20 “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20–21 (ESV)
Ephesians 3:20-21 brings the reader of this epistle to the conclusion of the letter’s first half. Chapters 4-6 will begin the application section being more practical in nature and content.
It should not be surprising that the Apostle Paul concludes the doctrinal section, much as he did in the Epistle to the Romans (Romans 11:33-36), with a doxology. The word doxology, from the Medieval Latin doxologia, originally comes from the Greek term doxa, meaning opinion or glory, and the suffix -logia, which refers to an oral or written expression. Therefore, a doxology is a verbal expression of praise and glorification to, and of, God. The Gloria in Excelsis and the Gloria Patri are two of the best-known and most often sung doxologies in contemporary Christianity.
The Apostle Paul begins his doxology with these words from Ephesians 3:20: “Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us.” Paul’s focus is completely upon the Lord. God alone is the subject of these two doxological verses.
Why does the apostle give God alone praise? It is because God is able to do something. What the Lord is able (δύναμαι; dynamai) or powerful to do, within the preceding immediate context, is to give each believer in Christ what Paul prayed for in Ephesians 3:14-19. God has the ability to give His people a comprehension of His love for them through the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Paul explains that the Lord is able to do so far more abundantly (ὑπερεκπερισσοῦ; hyperekperissou), which means He is able to answer the apostle’s prayer to an extreme degree. This abundance is not only for the apostle’s prayer, but also our own. God has the ability to do far more than we either ask or think from Him.
This ability of God is because of His almighty power. Rather than an obscure doctrinal truth, Paul wants believers in Christ to understand that this power of, and from, God resides within each Christian. It is a power at work within each of us.
Dr. R. C. Sproul writes, “This power is the Spirit of the risen Christ. The first half of the letter climaxes as Paul considers the overwhelming power of God, who carries out His gracious (2:7) and all –wise (3:10) plan for the reconciliation of human beings.”
Soli deo Gloria!