The 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit
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and the 12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit
The 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit are special gifts for our soul, when our soul is alive in Christ by grace, and is free from any deadly sin. They are referenced in various places in the bible, especially in Isaiah 11:2.
I wrote a poem with a verse for each gift in Pentecost Prayers
In addition, there are 12 fruits of the Holy Spirit. Most of these are listed by the Apostle Paul in Galatians 5:22.
It is very important to realize these 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit are gifts for the soul. It is true, we must also use the other gifts God has given us, such as our mind, our intellect, and our body in co-operation with these gifts, but I think many people get these gifts and fruits mixed up with the worldly and human understanding of these words.
There are other special gifts mentioned in the bible, but these are more gifts given to particular people for service to the members of the Body of Christ, the church, such as preaching, teaching, exhorting, hospitality, etc. We all have one or more of these. But when we receive the Holy Spirit, we receive all of these 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit in different degrees, according to our disposition and preparation, and God's goodness.
Every one of these 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit are on a much higher level than the merely human, physical, or intellectual understanding of these.
Remember, these 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit are gifts from God. They are from his kingdom, which is not of this world.
Jesus is the Perfect Model of the 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Jesus said, "My kingdom is not from this world." (John 18:36) His authority does not come from men, but from God.
God says that the wisdom of the wise he will destroy, and the understanding of the prudent. (1 Corinthians 1:19 quoting Isaiah 29:14)
Jesus prayed, I thank you, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hid these things from the wise and prudent, and has revealed them to little ones. Yes, Father, for so it has seemed good in your sight. (Luke 10:21) As I explain in Prayers of Jesus
, this is the theme prayer for this website.
We see these 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit perfectly modeled in Jesus Christ. In fact, where these gifts are listed is actually a prophecy about the coming Messiah. (Isaiah 11:2)
1. The First Gift of the Holy Spirit - Wisdom
Wisdom is the divine gift to make wise choices for our soul, based on the truth.
With this gift, we choose to follow Christ in order to get to heaven.
Jesus called the Holy Spirit the "Spirit of Truth" at least 3 times at the Last Supper. (John 14:17; 15:26; 16:13)
The Apostle Paul speaks of the difference between God's wisdom and the world's wisdom. God makes the worldly wisdom foolish. (1 Corinthians 1:17-31)
God has chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise, and the weak things of this world to confound the strong.(1 Corinthians 1:27)
2. The Second Gift of the Holy Spirit - Understanding
With this gift, we supernaturally understand the teachings of Christ, what we must do, and the true value of spiritual things, like grace, salvation, our immortal souls bought with an infinite price, eternity in heaven or hell, the value of God, what he values, and what he rejects, etc.
Without the grace of God:
- To many people, the life and teachings of Jesus are as good as fairy tale stories about Santa Claus, and reindeer flying, and elves and dwarfs working at the North Pole.
- It would be as good as a fable or myth to us as well.
On the other hand, with God's grace,
3. The Third Gift of the Holy Spirit - Counsel
- We understand - in a very small degree - the incredible value of heavenly things.
- We can wisely understand things that the world calls foolishness - such as the sufferings and death of Jesus on the cross. (1 Corinthians 1:18)
Solomon writes, "In the advice of many, plans go forward." (Proverbs 20:18) If this is true in business and worldly matters, how much more true is it for affairs of the soul, for our eternal salvation.
The devil seeks at every opportunity to destroy us. Jesus says, "The thief has come into this world to kill, to steal and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and have it more abundantly." (John 10:10)
In eternity, many people will regret not seeking Godly advice on matters, such as life, marriage, and relationships. We will truly regret wasting so much time, doing it our own way.
There are times we must even be careful of spiritual advisors, who being human, can make mistakes, or worse. Jesus warned us to beware of false teachers, who come in sheep's clothing, but in reality they are cruel, devouring wolves. (Matthew 7:15)
Nevertheless, we must not neglect using the ordinary means God has established for us to get good advice, such as parents, teachers, and leaders in the church.
