To start with, the gifts of the Holy Spirit are those special but spiritual abilities that manifest in a believer after receiving the baptism of the Holy Spirit, whereas the fruit of the Holy Spirit is a conglomeration of all the expected and distinguishing virtues or characters imputed into a believer during the first work of the Holy Spirit in his/her life at salvation.
Actually, the gifts of the Spirit speak more of the power given to christians to be able to do the work of God, ministry-wise. On the other hand, the fruit of the spirit speaks more of the character and behaviour of a christian and serves as a distinguishing factor between the believer and an unbeliever. It is what others see in you, i.e the true reflection of your salvaged personality.
Though the gifts and fruit are both important in a christian's life, the latter is better for continuous usage at any point in time. I'll have to marshal out my points to prove this.
First, it was the fruit of the Spirit that manifested and was seen in the disciples of Jesus at Antioch according to the book of Acts of the Apostles. That is to say that the fruit of the Spirit is a common, compulsory, first-appearing and obvious manifestations in anybody that claims to have gotten the salvation experience. It is the work of the Spirit but the very initial one. It will now be strange for one to claim to be saved and safe without using or showing the fruit which comprises love, joy,peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. Simply put, it is the very first sign of one's salvation.
Again, using the fruit of the spirit makes one more like Jesus. The fruit of the Spirit is the totality of the character of Jesus. All the facets of the fruit were/are seen in Him. Therefore, any christian that wants to attain the required height, in terms of perfection, should be able to apply the fruit to his/her life. It will be good for us to know that God expects us to, not just be holy as He is but perfect, for that is the only qualification to see Him at the end of life.
A christian can remain rapturable for a longer time with the fruit more than the gifts. Infact, any christian that is using the gift more than the fruit is likely going to be compromising the righteous standards and at the same time ridiculing the name of Christ.
It is also the sole factor for making it to heaven. Since it defines how we behave and relate with others around us, imbibing them in our lives helps us to curtail our excesses and tame our tempers and temperamental weaknesses.
Evidently, character is preferred to charisma before God and man. Therefore, anything short of the required character which involves the use of the fruit of the Spirit will likely land one in hell. Hear this, a person can easily go to heaven without the gifts of the Spirit but a person without the fruit of the Spirit cannot.
Moreso, the disuse of the Spirit's fruit is the problem with our 'worldly' churches. With most people clamouring for charisma(i.e the product of the use of spiritual gifts), many have unknowningly lost focus of the weighter matters which include righteousness and holiness, both of which are the products of the use of the fruit of the Spirit. Simply put, the use of the fruit of the Spirit makes us more trustworthy and revered even in our immediate society.
The use of the fruit of the Spirit makes the use of our spiritual gifts more effective. With the availability of both devilish and real spiritual powers, it is only the Spirit's fruit that honours the true 'manifesters' of the Spirit's gifts with the accompanying power. Spiritual fruit makes the difference between the original and the fake ones at the longrun.
The fruit of the Spirit is indispensable in a christian's life while the gifts of the Spirit are not, in terms of value and importance. A christian may not speak in different tongues nor prophesy but still doing exploits for God. The gift is just an addendum to the basic thing(the fruit).
With the fruit of the Spirit, we affect the world(people) more frequently, passionately and on a permanent basis. The power of the Holy Spirit(with the gifts) preaches and focuses more on momentary solutions to problems whereas the fruit of the Spirit affects and captures the soul and at the same time, completely solving the physical problems. Some ministers use their gifts to only ameliorate people's problems but not actually uprooting them, which can be completely and forever changed with the influence of the judicious use of the Spirit's fruit.
Finally for now, spiritual gifts are used whenever one wants but the fruit of the Holy Spirit is more of a lifestyle. It is not just to be used but to be lived, for that is the mainstay and proof of our christian living.
. . .This article(which preferred the fruit of the Holy Spirit to the spiritual gifts) was actually for a debate.