Faith is listed among the 9 gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10.
Faith is listed among the 9 fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23.
It is the 7th form of fruit listed
Recent versions offer translations such as “faithfulness”, “fidelity”, “trustfulness.”
But the Greek word that Paul uses is “pistis” the same word used in 1 Corinthians 12:8-10.
Before we look specifically at Faith as a Fruit, it would be good to look at the relationship between Gifts and Fruit in general
Fruit contrasted with Gifts
One way to bring the difference into focus is to imagine an apple on a Christmas tree and on an apple tree.
The apple can be attached and detached from the Christmas tree by a simple brief act.There is no direct connection between the gift and the tree. Thus the gift could equally well be a Teddy Bear on the Christmas Tree.The gift tells us nothing about the nature of the tree from which it was taken. The apple and the Teddy Bear are both taken from a fir tree.
On the other hand, there is a direct relationship between the apple and the tree that bears it. Thus an apple tree will not bear an orange.The apple does not come on to the tree by a simple brief act. It grows on the tree through a long period of development. The quality of the apple depends on the tree, but also depends on the care with which the tree was cultivated and tended.
Similarly a spiritual gift is imparted by a single, simple act of the Holy Spirit. It has no relation to the nature of the person who exercises it.Thus, Balaam could prophecy accurately, though he was a wicked man. So, by the way, could his donkey. In the last day there will be those who healed diseases and cast out demons in Jesus’ Name, yet the Lord will tell them He never knew them!
On the other hand, fruit in a person’s life is a a character trait, that is cultivated over a long period, even a whole life time.
The question is: which is more important?Character is obviously more important. The gifts are only temporary, as Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 13. The character we develop in this life will determine what we will be throughout eternity. We will one day leave our gifts behind, but our character will be with us (will be us) for all eternity.
However that doesn’t mean we should choose character at the expense of gifts. They are not mutually exclusionary. They are supplementary. Gifts provide tools for the expression of character.
Jesus’ loving character, so full of grace, was expressed through the full use of the gifts.Through them He met the needs of those He came to minister to. Through them He expressed the nature of His Heavenly Father.
The more we demonstrate, the love, compassion and concern that Jesus did, the more we will need and be able to use the gifts as they were meant to be used, and the greater will be our ability to glorify the Father, as Jesus did.
To sum up. Faith as fruit can be viewed in two ways, both translations ofthe Greek word “pistis”, Faith is trustfulness, trustful as little children are trustful of their parents, and Faith is trustworthiness.
Trustfulness is one of the marks of maturity. Great heroes of faith, Abraham, Moses were men of extreme trustfulness towards God on the ground that God is trustworthy: He will never go back on His covenant, and He will never go back on anything He has said.
Trustworthiness, reliability, is a mark of faithfulness as in the faithful stewards of Matthew 25. It is a reflection in the believer of the trustworthiness of God. The more the fruit of faith grows, the more we reflect the trustworthiness that is an intrinsic part of God’s character.