We should pray to the Holy Spirit to help us find, listen to, and then act upon the wise guidance and counsel of good advisors.
4. The Fourth Gift of the Holy Spirit - Fortitude
Before the Holy Spirit came in a special way at Pentecost, the followers of Jesus were fearful. When Jesus appeared on Easter evening, the doors were locked for fear of the Jews. (John 20:19).
When the Holy Spirit came on Pentecost, he gave them courage. He strengthened their wills to do God's will, and fulfill the mission Jesus had given them. They preached with freedom, courage and boldness. They worked many miracles. (cf. Acts)
They were no longer afraid of the threats, punishments, even torture and death by wicked people and wicked rulers. They were under the full authority and protection of Almighty God.
And now, they reign with Christ in heaven over all their persecutors.
5. The Fifth Gift of the Holy Spirit - Knowledge
There's a big difference between knowing about someone, and knowing them.
The gift of knowledge is not so much about a lot of information. It's about knowing God personally and intimately, the Father as our Creator and Maker, the Son as our Redeemer and Savior, and the Holy Spirit as our Advocate and Friend.
This is the most important relationship we could ever have.
This gift is more about talking with God, communion with God, union with God. God should be dwelling within us.
"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you?" (1 Corinthians 6:19)
6. The Sixth Gift of the Holy Spirit - Piety
Piety means reverence, respect, devotion. Our whole life on earth should be devoted to the service of God and of our neighbor..
Piety is our attitude and actions in fulfilling our duties to God and our neighbor, and could be considered "love in action"
Filial piety means the generous, loving service of a child to it's parents, or a citizen to it's country.
We could never repay what God is for us, and what he has given us. He gives us so much, and keeps on giving us so much, and in heaven will keep on giving and giving and giving, more than we can imagine here on earth.
Our service should not be so much as a slave, or because we have to. Yes, we have the duty to, but it should get to the point we really want to.
By the power of the Holy Spirit, we are the adopted children of God. What a privilege!
7. The Seventh Gift of the Holy Spirit - Fear of the Lord
The fear of the Lord is (the beginning of) wisdom. (Job 28:28; Psalm 111:10; Proverbs 1:7, 9:10, 15:33)
We should not serve the Lord out of fear, because even the devils in hell fear God, but it's better than nothing.
Our fear should not be for the consequences we bring upon ourselves, but much more, a fear of hurting so loving a God.
"Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God." (Ephesian 4:30) The Holy Spirit is almighty God, but he is also a very gentle friend.
At the Baptism of Jesus he was seen in the form of a dove coming down and resting upon him. (Matthew 3:16; Mark 1:10; Luke 3:22; John 1:32)
All 4 Gospel writers record this important fact, so it's really quite important.
The 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit - Needed More Than Ever
More than ever, we need the coming of the Holy Spirit into this world. But for the most part, the world is not ready to receive him.
The dove is known for it's peaceful and gentle disposition.
It has been said that if there is noise and disturbance, it will leave it's home and go build a new nest in a quieter place.
For many people today, God is saying: Go out of Babylon. (Isaiah 48:20)
Babylon is a symbol of talking, noise, confusion, distraction, temptation.
In much of society today, we see homes and families, cities and countries, and much of the world surrounded by so much continual distraction, noise, and confusion, that it is almost impossible to think. Such places the devil likes, but not the gentle spirit of God.
It's no wonder God often quietly leaves the places where the radio and TV are blaring, where fans shout at the top of their lungs in sports and music stadiums, where leaders, bankers, lawyers, judges do not welcome him.
God has been replaced by new forms of idolatry.
He is a jealous God, and he will not compete with other idols, who are really devils, except to one day come in and ruthlessly crush them.
The 12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit
The Fruits of the Holy Spirit are supernatural results seen in the life of a person who is growing and co-operating with the Holy Spirit and his gifts. We see these fruits modeled to perfection in Jesus Christ himself.
