Home Features Understanding the Fruit-Gifts Relationship (3) By Babatunde Olugboji

Understanding the Fruit-Gifts Relationship (3) By Babatunde Olugboji

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Understanding the Fruit-Gifts Relationship (3) By Babatunde Olugboji 

Merry Christmas!

As we continue the series on the relationship between the fruit of the Spirit and the gift of the Spirit this Christmas season, we will examine how false prophets and pastors hoodwink even seasoned believers, partly as a result of their glittering gifts, while bearing little by the way of fruit. 

There are many false prophets who are teachers out there, some of them openly engaged in adultery, drug use, and profanity. There are others who had child wives as young as 11. Yet they still operate in the gifts of the spirit and claim to perform miracles in the name of Jesus. The reality is that one way or the other we bear some fruit. Good or bad. False teachers display the fruit of sexual immorality, greed, materialism, gluttony. Godly teachers display the fruit of the Spirit.

Unfortunately, even tongue-talking, spirit-filled believers have been duped into following false prophets and even join them in justifying their sin without heeding Jesus’ warning that “you will know them by their fruit. For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.” 

No matter how good or convincing someone sounds, if he is bearing bad fruit, they should be avoided. Look out for their fruit, not their gift. The fruit is evidence of godly character in a disciple’s life because they can only grow out of a life that is dead to self and lives by the Spirit. (Galatians 5:16, 24, 25)

Let me be clear: If you think that you need to produce the fruit of the Spirit to be saved, that would not be incorrect. The Bible says we are saved by grace and not by our works (Ephesians 2:8).  But once we are saved, the Spirit should produce fruit in us. It’s the evidence of true salvation. Not the gift.

Gifts-Fruit, What’s the Difference?

There is an eternal aspect to the fruit.  It never fades away or fails. The fruit of faith, hope, and love will remain long after the gifts like prophecy and tongues have ceased. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. (1 Corinthians 13:8)

The fruit of the Spirit shows that a believer has been growing and developing in his or her faith. Of course, no one is perfect, even the best of believers can, and do still, mess up. We may stumble from time to time, and we may go through seasons of bearing little fruit. If we say there is no sin in us, we deceive ourselves, there is no truth in us. (1 John 1:8) 

But the Bible makes it clear that those who know God will not continue a lifestyle of bearing bad fruit. Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. (1 John 3:10) We are meant to have been transformed, and the fruit we bear is evidence of that transformation. Evidence of transformation is not the gift but the fruit. Apple trees don’t produce bananas, and strawberry plants don’t produce figs. This fact of nature is also true in the spiritual realm. We can identify those whose hearts have been redeemed by the fruit we see in their lives.

Once again, Merry Christmas!

To be continued.

Have a great week

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