Fruits and Gifts of the Spirit (Introduction)

Fruits and Gifts of the Spirit

There are various ways that the Holy Spirit is referred to both in church and Scripture. The Holy Spirit is called the Holy Ghost, the love between the Father and the Son, the Paraclete. In Scripture, the Hebrew word “Ruach” means breath and wind but also refers to the Holy Spirit. We see the Holy Spirit descend on Jesus like a dove and the disciples like tongues of fire. Often, the effects of the Holy Spirit are more easily recognizable than the person that is the Holy Spirit. 

 

Tangibly, the Holy Spirit is the person who Jesus promised to send us, who would always be with us. And when Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would always be with us, he meant it. In our Baptism, we are endowed with the gift of the Holy Spirit, and in Confirmation, that gift is strengthened so we can go out and do what we were created to do. We fulfill our calling with the Gifts of the Spirit and use the Fruits of the Spirit as a “measuring stick” to guide our actions in the way of the Spirit.

 

We‘re given a powerful visual of what the gifts and fruits of the Spirit look like in action in the book of Acts, especially at Pentecost. Directly following Jesus’ death and resurrection, the disciples go into hiding because they’re afraid. Even after Jesus visits them, even after He calls them to go out and tell the whole world, they are still hidden in the upper room; they are still afraid. 

 

Enter: the Holy Spirit. 

 

And suddenly, these people, who were too afraid to go outside, are preaching the Gospel message in the streets, telling everyone who will listen that Jesus died for them because He loves them. We read story after story about the disciples’ becoming who they were made to be after receiving the Holy Spirit—in short, having the Holy Spirit changed everything for them.

 

And that’s what the Holy Spirit wants to do for us too. 

 

Having an increased awareness of how the Holy Spirit is helping us and working in our lives can draw us more deeply into a relationship with the Lord and one another. I’m excited to be starting a blog series that will delve a little deeper into what the Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit are and how the Holy Spirit can change our lives with these things if we let them.

 

Michaela Swarthout

Religion Teacher