The most excellent way of which Paul speaks is the way of love. If we love, we are truly God’s children.
In the Love chapter, Paul writes:
1If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 3If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it;a but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
4Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
8Prophecy and speaking in unknown languagesb and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! 9Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! 10But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.
11When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 12Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.c All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
13Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 NLT
John also writes about the importance of love in his first general epistle
7Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment for you; rather it is an old one you have had from the very beginning. This old commandment—to love one another—is the same message you heard before. 8Yet it is also new. Jesus lived the truth of this commandment, and you also are living it. For the darkness is disappearing, and the true light is already shining.
9If anyone claims, “I am living in the light,” but hates a Christian brother or sister,a that person is still living in darkness. 10Anyone who loves another brother or sisterb is living in the light and does not cause others to stumble. 11But anyone who hates another brother or sister is still living and walking in darkness. Such a person does not know the way to go, having been blinded by the darkness. 1 John 2:7-11
When Jesus came to earth, He made it a lot harder to be a religious, spiritual, or good person. He raised the stakes by telling us that the old ways of loving were insufficient. Now, we have to truly love each other as God loves us. Mercifully, God’s loving spirit is within us helping us to understand and to love.
The true unfailing spiritual work is love. This is the most excellent way.
James, the brother of our Lord agrees with this:
If you truly fulfill the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. James 2:8
And as Jesus said:
34But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him again. 35One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: 36“Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”
37Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’e 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’f 40The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:34-40