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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
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Matt Smethurst on Teaching 1 Thessalonians

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Discussion on ThessaloniansFirst Thessalonians covers a surprising range of massive themes in only five chapters: election, Satan, sex, love, work, and death—just to name a few. Yet perhaps its most dominant theme is the second coming of Jesus.

I talked to Matt Smethurst, the managing editor of the Gospel Coalition and an elder at Third Avenue Baptist Church in Louisville, Kentucky, about these two often overlooked but content-rich books. Matt brings to the conversation his knowledge of these books that came from teaching them to adults at his church as well as writing 1–2 Thessalonians: A 12–Week Study in the Knowing the Bible study guide series.

You can listen to part one of the interview here and part two on 2 Thessalonians here.

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Recommended Print Resources:

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