The Gift of the Spirit
Gifts and Fruits of the Spirit
On Easter Sunday evening, the followers of Jesus locked the doors where they met because they feared the Jewish leaders. Jesus appeared before them and said, "Peace be with you." After he spoke, Jesus showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They felt great joy when they saw the Lord. Again, Jesus said to them, "Peace be with you. Just as the Father sent me, I am sending you." Then, Jesus blew on them. "Take in the Holy Spirit," Jesus said.
Based on John 20:19-22a
When Jesus appeared to his followers on Easter evening, he breathed the Spirit on them. He gave his followers the Spirit for a reason. Jesus wants all his followers to serve others and spread the Good News. Jesus shares the qualities and the comforts of the Spirit with his followers.
Gifts of the Spirit: The Qualities of the Spirit-Driven Life
How do we know the Spirit is active in our lives? To answer that question, let's look at the work of the Spirit in the life of Jesus. Isaiah the prophet said:
Like a branch that sprouts from a stump, someone from David's family will someday be king. The Spirit of the Lord will be with him to give him understanding, wisdom, and insight. He will be powerful, and he will know and honor the Lord. His greatest joy will be to obey the Lord.
Isaiah 11:2-3 (CEV)
This verse lists seven qualities: understanding, wisdom, insight, power, knowledge, honor the Lord and obedience.
Understanding: Jesus understood how God worked and how other people acted. He could recognize a problem. He knew the hearts of people.
Wisdom: Jesus knew what to do and how to do it.
Insight: the ability to give good advice. This quality is like understanding, but it emphasizes passing that understanding onto others. Jesus taught with insight.
Power: Courage to do the right thing. This kind of power is not physical, but a strength of character. This is the power to stand up for the right thing, even if the person suffers for their stand. Jesus had this kind of power at his trial and his death.
Know God Personally: Jesus knew God is a special way, as a Son knows his Father.
Honor the Lord: Jesus gave honor to God in the way he spoke about God and spoke to God. Jesus had a strong prayer life.
Obedience: Jesus obeyed God's will and his Law. But, he did more. He realized he was constantly in the Father's presence and always acted in ways to please him. This is the true meaning of obedience.
When Jesus gave the Spirit to his Church, he shared these gifts with us. The Spirit is with us when we truly understand others and give them good advice. The Spirit is at work when we know and do the right thing no matter the consequences. The Spirit helps us to grow closer to God in prayer and gives us a greater awareness of God throughout everyday life.
The Fruits of the Spirit: The Rewards of Life in the Spirit.
The fruits of the Spirit are love and joy, peace and patience, kindness and goodness, trust in God, a gentle spirit, a strong character.
Based on Galatians 5:22-23
When we live in the Spirit and exercise his gifts, we enjoy the benefits of God in our lives. We love more. We are more joy-filled and have more patience. We are at peace with ourselves and with others. We trust God more and more. We have the strength of character to truly enjoy the good times and live through the bad times.
When Jesus gave us the Spirit, he gave us the power to come closer to God and help others. With that power comes benefits that make our lives better. Life in the Spirit means the gifts of the Spirit are active in our lives. Life in the Spirit means we enjoy the fruits of the Spirit everyday.