Introduction: Talking with Christians about the Holy Spirit can
sometimes get pretty confusing. Last week we studied the specific
“gifts” of the Holy Spirit – which to an outsider sounds like the
Holy Spirit might have something in common with Santa Claus. This
week we study the “fruit” of the Holy Spirit, which sounds like the
Holy Spirit might have something in common with an fruit tree. How
would you explain the difference between the gifts of the Holy Spirit
and the fruit of the Holy Spirit? Let’s dive into our study of the
Bible and find out!

  1. Gifts v. Fruit

    1. Read Galatians 5:22-23. Why is it appropriate to call
      “love, joy, peace, etc.” the “fruit” of the Holy Spirit?
      This sounds like no fruit I have ever seen in the grocery
      market. How do you explain this?

    2. Read Matthew 7:15-17. How does Jesus use the term “fruit”
      in this context? (Just as a tree bears fruit, so people
      bear “fruit” in their actions and attitudes.)

    3. Read Matthew 7:18-19. What does the “fruit” of a person,
      say about the person? (Fruit reveals what kind of a person
      you are. If you are a bad person, you bear bad “fruit.” A
      good person bears good “fruit.”)

    4. Let’s look again at the subject of our study last week.
      Read 1 Corinthians 12:8-10. If someone is given the “gift”
      of wisdom by the Holy Spirit, wouldn’t the “fruit” of that
      be “smart thoughts?” Would not the fruit of the gift of
      healing be healthy people?

      1. If so, why are these not mentioned as “fruits” of the
        Holy Spirit?

      2. Read 1 Corinthians 12:7. What is the purpose of the
        gifts of the Holy Spirit? (The “common good.” The
        idea that I see is that everyone has one or more
        “gifts” from the Holy Spirit that is used to build up
        the church – the body of believers. Thus, saying
        that a “fruit” of the gift of wisdom is “smart
        thoughts” for the individual is not exactly right.
        The idea is that the gift helps others, it does not
        just improve the holder of the gift. Everyone works
        together with their different gifts to make the
        entire church body better.)

    5. Read 1 Corinthians 13:1-3. Notice that this text puts
      gifts and fruits together. What is Paul saying about

      1. Is Paul saying that a person can have a gift without
        having a fruit? (Yes, apparently. He also appears to
        be saying that things like “smart thoughts” are not a
        fruit of the Holy Spirit.)

        1. If Paul is saying that, what do you think is
          wrong with having a gift but not having fruit?

          1. Let’s look at the examples that Paul gives
            us. If someone has the gift of “faith” –
            the faith to do special miracles, such
            moving a mountain, but does not have love,
            why is that a problem?

            1. Last week we discussed the fact that
              not all Christians have all gifts. Is
              it possible that “love” is just not
              the gift given to this person who can
              move mountains?

            2. If someone with the gift of faith
              heals me from cancer, do I care if
              that person is loving or not? I
              would rather have someone who healed
              me from cancer without love than
              someone who loved me but was unable
              to heal me. “My lawyer (doctor) is
              really nice, but basically

          2. Notice the other example: the gift of
            tongues. What did we decide last week was
            the purpose of the gift of tongues? (To

            1. What is Paul trying to tell us when
              he says the gift of tongues without
              love is like “a resounding gong or
              clanging cymbal?” (You hear the
              sound, but it doesn’t mean anything
              to you.)

    6. Have you ever seen someone who had a wonderful, expensive,
      powerful tool – but did not know how to use it properly?
      I think that illustrates the difference between gifts and
      fruits. Gifts are the “tools” that the Holy Spirit gives
      to us to promote the common good. Fruits are results in
      our personal life of the use of those tools.)

      1. Are gifts and fruit related?

    7. Read Matthew 7:21-23. Is this a “gifts” and “fruits”
      problem? (Yes. Remember that the fruits demonstrate the
      type of tree? Here, people are demonstrating the gifts of
      the Holy Spirit, but they did not truly know God. The
      fruit of love shows that the person knows God and has a
      relationship with God.)

    8. Friend, if you are a Christian, this is scary stuff,
      right? You can exercise the very “top” gifts of the Holy
      Spirit, according to Matthew 7, yet not be saved because
      your fruit gives you away as not knowing God. That makes
      the fruit very important, so let’s turn next to the first
      fruit of the Holy Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22.

  2. First Fruit: Love

    1. Read 1 Corinthians 13:4. Since cars had not yet been
      invented, is there a “driving the car” exception to
      patience? Should there be?

      1. Have you seen someone who obviously had important
        gifts of the Holy Spirit, but did not seem to be
        patient or kind?

        1. Would you fall into that category?

      2. What relationship do envy, boasting and pride have to
        each other? (They have in common comparing yourself
        to others. Either others are doing better and you do
        not like it, or you are doing better and you want
        them to know about it.)

      3. This past weekend my son, Blake, who is the webmaster
        and primary funding source of this website
        ( graduated from Andrews University.
        He graduated with the highest honors possible: Summa
        Cum Laude and an Andrews Scholar. I mentioned this to
        friends (actually, to just about anyone who would
        listen) several times before and during last weekend.
        Have I sinned in writing this? Was it boasting and
        pride that is not love to tell others?

    1. Read 1 Corinthians 13:5. Do you see any relationship
      between being rude, easily angered, self-seeking and
      keeping score of wrongs? (These are the opposite of being
      patient, kind and not proud. If you cannot tell if you are
      patient, kind and not boastful, see if you can find
      yourself described in verse 5.)

      1. Why should we not keep a record of wrongs?

    2. Read 1 Corinthians 13:6. What does it mean to delight in
      evil? Can you give me an example?

      1. Would 1 Corinthians 13:6 be a special text for
        newspaper editors? (Rejoicing in evil would be to
        appreciate the misfortunes of others.)

    3. Read 1 Corinthians 13:7. In what way do you think that
      love “hopes” and “perseveres?” (As opposed to rejoicing in
      the misfortunes of others, instead you hope that they will
      do well. You continue to look forward to the day when
      things will get better for them.)

    4. Read 1 Corinthians 13:8-10. In what other way is the fruit
      of the Holy Spirit unlike the gifts of the Holy Spirit?
      (This text tells us that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are
      not a constant thing. They come and go. But, the fruit of
      the Spirit is something that should be constant in our

      1. Which do you think is more important, gifts or fruit?

    5. Read 1 Corinthians 13:13. Why is love the greatest of the
      fruits of the Spirit?

    6. Friend, what kind of fruit do you find in your life? If
      your “fruit” shows that you are a bad “tree,” then I
      invite you today to confess your sins, ask Jesus to save
      you and have the Holy Spirit give you good fruit.

  1. Next week: The Christian Guide.