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Ephesians overview 3:20-21, The Doxology

length: 49:56 - taught on Sep, 10 2020
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Class Outline:

Title: Ephesians overview - 3:20-21, The Doxology.


EPH 3:16-19

that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man; 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fulness of God.


Being filled by God is to be our reality. In this prayer we see that being filled to the fullness of God is conditioned on the riches of God’s glory strengthening us with power through the Holy Spirit within; knowing and living in the life of Christ so that the Christ would dwell at home in our hearts; being rooted and ground in love, with all the saints, apprehending all dimensions of Christ love. It is one kind of life, the life of heaven that Christ brought to earth with Him and gave to us freely. When we know it, explore it, and live it consistently, we will find ourselves being filled up with the perfect attributes of God.  


This is how God fulfills us, fills us so that we lack nothing, and gives us a mighty feeling of contentment.


Paul’s prayers in Eph 1 and 3 reveal to us the true manifestations of our lives in Christ. He prayed the heavens for us. He did not pray that we would be a bit more moral or restricted, but that we would be like Christ Himself.


Has Paul sought too much for his fellow-believers? Did he reach too high and then bid us to do the same?


Everything in Eph 1-3:13 was the background. Blessed, elected, predestined, graced out, redeemed, forgiven, wisdom, insight (understanding the mystery of His will), possessing an inheritance, seeing His glory, sealed by the HS, the fulness of Christ, made alive together with Him, risen together with Him, seated together with Him, made for good works, full access by the HS, of God’s household, new men, established in peace, enlightened by the mystery of Christ, knowing the unfathomable riches of Christ, and bold access to the throne of God.


Since all of this is true, would we consider Paul’s prayer to be too high? In fact, of course, it is just right. Strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man so that the Christ would dwell at home in our hearts, in love being rooted and grounded, so that we may be able to apprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth and to keep on knowing and discovering the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge that we may be filled up to all the fulness of God.


And just in case we wonder that God could do such things with us, even after knowing what has been written up to this point, Paul closes this first-half of his extraordinary letter with a doxology, a short hymn or poem to the glory of God, stating that God will do far beyond what we can ask or think. Yes, God can and will do all that Paul prayed for us when our faith is in it. It is impossible to ask God for too much. His capacity for giving far exceeds his people’s capacity for asking - or even imagining.


Doxology: EPH 3:20-21


God’s capacity for giving far exceeds His people’s capacity for asking - or even imagining.


EPH 3:20-21

Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.


Huper (exceeding) panta (all) huperekperissou (infinitely more).

Paul coins his own super-superlative: huperekperissou (huper: over; ek: out of; perissos: extraordinary or above measure) = infinitely more.


And the link you’re going to love is to our Lord’s Sermon on the Mount when He said:


MAT 5:47 - ti perisson = what extraordinary?


MAT 5:47-48

"And if you greet your brothers only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 "Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.


We are to be what (MAT 5:47) what God is able to do (EPH 3:20). It’s a perfect marriage.


So then, Paul is perfectly justified in praying for what He does in EPH 3:16-19.


Paul has reached the end of his amazing summary of all that God has done for man. God is worthy of praise and glorification, EPH 1:3: eulogetos.


EPH 1:3

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ;


Paul’s own contemplation of what God has done for us in Christ leads him to call forth this statement of God’s glory.


A doxology takes the basic form, “To God be the glory.”


PSA 29:1-2

Ascribe to the Lord, O sons of the mighty,

Ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.

2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due to His name;

Worship the Lord in holy array.


And in this psalm, one from David’s youth, he would make God’s voice to be like a large, powerful storm.


After David motivated the people to give for the building of what would become Solomon’s magnificent Temple:


1CH 29:10-13

So David blessed the Lord in the sight of all the assembly; and David said, "Blessed art Thou, O Lord God of Israel our father, forever and ever. 11 Thine, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, indeed everything that is in the heavens and the earth; Thine is the dominion, O Lord, and Thou dost exalt Thyself as head over all. 12 Both riches and honor come from Thee, and Thou dost rule over all, and in Thy hand is power and might; and it lies in Thy hand to make great, and to strengthen everyone. 13 Now therefore, our God, we thank Thee, and praise Thy glorious name.


The doxologies in the Bible come from men overwhelmed by the love, grace, and mercy of God. They would definitely be spontaneous; a true response of gratitude and awe that comes from understanding, and not like some premeditated lines to recite for the purpose of sounding like something you are not.


Other doxologies that come from Paul:


ROM 11:36

For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.


ROM 16:25-27

Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, 26 but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith; 27 to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen.


GAL 1:5

to whom be the glory forevermore. Amen.


PHI 4:20

Now to our God and Father be the glory forever and ever. Amen.


1TI 1:17

Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.


I encourage you to read the context of what Paul writes in these passages in order to discover what it is that leads him to his praise of God’s glory.


His final one soon before his death:


2TI 4:18

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


I encourage you to read 2Ti in order to find what leads to his last doxology. His last letter is magnificent.


There are also the hallelujah psalms (146-150).


PSA 146:1-2

Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord, O my soul!

2 I will praise the Lord while I live;

I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.


EPH 3:20-21

Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, 21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.


The reason God can do exceeding abundantly beyond is the power that He has put into His people - His word, knowledge, understanding, the truth of Christ, the Holy Spirit, etc.


It is important to understand since it will not be a miracle from heaven that is going to do the great things God is going to do, but a miracle from within ourselves. That miracle then is a part of us, not fully separate from ourselves. That miracle’s effectiveness is directly tied to our choices and decisions, again, it is a part of us.


The participle “works”, energeo, is in the middle voice. It operates for us.


In vs. 21, “to Him be the glory in the church,” means that God alone is to be glorified in the church, and never any man. The glorification of good men in the church has done far more harm than any good, if any good comes from it at all.


The glory of God will also be in Christ Jesus, not that Paul is putting the church and the Lord on the same level. He is the Head of the church. God’s glory is in both, but perfectly and full in the Person and work of our precious Lord and Savior.


The shining forth of the glory of God both in the church and in Christ will continue for all of eternity, “to all generations, forever and ever, Amen.”


This concludes the first half of the letter. The first half is about the truth of the divine life in man; the second half turns to the way of that life under the commands. So far in the letter there has been only one imperative, but now we will find many.

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