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Ephesians 3:20-21


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Well, I'm having one of 'those' mornings today...


I want to hide from the Lord (even though I know I cannot), I want to hide from the world (I can kinda do that lol)...


This walk of mine, scripturally, can't be based on my feelings...they are way too erratic. So, Lord, please bless my willingness to take a step into Your Word. Forgive me my sins, for they are way to many, and do with my life, that which You want to do.


20. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,


Calvin writes, "Now to him. He now breaks out into thanksgiving, which serves the additional purpose of exhorting the Ephesians to maintain “good hope through grace,” (2 Thessalonians 2:16,) and to endeavor constantly to obtain more and more adequate conceptions of the value of the grace of God.


Who is able. This refers to the future, and agrees with what we are taught concerning hope; and indeed we cannot offer to God proper or sincere thanksgivings for favors received, unless we are convinced that his goodness to us will be without end. When he says that God is able, he does not mean power viewed apart, as the phrase is, from the act, but power which is exerted, and which we actually feel. Believers ought always to connect it with the work, when the promises made to them, and their own salvation, form the subject of inquiry. Whatever God can do, he unquestionably will do, if he has promised it. This the apostle proves both by former instances, and by the efficacy of the Spirit, which was at this very time exerted on their own minds.


According to the power that worketh in us, — according to what we feel within ourselves; for every benefit which God bestows upon us is a manifestation of his grace, and love, and power, in consequence of which we ought to cherish a stronger confidence for the future. Exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, is a remarkable expression, and bids us entertain no fear lest faith of a proper kind should go to excess. Whatever expectations we form of Divine blessings, the infinite goodness of God will exceed all our wishes and all our thoughts."


This makes me think of so many areas of my life where my hands feel tied and I am not able to accomplish all that I thinking and should. Once again, it ain't about me, it's all about Him, and He IS exceedingly able, in all things.


Clarke comments, "Now unto him] Having finished his short, but most wonderfully comprehensive and energetic prayer, the apostle brings in his doxology, giving praise to Him from whom all blessings come, and to whom all thanks are due.


That is able to do exceeding abundantly] It is impossible to express the full meaning of these words, God is omnipotent, therefore he is able to do all things, and able to do uper ek perissou, superabundantly above the greatest abundance. And who can doubt this, who has any rational or Scriptural views of his power or his love? All that we ask or think] We can ask every good of which we have heard, every good which God has promised in his word; and we can think of, or imagine, goods and blessings beyond all that we have either read of or seen: yea, we can imagine good things to which it is impossible for us to give a name; we can go beyond the limits of all human descriptions; we can imagine more than even God has specified in his word; and can feel no bounds to our imagination of good, but impossibility and eternity: and after all, God is able to do more for us than we can ask or think; and his ability here is so necessarily connected with his willingness, that the one indisputably implies the other; for, of what consequence would it be to tell the Church of God that he had power to do so and so, if there were not implied an assurance that he will do what his power can, and what the soul of man needs to have done? According to the power that worketh in us] All that he can do, and all that he has promised to do, will be done according to what he has done, by that power of the holy Ghost thn energoumenhn, which worketh strongly in us - acts with energy in our hearts, expelling evil, purifying and refining the affections and desires, and implanting good."


Henry writes, "The apostle closes the chapter with a doxology, v. 20, 21. It is proper to conclude our prayers with praises. Our blessed Saviour has taught us to do so. Take notice how he describes God, and how he ascribes glory to him. He describes him as a God that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think. There is an inexhaustible fulness of grace and mercy in God, which the prayers of all the saints can never draw dry. Whatever we may ask, or think to ask, still God is still able to do more, abundantly more, exceedingly abundantly more. Open thy mouth ever so wide, still he hath wherewithal to fill it. Note, In our applications to God we should encourage our faith by a consideration of his all-sufficiency and almighty power. According to the power which worketh in us. As if he had said, We have already had a proof of this power of God, in what he hath wrought in us and done for us, having quickened us by his grace, and converted us to himself. The power that still worketh for the saints is according to that power that hath wrought in them. Wherever God gives of his fulness he gives to experience his power. Having thus described God, he ascribes glory to him. When we come to ask for grace from God, we ought to give glory to God. Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus. In ascribing glory to God, we ascribe all excellences and perfections to him, glory being the effulgency and result of them all. Observe, The seat of God's praises is in the church. That little rent of praise which God receives from this world is from the church, a sacred society constituted for the glory of God, every particular member of which, both Jew and Gentile, concurs in this work of praising God. The Mediator of these praises is Jesus Christ. All God's gifts come from his to us through the hand of Christ; and all our praises pass from us to him through the same hand. And God should and will be praised thus throughout all ages, world without end; for he will ever have a church to praise him, and he will ever have his tribute of praise from his church. Amen. So be it; and so it will certainly be."


I always noticed in the Psalms, when David would write from the wrenchings in his heart, how he would always end that prayer/psalm with thanksgiving and hope in the Lord. I have also noticed that when I have unloaded my heart before His holy throne, that once expressed towards the One who is exceedingly able, that peace rushes in and I naturally find myself in a position where I can't help but praise Him, thank Him, worship Him.


21. Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.


Calvin has no comment on this verse.


Clarke shares, "Unto him] Thus possessed of power and goodness, be glory in the Church - be unceasing praises ascribed in all the assemblies of the people of God, wherever these glad tidings are preached, and wherever this glorious doctrine shall be credited.


By Christ Jesus] Through whom, and for whom, all these miracles of mercy and power are wrought.


Throughout all ages] eiv pasav tav geneav? Through all succeeding generations - while the race of human beings continues to exist on the face of the earth.


World without end.] tou aiwnov twn aiwnwn? Throughout eternity - in the coming world as well as in this. The song of praise, begun upon earth, and protracted through all the generations of men, shall be continued in heaven, by all that are redeemed from the earth, where eras, limits, and periods are no more for ever.


Amen.] So be it. So let it be! and so it will be; for all the counsels of God are faithfulness and truth; and not one jot or tittle of his promise has failed, from the foundation of the world to the present day; nor can fail, till mortality is swallowed up of life.


Therefore, to the Father, Son, and holy Ghost, be glory, dominion, power, and thanksgiving, now, henceforth, and for ever. - Amen and Amen.


1. FOR the great importance of the matter contained in this chapter, and the sublimity of the language and conceptions, there is no portion of the New Testament equal to this. The apostle was now shut up in prison, but the word of the Lord was not bound; and the kingdom of God seems to have been opened to him in a most astonishing manner. There seems to have been exhibited to him a plan of the Divine counsels and conduct relative to the salvation of man, before and from the foundation of the world to the end of time; and while, with the eye of his mind, he contemplates this plan, he describes it in language at once the most elevated that can be conceived, and every where dignified and appropriate to the subject; so that he may with safety be compared with the finest of the Grecian writers. In the notes I have already observed how hard it is to give any literal translation of the many compound epithets which the apostle uses. Indeed his own nervous language seems to bend and tremble under the weight of the Divine ideas which it endeavours to express. This is most observable in the prayer and doxology which are contained in ver. 14-21. A passage in Thucydides, lib. vii. cap. lxxxvii, in fine, where he gives an account of the total overthrow of the Athenian general, Nicias, and his whole army, by the Sicilians, has been compared with this of the apostle; it is truly a grand piece, and no reader can be displeased with its introduction here: xunebh te ergon touto Æellhnikon twn kaqa ton polemon tonde megiston genesqai-kai toiv te krathsasi lamprotaton, kai toiv diafqareisi dustucestaton? kata panta gar pantwv nikhqentev, kai ouden oligon ev ouden kakopaqhsantev, panwleqria dh, to legomenon, kai pezov kai nhev, kai ouden o, ti ouk apwleto? kai oligoi apo pollwn epÆ oikou apenosthsan? "This was the greatest discomfiture which the Greeks sustained during the whole war, and was as brilliant to the conquerors as it was calamitous to the vanquished. In every respect they were totally defeated; and they suffered no small evil in every particular: the destruction was universal, both of army and navy; there was nothing that did not perish; and scarcely any, out of vast multitudes, returned to their own homes.


The learned may compare the two passages; and while due credit is given to the splendid Greek historian, no critic will deny the palm to the inspired writer.


2. With such portions of the word of God before us, how is it that we can he said conscientiously to credit the doctrines of Christianity, and live satisfied with such slender attainments in the divine life? Can any man that pleads for the necessary and degrading continuance of indwelling sin, believe what the apostle has written? Can we, who profess to believe it, be excusable, and live under the influence of any temper or passion that does not belong to the mind of Christ? Will it be said in answer, that "this is only a prayer of the apostle, and contains his wish from the overflowings of his heart for the spiritual prosperity of the Ephesians?" Was the apostle inspired or not when he penned this prayer? If he were not inspired, the prayer makes no part of Divine revelation; if he were inspired, every petition is tantamount to a positive promise; for what God inspires the heart to pray for, that God purposes to bestow. Then it is his will that all these blessings should be enjoyed by his true followers, that Christ should inhabit their hearts, and that they should be filled with all the fullness of God; yea, and that God should do for them more abundantly than they can ask or think. This necessarily implies that they should be saved from all sin, inward and outward, in this life; that the thoughts of their hearts should be cleansed by the inspiration of God's Holy Spirit, that they might perfectly love him, and worthily magnify his holy name.


As sin is the cause of the ruin of mankind, the Gospel system, which is its cure, is called good news, or glad tidings; and it is good news because it proclaims him who saves his people from their sins. It would be dishonourable to the grace of Christ to suppose that sin had made wounds which that could not heal."


Heavenly Father,


Please bless the reading of Your Word. Teach us that which You would have us learn. Protect us, guide us, grow us and may Your perfect will overcome the wiles of the enemy that seeks to destroy.


In Jesus Name,

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I'm learning very carefully by His hands not to 'put Him in a box'. I could make a list of all the ways He's showed me this just in the last month and even moreso in the last 3 months but it happened again just this morning and again when I returned home from a trip. There is absolutely nothing He cannot or will not do for His people who are determined to serve Him and grow His Kingdom no matter what. He's Good, I tell you, He's good. Thanks for continuing this study.

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