“Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
In the little church I grew up in, we called it “The Doxology.” We knew to sing it after the offering had been taken:
Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
I learned later that a doxology was more than just those four lines from my childhood. The word “doxology” is a Greek compound word (doxa, “glory” + logia, “saying”), meaning the ascription of glory to God.
It is no surprise to come across many doxologies in the New Testament, or to see Paul beginning this letter to Ephesians with a doxology: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 1:3). Doxologies aren’t just for after the offering!
It is a Christian’s habit of thought to want to ascribe glory to God, both for who He is and for all He does for us. As thunder follows lighting, so praise follows our knowledge of God.
So as Paul has prayed, thinking hard about God’s power at work in believers, he wants to praise the Father: “to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus…” Notably, Paul sees God’s glory shining in the church, manifesting God’s power to save. It is there, in redeemed sinners, in the very Body of Christ, that God will, “in the ages to come show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus” (Ephesian 2:7). It has forever been God’s plan for His church to reveal His glory, “so that through the church the wisdom of God in its rich variety might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 3:10). Amid the glories of God’s vast creation, His glory in the church stands out! And it is to the church that God entrusts the doxology of worship and praise.
We shall one day be clothed in white linen and bow by the crystal sea before the Throne and the Lamb. We shall be numbered with “myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, singing with full voice, ‘Worthy is the Lamb that was slaughtered to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!‘” (Revelation 5:12)
The old Westminster Catechism was right: we were created to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. That is our reason for living and where real enjoyment is found. God cannot give us joy apart from Himself, because it is not there!
THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
“The love of God our Savior is indeed an illimitable ocean; but we may see enough of it in this world to lead us to adore and praise God with overflowing hearts.” Albert Barnes