Gifts or Fruits of the Spirit?

Here are some insightful words from Tom Skinner.

I hasten to add that there is a distinction between the fruit of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit.  We need also to understand this as it pertains to the evangelist.

Quite often we become enamoured with gifted people.  And we often assume that because they are gifted, that they are also spiritual.  We say, “Wow, that sister can really sing. She’s a great woman of God!”  But the fact that she can sing does not make her a woman of God.  We say, “Boy, that brother can preach!”  He is not a man of God because he can preach.  The Bible says God gives gifts as he pleases.

For 28 years, I have been preaching the gospel on every continent.  I am gifted to preach.  But I recognize it is a gift from God.  It has nothing to do with me.  If you judge my spirituality by my preaching, I will snow you—because there is no relationship between my gift to preach and my spirituality.

If you want to find out whether I am a spiritual person, if you want to find out whether I am filled with the Spirit, you have to wait until I finish preaching and hang out with me.

The fullness of the Spirit is not a state of perfection; it is a state of surrender.  It is not a state of sinlessness; it is a state of abandonment to Jesus Christ—when a person simply says, “I renounce all rights to myself and I give Jesus the right to do with me whatever he pleases.”

-Tom Skinner

© 1989 BridgeBuilder.  This is an excerpt from an article originally featured in BridgeBuilder Magazine, published in Washington, DC.

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