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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.

Worship Jesus in doxology (2 Timothy 4:18; 2 Peter 3:18)

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A doxology is "an ascription of praise or glory to God in song or prayer."[*1] If the Lord Jesus were to receive just one doxology[*2] this would prove that He was worshiped as God for: 

 Doxologies, by their very nature, were addressed to the one God who alone is worthy of eternal glory and worship. Bauckham draws the only possible conclusion: "There could be no clearer way of ascribing to Jesus the worship due to God" (The Deity of Christ, Christopher W. Morgan and Robert A. Peterson, page 163). 


2 Timothy 4:18

The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. (NASB) 

     1.Tony Costa: "the Lord" here in keeping with traditional Pauline linguistic parlance is a reference to the risen Jesus (Worship and the Risen Jesus in the Pauline Letters, page 60).

     2. Notice that the Father is the recipient of the doxology in Galatians 1:5[*3] and the same Greek words of worship ascribed to Him there[*4] are used in reference to the Lord Jesus in 2 Timothy 4:18.

ᾧ ἡ δόξα εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων ἀμήν (Galatians 1:5) 
ᾧ ἡ δόξα εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων ἀμήν (2 Timothy 4:18) 

 Galatians 1:5 teaches the worship due unto the Father while 2 Timothy 4:18 teaches the worship due unto the Lord Jesus.[*5]


2 Peter 3:18

but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (NASB) 

     1. J. Schneider and C. Brown: The letter closes with a prayer taking up again the theme of knowledge which doubtless includes that of the commandment of Christ: "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen" (2 Pet. 3:18) (NIDNTT 3:221, Redemption, the bold face is mine). 

     2. Daniel Whedon: To him be glory—That is, to Christ; an attribute never ascribed in doxology to any creature in scripture. 




[*1] See G. B. Funderburk in the Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible (2:180, doxology). 


[*2] In addition to 2 Timothy 4:18 and 2 Peter 3:18 see 1 Timothy 1:17; Hebrews 13:21; 1 Peter 4:11; Revelation 1:5-6; 5:13-14. 



[*3] Richard Longenecker affirms that the doxology in Galatians 1:5 constitutes "the praise and worship of God by his creatures, of which he alone is worthy (cf. Pss 29:2; 96:8)" (Word Biblical Commentary, Galatians, page 9, volume 41). 


[*4] Many versions read "to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen" or something similar.


[*5] The Lord Jesus who "stood" with Paul in Acts 23:11 is the same Lord that had continually "stood" with him throughout his life (2 Timothy 4:17). Furthermore, the Lord Jesus has "rescued" (rhyomai) Paul from the lion's mouth (4:17) and will "rescue" (rhyomai) him from every evil deed (4:18; cf. Galatians 1:3-4). Moreover, in verse 17 the word "strengthened" (endynamoō) is used only two other times in Paul's' letters to Timothy and in both instances it is applied to the Lord Jesus (1 Timothy 1:12; 2 Timothy 2:1). 

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