Define a Spirit Filled Life.

Some will be quicker to respond than others.

Some are looking for external evidence.  Others will dig for the internal proof.

The Charismatic Movement brought the Gifts of the Spirit to the forefront of the Christian mind.  I believe it has prompted a shift in what is evidence of a Spirit Filled Life.

The Charismatic Movement utilizes and values the Gifts of the Spirit identified in 1 Corithians 12.       (I personally think some left wingers have added a few of their own ‘gifts’ to this list)

Those Gifts are:

A Word of Wisdom
A Word of Knowledge
Faith
Healing
Miracles
Prophecy
Discernment
Tongues
and Interpretation of Tongues.

The Fruits of the Spirit are listed  in Gal 5

Love
Joy
Peace
Patience
Goodness
Faithfulness
Gentleness
Self-control

So What is the difference between a Gift and a Fruit?

Gift:

As used in 1 Corinthians 12:4

Greek – Charisma – a favour which one recieves without any merit of his own

              From the Root – Charizomai – to give graciously, freely

              From the Root – Charis – What is due to Grace

Fruit

As used in Gal 5:22

Greek – Harpos – that which originates or comes from something, an effect, result;

              From the Root – Harpazo – to seize

              Derivative from – Haireomai – to take for oneself

              Akin to – Airo – to take upon one’s self and carry what has been raised up – bear

 By definition a Gift is bestowed upon one, and does not require any preparation or input from the recipient.   A fruit on the other hand, is produced by work. 

If an Apple Tree Tree and an Oak Tree are standing next to eachother in the field, God can bestow rain on one and not the other.  The Gift of Water. The trees did nothing to acquire that rain.

That Apple Tree will be working throughout the season to develop Fruit, utilizing the sun, the ground, and the water.  The internal workings of the tree are unseen, and the Fruit develops over time.

But you won’t walk into that field one morning and see a bunch of apples on the Oak Tree.

The Oak hasn’t done any of the work, and will not be bearing any fruit. 

Don’t get me wrong.  The Oak is valuable.  The Apple Tree is valuable.

The Gifts are Valuable.  The Fruit is Valuable.

The Emphasis on  the value of one over the other is detrimental.

I believe the Gifts of the Spirit (operating properly) are evidence of God, not proof of a person’s spiritual maturity.

I believe the Fruit of the Spirit is evidence of God working in a person, as that person surrenders and works in accord with God.

Perhaps the presence of the Fruit of the Spirit is a more accurate gauge of a maturing walk witht the Lord.

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