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Kingdom message, then it follows that the fruitage that we must produce is that of bearing witness to yet others of that same message and thus help to multiply the Kingdom interests. That is one angle, and that is the main one governing the use of the illustration of fruit bearing in the references quoted from Isaiah, chapter 32, and John, chapter 15.
10 But that is not the only angle. The apostle, in writing to those who have been enlightened by the Word of truth, says: “Go on walking as children of light, for the fruitage of the light consists of every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth.” (Eph. 5:8, 9, NW) One kind is that which should be manifest in our daily lives, in “every kind of goodness.” The other kind is that which should be manifest in connection with the proclamation of the truth, in “every kind” of field service. Actually, both kinds go hand in hand and are inseparable, as we shall see. But in this present study we are paying particular attention to the kind that concerns our daily life and personality, our disposition. And do not let us forget to take these things to ourselves in a practical way, being “doers of the word, and not hearers only.”—Jas. 1:22, NW.
LOVE—THE PRIMARY FRUITAGE OF THE SPIRIT
11. What is the primary fruitage of the spirit, and what question arises concerning this?
11 In the list of nine things making up the fruitage of the spirit, as mentioned at Galatians 5:22, 23, the first and foremost is love, and rightly so too. Now, let us put the question to ourselves in a personal and practical way. What does it mean, as far as I am concerned, when it says that “the fruitage of the spirit is love”? Does it mean that I must put myself through a mental exercise and say to myself first thing every morning, ‘I must try to be more loving. I determine I will be more loving’? Well, if we went about it that way, pursuing a course of self-development, then whatever we might manage to develop in that direction would really be the fruitage of our own spirit, would it not? But it is God’s spirit that the apostle is referring to, not our own. How, then, does it work out?
12. In what way do the Scriptures show that God’s love affects us and operates within us?
12 First, when we begin to learn of the truth, it is God’s great love that appeals to us, his kindness and goodness. As we learn more of the truth, so we learn to appreciate more God’s unselfish love until we come to the point where we respond to his invitation: “My son, give me thy heart.” (Prov. 23:26, AS) That means that in the spirit of devotion we dedicate ourselves to Jehovah to do his will, and thus we become true Christians. Obviously that is not because of love that we have developed of our own initiative. Rather, as Paul says, it is “because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy spirit.”—Rom. 5:5, NW.
13. How does this love affect our relationship with our brothers?
13 At the same time we realize that we have been brought into association with others who have come through exactly the same course and taken the same steps.