These three things are different (as to the RESULTS that are seen), but we will see that they are also connected to one another.  Let’s look at the three passages in the Bible which speak of these three things to see what we can learn.

1) We read of the “manifestation of the Spirit” in 1st Corinthians 12:7. We will read verses 1-7 from the New King James Version: “Now concerning SPIRITUAL GIFTS, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led. Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the MANIFESTATION OF THE SPIRIT is given to each one for the profit of all.” The “manifestation of the Spirit” is clearly connected with “spiritual gifts.” In other words, when Paul uses this expression he is teaching us that when a believer, who is a member of the body of Christ, uses the gift he/she has been given by the Spirit, it is indeed a “manifestation of the Spirit.” It is NOT a “natural gift,” such as an ability to play a piano or run a race in the Olympics, it is a “spiritual gift” that is imparted to each believer in order to help build up the body of Christ (see verses 8-10 for a partial list of spiritual gifts). The most important thing to lay hold of is that the gift is given by a sovereign act of the Holy Spirit and the main reason for using one’s gift is “for the profit of all.”

2) We read of the “fruit of the Spirit” in Galatians 5:22-23, “But the FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” When speaking of the “fruit of the Spirit” we are not occupied so much with one’s “spiritual gift,” but rather with one’s “spiritual walk.” In other words, it is not the use of a gift to build up the body of Christ, but “godly behavior” in one’s life as a testimony to the world. It has been said that this “nine-fold cluster of fruit” is a “portrait of Christ,” for the Lord Jesus was constantly demonstrating these “moral qualities” from the manger to the cross. It is now the privilege (and responsibility) of the believer to manifest these same moral qualities in their life. All believers have a New Nature which has these moral characteristics yet they need to develop them and manifest them in “the power of the Holy Spirit.” As we see these lovely moral traits in fellow-believers we know that they are being produced (as fruit) by the Holy Spirit.

3) We read of being “filled with the Spirit” in Ephesians 5:18. Let’s read verses 18-21, “And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be FILLED WITH THE SPIRIT, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God.” As we see the RESULTS of being “filled with the Spirit” we notice that nothing is said about “spiritual gifts” or “moral qualities.” The emphasis here is on 1) speaking and singing with one another about the things of the Lord; 2) singing to the Lord with hearts filled with worship and praise; 3) giving thanks to the Lord; and 4) submitting to one another in true, reverential fear of God. When you see a believer doing these things, you can be assured that he/she is “not filled with themselves” but “filled with the Spirit.” They have willingly yielded themselves to the Spirit and are “under the CONTROL of the Spirit.”

Though we see a different emphasis with these three things, they are (as stated at the beginning) vitally connected and will often be seen at the same time. For example, if I’m using the gift the Spirit has given me (the “manifestation of the Spirit”), I should be doing it in LOVE for my brethren (the “fruit of the Spirit”). When we are “filled with the Spirit” and thus are speaking and singing together of the Lord, there should be real LOVE in action there too, or our “singing” is reduced to simply that…singing for the sake of singing, perhaps because we have a good voice and we love to sing. Having said that, though two or three of these may be manifested simultaneously, the three passages we mused on teach us that with each expression there are DIFFERENT RESULTS. I trust this will be of some help to you and others who read this meditation.  (385.3)  (DO)