Ephesians 3:20-21 Paul's Doxology
David Leyshon was a pastor for fourteen years. He loved being a pastor, but he is no longer in the ministry. He did not step down from ministry because...
of a moral failure,
a bad church split,
he did not chose a different vocation,
he did not get burned out,
he did not retire.
He stepped down from being a pastor because he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and was no longer able to fulfill his ministry at the church where he had been serving.
I would imagine that Mr. Leyshon struggled to cope with the fact that his sickness was taking something from him that he not only loved to do, but that he had been called to do by God.
After he stepped down from ministry he wrote a book entitled, ‘Sickness, Suffering and Scripture’. Through all of this Mr. Leyshon had learned something that brought him great encouragement. This is what he says, “According to God’s Word a man’s strength is not to be measured by anything he possesses in himself – whether muscle-power, will-power, or financial clout. Rather, because power belongs to the LORD, human strength is dependent on the extent to which a man leans upon God. ‘I can do all things through him who strengthens me’ (Philippians 4:13). For in the areas that matter – the things that count for eternity – be a man ever so intelligent, imposing, qualified or gifted, he can do nothing if he is not energized by God in Christ. (John 15:5).”
Our text this morning is a doxology that Paul prays. In it Paul prays that God would be glorified because of the power that He provides to those who are in Christ.
Paul has spent the last three chapters talking about the gospel and it’s profound effects upon believers.
Now, as we come to the end of chapter three, Paul is about to transition in this letter from teaching the truths concerning the gospel, to discussing the change of life that every Christian ought to walk in. This sanctification that we experience is something that we rely upon the power of God to accomplish. (Galatians 2:20)
In Ephesians 3:20-21 Paul says, “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
Overview of the preceding passage...
In Ephesians 3 we were reminded that Paul was a minister, who like David Leyshon, was suffering in ministry. We saw this in Ephesians 3:13 when Paul said, “So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.”
Paul suffered as a prisoner because he was a faithful preacher of the gospel. Many in Paul’s day may have come to believe that Paul’s ministry had been sidelined, or that it had come to a complete stop, or that it had been severely hindered. Therefore, some believers were being tempted to loose heart.
Yet, even from prison Paul carried out the stewardship that he has been given by God. He spoke of this in Ephesians 3:1-3, “For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles – assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation as I have written briefly.”
In Ephesians 3:4-6 Paul describes that this stewardship pertained to the mystery of Christ, which was hidden but has now been revealed to the apostles and the prophets by the Spirit.
What is this mystery? Paul tells us in Ephesians 3:6 by saying, “This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.”
Then in Ephesians 3:7-10 Paul reminds the Ephesians that he has been made a minister by the grace of God through the working of God’s power. He says, “Of this gospel, I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of His power. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, who created all things, so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might be made known to the rulers and authorities in heavenly places.”
Finally, in Ephesians 3:14-19 Paul bows in prayer. In verses 14-15 we see the invocation, “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and earth is named...”
In Ephesians 3:16 we have the main request of this prayer, “...that according to the riches of His glory He may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being...”
Ephesians 3:17-19 gives the results of such a prayer, “...so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith – that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with the fullness of God.” (Galatians 2:20)
Now we come to Paul’s Doxology In Ephesians 3:20-21
“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”