Home Features Understanding the Fruit-Gifts Relationship (1) By Babatunde Olugboji

Understanding the Fruit-Gifts Relationship (1) By Babatunde Olugboji


Understanding the Fruit-Gifts Relationship (1) By Babatunde Olugboji

This week, we’ll start a series which seeks to evaluate the relative weight of the fruit of the Spirit versus the gift of the Spirit. The series will also proffer a scriptural response to partly answer the question many of you must have asked yourself at one time or the other: why does God use pastors or prophets with dubious characters?  

Sometimes even mature believers are confused about what fruit is and what gifts are, and how both concepts intersect and apply to us in our service and worship.

Let’s start with gifts. There are 3 biblical lists of the gifts of the Spirit, or Spiritual gifts. These are found in Romans 12:6–8; 1 Corinthians 12:4–11; and 1 Corinthians 12:27-28. We could also include Ephesians 4:11, but that is a list of offices within the church, not spiritual gifts, per se.

From these 3 passages, I have a list of gifts that looks something like this:









Interpretation of Tongues











The Spiritual gifts are manifestations (1 Corinthians 12:7) and the Greek word for manifestations is ‘phanerosis,’ which means a shining forth or showing forth. The Greek word for gift is charisma, which means something freely given, miraculous faculty, or divinely conferred endowment. So, here is how you can define spiritual gifts: ‘Divinely conferred supernatural faculties that shine forth in the believer’s life like a flash of light.’

Gifts are given for the common good (1 Corinthians 12:7). And they can be categorized into 3 types:

  1.     Speaking gifts (tongues, interpretation of tongues and prophecy)
  2.     Knowing gifts (word of knowledge, word of wisdom and discerning of spirits)
  3.     Power gifts (faith, healing, and miracles)

These spiritual gifts are still in operation today. Just to be clear, Spiritual gifts are given by the Spirit, and the Spirit determines. (1 Corinthians 12:11) The different gifts that we have include apostles, prophets, teachers, workers of miracles, those with gifts of healing, those who help others, those with gifts of administration, those speaking in different kinds of tongues. (1 Corinthians 12:27-28)

Note that the gift of Prophecy builds up the church (1 Corinthians 14:3). Tongues build up the individual who speaks in tongues. (1 Corinthians 14:4) These gifts are evidence that the Holy Spirit has come upon us and given us power to be his witnesses. (Acts 1:8) They are evidence that we are Spirit-filled. (Acts 2:4)

Now, let’s look at something important in Romans 11:29: “God’s gifts and his callings are irrevocable or “without repentance” (KJV).  Remember, gifts are freely or graciously given—think of the Christmas gifts you give your child. Sometimes they don’t even ask. Callings are those things someone has summoned or invited another person to do. In this instance, the gifts and callings come from God—God is the giver of the gifts and the initiator of the callings. These gifts and callings “can never be withdrawn.” (NLT).

We can broadly interpret Romans 11: 29 to include all gifts from God but here, we are narrowly applying it to Spiritual. When God gives you a gift, he doesn’t take it back even if you lie, cheat, or abandon your faith, you still have your gifts.

To be continued.

Have a great week.

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