and can be embraced by the natural man but agape is known only by the children of God.

Matthew 5:46-48 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

God, in his grace, loved us when we were unlovely, saved us when we were unsavory, filled us when we were empty and he calls us to do the same for others.


In many of the fruits the fleshly counterparts are brought about by an outward influence. This is especially true of joy. Whenever we think of joy in the worldly context we attribute it to something wonderful that happened. We are filled with joy at the birth of a new baby, the receiving of a special gift, the landing of a job, etc. To be sure there is nothing wrong with any of these actions, each of them should bring joy to our lives, but the Spiritual fruit of joy comes about from an inward influence. This joy is present in a life even when the circumstances of life call us to despair. The Joy of the Spirit is caused by our inward relationship with Christ and as Paul says in Philippians 2:17 Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.

Think of it in this way spiritual joy is not a fruit of influence it is a fruit of relationship. Our relationship with Christ brings us joy no matter what the world sends our way.

The same thing is true with the aspect of PEACE:

The world proclaims peace when there is the absence of an outward influence of war or tribulation. The believer knows peace even in the midst of war and tribulation. Isaiah 26:3 tells us that peace is a direct result of trust. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. The world trusts in many things for peace; a great army, a great doctor, even nature, and when these fail and a country goes to war, or a disease afflicts us or a tsunami or hurricane strikes peace fails. If our peace is dependent on our faith in Christ then our peace will be perfect and we will have an inward calm and tranquility no matter what the world throws our way.

We could go on through each of these aspects of spiritual fruit and see a stark difference between them and their worldly counterparts. As believers we have the choice to rely on either one. We can feed on the fruit this world has to offer or we can feed on the fruit of the Spirit. Take some time this week to go over the aspects of the fruit of the Spirit. Ask yourself if they are present in your life. If they are praise the Lord! If they are not it would be a good idea to get on your knees before the Lord and ask Him to change your diet.

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