The Fruit and Gifts of the Spirit
In Romans 12:6–8, the following spiritual gifts are named:
• the gift of serving;
• the gift of teaching;
• the gift of encouraging people;
• the gift of contributing to the needs of others;
• the gift of leadership; and
• the gift of showing mercy.
No Christian may have all the spiritual gifts to the same extent in their life. The Bible specifically teaches that the Spirit distributes these gifts as He wishes, because He knows what is necessary in every situation.
Every Christian must be open to the concept of God making the spiritual gifts function in and through them. Believers have different spiritual gifts, but the fruit of the Spirit should be fully present in each and every believer. Different people receive different gifts because God has a unique plan and purpose for every person, and He knows what gifts we need in order to be of service in His kingdom.
By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is the same in all people. All Christians must express the same measure of the characteristics of peace, joy, love and self-control in their lives. The fruit of the Spirit is not optional, but is the essential proof of the Presence and working of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life. If the gifts do not function through love, they are also worthless to God, we are told in 1 Corinthians 13.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the dispenser of all these spiritual gifts. He is the Spring of living water and wants His spiritual gifts to flow to a thirsty world. He makes use of people who are willing and receptive to share His spiritual gifts, through themselves, to those who need it. It is clear that in our modern day, there is a need to reflect in a fresh way on the meaning and functioning of the gifts of the Spirit.