Ephesians 3:20, 21
by The Rt. Rev. Daniel R. Morse
St. Paul has said that our redemption is the work of the Trinity—we have been brought from the dead, joined to the commonwealth of Israel, made one with those whom we formerly hated, built together with them into a dwelling of God, and that we have received the mystery, i.e. the Church.
Then he prays that we would be strengthened, rooted in love, that we would know the love of Christ with all the saints, and that we would be filled with God’s fullness.
What authority does St. Paul have for saying all of that? What hope does he have that it is actually true and actually coming to pass in our experience? God has riches in glory (v. 16), and God works powerfully within us. He has power that can do far more than we can imagine.
I. God’s Ability To Answer Prayer
A. He is able to do or work. He is not idle, inactive, or dead.
B. He is able to do what we ask—He hears and answers.
C. He is able to do what we think—he reads our thoughts, and sometimes we imagine things we dare not ask, and so we don’t ask.
D. He is able to do all we ask or think.
E. He is able to do more than we ask or think— “hyper”— beyond. His expectations are higher than ours.
F. He is able to do much more than we ask or think— more abundantly.
G. He is able to do very much more than we ask or think. He is the God of super-abundance.
II. By the Power That Works Within Us
A. There is nothing that is necessary to add to us. We don’t need spiritual additives, or a second work of grace.
B. The power is in us. Christ is in us by faith, which is not to say that we believe that he is in us, but that he is in us through the channel, or instrumentality of faith. He is in us as individuals (v. 17), and he is within us as a Church (2:22)
C. The power of the resurrection—God raised up Christ, seated him in heaven, and then enthroned us there with him.
D. St. Paul prays that we would love each other with the love of Christ that is beyond knowing, and then he says that the only way it can happen is by the power of God that is beyond our imagination— from limitless love to limitless power.
III. The Doxology— 1:3
A. There is nothing left to say or to explain if all of that is true. There is only praise to God.
B. Since the power comes from God, all the glory must go to Him.
C. The glory goes to Him from the Body and the Head, from the bride and the bridegroom. The Church is the outworking of God’s purpose, but the glory doesn’t go to the Church.
D. This glory will be given to God to all generations for ever and ever.