For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
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, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. —Ephesians 3
Now don’t miss the fact that the form of verse 20 carries part of the meaning. It is a doxology. Paul is soaring. He is singing or shouting. If you don’t see that, you might simply say that verse 20 is a novel way of stating the doctrine of God’s sovereignty—he can do anything he pleases. But there are a lot of people who believe that doctrine in their heads who don’t sing about it. They don’t shout, GLORY TO GOD! when they think about it. Why is Paul singing? Until you can answer that, you can’t say you know the meaning of this verse.
Paul is singing because he sees two things, not just one thing.
- He sees that the power of God over the church goes beyond what we can think.
- And he also sees that the love of God for the church goes beyond what we can think.
Notice verses 18–19. He prays that the church “may have power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge.”
Do you see the parallel with the power of God in verse 20? In verse 19 he says that the love of Christ for the church goes beyond what you can know, and in verse 20 he says that the power of God over the church goes beyond what you can think. When the massive weather front of God’s love meets the massive weather front of God’s power in the heart of a believer, it produces a hurricane of confidence called “Gloria”—a powerful doxology: “To him be GLORY in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations for ever and ever. Amen.”