- Charity, or Love - acts of service to God and neighbor motivated by the love of God. One person, truly filled with the love of God, can transform the world.
- Joy - a contentment in fulfilling God's will, the meaning and purpose of life. It differs from happiness, which in this world is only a passing feeling. Godliness with contentment is great gain. (1 Timothy 6-8) The joy of the Lord is our strength. (Nehemiah 8:10)
- Peace - A quietness and calmness of soul, even amid storms of life. See St. Francis Prayer for Peace for a better understanding of this fruit.
- Patience, or Forbearance - A spirit of accepting trials in the spirit of hope united to Christ, realizing that our sufferings and crosses united to His brings great gain, while we wait for heaven, where there will be no more sufferings. In fact, our sufferings shall turn to joy, which no man can take from us. (John 16:20-22) The sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared to the glory to come. (Romans 8:18)
- Kindness - Some older translations use the word benignity. Kindness is goodness in action - goodness manifested in our words and actions, flowing from a gentle, generous disposition towards others. Jesus went about everywhere doing good. We also see this modeled in the life of Francis.
- Goodness, or generosity - a gentle, generous disposition towards others, to do good to everyone without distinction - as God does, who makes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain upon the just and the unjust. (Matthew 5:45)
- Long-suffering - formerly known as longanimity. It is patient suffering over a period of time. In scripture it is often better translated as endurance.
- Mildness, or gentleness, or meekness - associated with obedience, humility and meekness, it puts us in the disposition to accept lawful authority, see another's point of view, and not necessarily demand our own way. When Jesus says, Learn of me, for I am meek and humble of heart, (Matthew 11:29) he is saying, be taught by me, because I too am teachable, learning and teaching only what my Father in heaven wills me to. The apostle Paul gives similar good instructions to Titus in this matter. (Titus 3:1-8)
- Faith, or faithfulness - honesty, integrity, uprightness, fidelity, and perseverance. Honesty in all our dealings, integrity in our character, uprightness before God and men, fidelity to our commitments, and perseverance to the very end. This is not necessarily the theological virtue of Faith, a gift of God to believe and act on his revealed truths. Rather it is faith in action, putting into use this gift, using it in our daily lives, seen in good works, and thus it shown as a fruit, coming out of the gift. One who rejects the gift of faith, does not show the fruit of faith internally, and eventually this will become visible, either in this life, as in the case of Judas the traitor, or in the next.
- Modesty - moderation in the way we conduct ourselves in our external actions. It could also be understood as an appropriate simplicity or poverty in words, actions, dress, and lifestyle, for we are but pilgrims on earth, making simple use of the things of earth to fulfill our real destiny, for heaven is our true home.
- Continency - subduing in ourselves the passions for sinful pleasure
- Chastity - guarding one's senses to avoid temptation and to keep from sinning.
In some bibles, only 9 fruits of the Holy Spirit are listed. The last 3 above are simply translated as self control. Long-suffering and patience are usually listed simply as patience.
The 7 Gifts of the Holy Spirit and the 12 Fruits of the Holy Spirit
This may seem like a lot of work. It is. Like anything worthwhile, it takes a lot of practice and a lot of work, especially in the beginning, to form good habits.
We need all the inspiration and encouragement we can get. That's why we need the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit. That's why we need the Holy Spirit himself.
Without his help, we run the risk of developing natural virtues, which won't get us into heaven.
In fact, without his help, we can do nothing. (cf. John 15:5)
But our efforts, in cooperation with God's graces, and aided by the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit, are well worth it. An eternity with God in eternal happiness is waiting for us. There we will be so richly rewarded, so greatly loved, so unbelievably fulfilled, with the best of God's friends and family.
Read more pages about heaven in the Ascension Thursday
section of this website.
Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor can we begin to imagine, what God has prepared for those who love him. (1 Corinthians 2:9)
But God has revealed them to us by his Spirit, for the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. (1 Corinthians 2:10)
Ultimate success will be ours!
Thank your stars!
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