By Stan Brown
Ephesians 3:21 to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.
Paul completes the doxology as he attributes glory to the One whom He described in the previous verse. He simply says to Him be the glory. The glory of God has to do with His essential essence. In this context it refers to His splendor, His power, His radiance and His love. Paul first praises Him for who He is. We often come to Him with requests and well we should as He invites us to do so. It is also important to sit back or kneel down or stand and look upward as we consider who He is. He is beyond our comprehension. He has revealed to us as much of who He is as we can understand in both His creation and in His written Word. He continues to reveal more of Himself to us as we walk with Him each day. We can have a personal relationship with Him through faith, indeed with the One who possesses all glory. It is by faith that we are saved. It is by faith that we live. We ascribe glory to Him for who He is.
His glory is revealed in the church and in Christ Jesus. The theologians debate over the word order in that the church comes before Christ Jesus in the sentence, but I suspect this is because sometimes theologians just don’t have enough to do. In the first three chapters of Ephesians the two are inseparably related as the church and its unity are exposed. The church is being built up into a dwelling place for God. The church is the body of Christ (which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all (Eph. 1:23)). The church exists because of what Christ has done. Without the work of Christ there is no church. Christ always displays the glory of God in His essential essence. The church is being formed by God as a display of His glory (I could ponder this for a while). We are part of the body of Christ.
Paul attributes this glory to God for both time and eternity (to all generations forever and ever). When we look to God right now, glory is due to His name. This attribution of glory continues into the ages of the ages. He, in all His glory, exists forever and we are there with Him. The final word of the doxology (amen) says “yes” to the praise Paul has expressed. Paul is overwhelmed by God’s glory. May we as well be overwhelmed by His glory.
This doxology serves as a transition as it points back to the first three chapters concerning what God has done and points forward to how we should live based upon what He has done and is doing. It is great to know all that God has done for us as we praise Him. It is vital to know that He continues to work in our lives now. He has not forgotten us once we received His salvation. It is also important to consider what happens when the rubber meets the road. Paul will consider that in the remainder of the epistle.