“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.”
“Not even half had been told me!” Those were the astonished words of the Queen of Sheba upon seeing the glories of Solomon and his kingdom. (1 Kings 10:7). The Queen from the south had been told of it but could not have imagined it.
Those who come to Christ often feel not even half had been told about His glories. We might exclaim with Paul: “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the human heart conceived,” is promised for those who love Him (1 Corinthians 2:9). Followers of Christ are like the early settlers on America’s coast, not knowing the vast continent stretched before them. They could know nothing of its great rivers, lakes, mountains, prairies, and resources. That would await discovery.
Paul prays for our discovery of the Spirit’s power, knowledge of Christ’s boundless love, and the filling of the fullness of the Godhead. We can be sure that the half has not been told. Even the best of sermons, books, and podcasts fall short in telling the glories of Christ and His kingdom. It awaits our discovery!
As Paul crowns his prayer with a doxology of praise, he ascribes glory to God the Father. He sees the Father’s glory shining brightly “in the church” and “in Christ Jesus.” A stumbling, often failing Church manifests God’s glory as, by grace, we have been saved, raised up with Christ, and seated with Him in the heavenly places (Ephesians 2:5-6).
While the “heavens are declaring the glory of God’ (Psalm 19:1), and “the whole earth is full of his glory” (Isaiah 6:3), it is the cross of Christ that supremely radiates glory. As Jesus faced the cross, he announced: “And what should I say – ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. ‘Father, glorify your name’” (John 12:27-28a). Jesus knew that in laying down His life for the world, He would glorify the Father, revealing God as self-giving love!
Early Syriac theologian Isaac the Syrian saw in the cross the greatest revelation of who God is, His very essence. Isaac wrote:
“God the Lord surrendered His own Son to death on(The Ascetical Homilies of Saint Isaac the Syrian)
the Cross for the fervent love of creation…This was not,
however, because He could not redeem us in another way,
but so that His surpassing love, manifested thereby,
might be a teacher of us. And by the death of His
Only-begotten Son, He made us near to Himself.
Yea, if He had had anything more precious,
He would have given it to us.”
The glories of God are made known in Christ’s self-giving love. For Jesus is “the one mediator between God and humankind” who, through His cross, “God was reconciling the world to himself” (1 Timothy 2:5; 2 Corinthians 5:19). All of life’s blessings are in Christ, coming to us through Him. It is Christ who makes our doxologies sweet and well-pleasing to the Father as we offer them up through Christ (Hebrews 13:15).
God has exalted Christ over all authorities and powers, giving Him a name above every name, and “made him the head over all things for the church” (Ephesians 1:22, bold for emphasis). Jesus is enthroned at God the Father’s right hand, for the church; not for Himself, but those whom He so loves!
John the Evangelist is surely right! “In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sin” (1 John 4:10). Not even half has been told us of His love!
THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
“For who can declare this glory of Christ? Who can speak these things as he ought? I am so far from designing to set them forth the whole of it that I am deeply sensible how little a portion I can comprehend of the least part of it.” John Owens.