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“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 3:20,21).

PAUL’S WORDS HERE CONSTITUTE A “DOXOLOGY.” From the Greek doxa (“glory, honor”), a doxology is an expression of praise to God. To God be glory, Paul says, throughout all generations.

In Christ Jesus. Everything about Christ results in God’s glory. On the evening before He died, Jesus prayed, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you” (John 17:1). So we may certainly pray that God will be glorified in Christ.

In the church. Because it deals with human beings, this part of the passage is hard for some to understand, and yet it is no less true. The work of Christ in accomplishing the Father’s purposes resulted in a people saved from their sins. God is glorified by the very existence of these people. Even prior to their perfection in heaven, those saved “in Christ” are those by whose redemption God is greatly glorified.

Our prayer should be that God will receive glory “in the church and in Christ Jesus.” Yes, we do need to resist sectarian, institutional, and “party” concepts of the church, but we must not be so preoccupied with false doctrine that we fail to emphasize important truths that should be preached positively. I fear that some can’t even hear the mention of a passage like Ephesians 3:21 without hastening to remind hearers of what it does not mean. But surely, what the passage teaches is extremely important, and we shouldn’t be hesitant to proclaim it. May God be glorified in Christ Jesus. And may He be glorified in the church, as Paul teaches us.

God chose that Christ’s glory would be closely related to the glory of His people, people who have been saved from their sins by His own blood. These people — broken, fallible, but forgiven people, growing in holiness as they learn from their mistakes — are the people who “embody” Christ and glorify God the Father. If you have obeyed the gospel of Christ, you are a part of Christ’s body, His church. In your new relationship with God, you are not alone. You are part of a people, each of whom it glorified God to rescue.

In Your church, Lord, be glorified, be glorified.
In Your church, Lord, be glorified today.
(Bob Kilpatrick)

Gary Henry — +

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