What are the Holy Spirit’s gifts and fruits?



Question: “What are the Holy Spirit’s gifts and fruits and what is needed to operate in them?”



Bible Answers

Operating in the Gifts of the Holy Spirit permitted Jesus to do many wonderful miracles, and His gifts can permit us to produce similar wonderful miracles.  Speaking in tongues is a gift from God, and we know that God only gives good gifts to those who are obeying Him.  


And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues (Mark 16:17). God gave us His Holy Spirit so that He may teach us, guide us, and empower us. The power and gifts of the Holy Spirit are for everyone, not just a select few.


For one who speaks in a tongue speaks not to men but to God; for no one understands him, but he utters mysteries in the Spirit (1 Corinthians 14:2).  Praying in the Spirit is a secret weapon, as the devil does not understand what the Holy Spirit is praying.


We can pray in human words and we can pray with confidence when our prayers are based on God’s Word, but when we are praying in the spirit, God is praying through us in power and in perfection of prayer that is exactly God’s will. There is power in the Holy Spirit and power is being released when the Holy Spirit is praying through us in tongues.


The Holy Spirit strengthens us, provides wisdom, empowers us to do His will, and grows a loving relationship with God. This is why Paul instructed us in Ephesians 6:18 …to pray always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit (praying in tongues).


Confusion over gift, gifts, baptism of the Holy Spirit, and fruit of the Holy Spirit

The gift (singular) of the Holy Spirit occurs or is given at the time a person repents and is saved (Acts 2:38).  The gift is actually the Holy Spirit, taking up permanent residence in us (John 14:16-17, 26).  This gift of the Holy Spirit is also referred to as being baptized by the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38; 1 Cor. 12:13).


Gifts (plural) of the Holy Spirit, sometimes called being filled with the Holy Spirit, are given as we are open to receive these special gifts and as He determines and directs (1 Cor. 12; Rom. 12). These spiritual gifts are endowments of special power from the Holy Spirit, given so that we might fulfill the calling of God in our lives, church, and the world.


While we are filled or baptized in the Holy Spirit when we receive Christ, it is not a onetime experience, because, hopefully, we will continue to grow in the Holy Spirit and experience more of Him. Growth in the Holy Spirit includes growing in the fruit of the Spirit into the godly character that we should exhibit. We will grow in the fruits as we seek to be more like Jesus, meditating on the Word, and invite the Holy Spirit to exhibit more of Himself in us.


A church operates in the purest sense of Jesus when they (The pastor down) are filled with people that are operating in the Holy Spirit. Even when the disciples needed men to wait on tables in the church, they said, …choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom (Acts 6:3).


Gifts of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit enters us at the time of salvation and comes with His gifts.  We receive these gifts from the Holy Spirit as we ask in prayer and as the Holy Spirit determines. You will not receive a feeling of a gift, but by faith you believe that you have the gift and begin to act in the power, and it will be manifested. The commonest of the Gifts is speaking in tongues. Manifestation of tongues may occur simultaneously with salvation, later, or never, if we do not seek it.    


You do not have to speak in tongues to be saved or to have the Holy Spirit in you, but if you want the free and full outpouring that is the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, you must expect it to happen by seeking it. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.  And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.  And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which works all in all (1 Corinthians 12:4-6).


Typically, people do not seek the gifts of the Holy Spirit and do not operate in them. To operate in the gifts, one must first seek them.  The more one operates in a gift, the more proficient he will become. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are primarily for the benefit of others and the church and are not permanent, but are supernaturally given, as needed, as the Holy Spirit decides and as we remain open to Him. Because you have not experienced any of the gifts does not invalidate them.


Many churches have rejected the gifts, possibly because they find it easier to reject the gifts than to seek them, and they are afraid that they may look foolish proclaiming they have a message from God.  Rather than seek the gifts, many churches claim that the gifts ceased with the early church. But 1 Cor. 13:8-10 tells us when these gifts will cease. …but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.  The “perfect” comes when we join Jesus in heaven, only then will we no longer need the gifts of the Holy Spirit.


I would submit the biggest reason that the body of Christ has not made a greater impact on our generation is because of our failure to operate in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Jesus operated in these gifts of the Holy Spirit, the early church did, and some churches today also operate in these gifts for the benefit of the body and to help in bringing the lost to Jesus. While there are millions of Christians today that operate in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, unfortunately, this is a small fraction of the worldwide church.


Christ ministered only through the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing (John 5:19), (through the Holy Spirit).  


In Mark 16:17-18, Jesus said that believers would flow in the miraculous:  And these signs will follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. This was the last thing Jesus said before being taken up to heaven. He did not say that this was only for the early church believer, but for all believers who would be open and seek the gifts.


We often are not sure what we should pray, but the Holy Spirit knows exactly what is needed and what to pray and can pray for us in tongues.  We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans (Romans 8:26). What a joy to have the Holy Spirit pray through us.


We have miracles through the Holy Spirit. Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father (John 14:12).


List of gifts of the Holy Spirit

Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit

a word of wisdom, to another

a word of knowledge, to another

faith by the same Spirit, to another

gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another

miraculous powers, to another

prophecy, to another

distinguishing between spirits, to another

speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another

the interpretation of tongues (1 Corinthians 12:7-10).


Are these gifts for only a few or for everyone?  To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good (1 Corinthians 12:7). These gifts are offered to all that seek them.  You will operate in one or more of the gifts to grow in the kingdom of God as the Holy Spirit determines.


Fruit of the Holy Spirit

The Fruits of the Holy Spirit are the observable behavior of people who have allowed the grace of the Holy Spirit to operate in them. They are a manifestation of Godly character.


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). Collectively, these are the fruits that all Christians should produce in their lives with Jesus Christ.


Summary

The Holy Spirit has come to enable us to think more as God thinks and to be more like Jesus.  The Holy Spirit helps us to do God’s work.  It is the Holy Spirit that heals, teaches, directs, encourages, and renews us.


It is the Holy Spirit that was the power behind Jesus’ miracles, and it is the same Holy Spirit that is the power behind miracles in our lives.  You know about Jesus of Nazareth, how God poured out on him the Holy Spirit and power (Acts 10:38).  



Next Section - What is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?

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