Ephesians Sentence by Sentence: 3:20-21

Τῷ δὲ δυναμένῳ ὑπὲρ πάντα ποιῆσαι ὑπερεκπερισσοῦ ὧν αἰτούμεθα ἢ νοοῦμεν κατὰ τὴν δύναμιν τὴν ἐνεργουμένην ἐν ἡμῖν αὐτῷ ἡ δόξα ἐν τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ καὶ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ εἰς πάσας τὰς γενεὰς τοῦ αἰῶνος τῶν αἰώνων ἀμήν. And to the one who is able to do infinitely more than all that we ask or think according to the power which works in us, to him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus for all the generations of eternity, amen.

Continuing on from his description of what he seeks the Father for on behalf of his readers, Paul gives a doxology. The Father is the recipient of this glory offering. The Father is the one who is able to do infinitely more than what we ask or think. However, there is a comparison being made. The Father is able above all others to exceed what we ask or think. No one else can do what the Father does. He surpasses everyone as he surpasses our preconceived notions. The phrase is repetitive to underscore how much God surpasses our expectations. Not only does he go beyond what we ask, but he goes infintely beyond our preconceived ideas.

But now we have to ask a question. Is the phrase κατὰ τὴν δύναμιν τὴν ἐνεργουμένην ἐν ἡμῖν supposed to go with the infinitive to do or with the verbs to ask and to know? In order to answer this question, we need to determine how κατὰ functions in the phrase. The word κατὰ marks the standard of similarity. The object of κατὰ is power. The accusative δύναμιν is linked not to the two verbs but to the action of the Father. The phrase κατὰ τὴν δύναμιν τὴν ἐνεργουμένην ἐν ἡμῖν ties in with the infinitive, not the two other verbs. The Father is able to do more than what we can imagine. How? In accordance with the power he works in us. This power is the norm between his doing and working. The Father accomplishes things by his power, and his power is at work in us.

Paul continues his praise offering to the Father. The Father is still the recipient. He calls for glory to be directed towards the Father. In what sphere should glory be given to the Father? Glory should be given in two spheres: one, in the Church; and two, in Christ Jesus. For how long should glory be given to the Father? Throughout all generations for eternity.

To the One who is able to accomplish infinitely more than all that we ask or think by the power which is working in us, glory to him in the Church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations for eternity.

The Father deserves to be praised for the great work that he has done in us. He is able to do far beyond what we can conceive of and imagine, and therefore he deserves to be praised. We would do well to praise the Father for the work that he has done and point all the glory to him. Glory does not belong to us, but to him. We would also do well to rely on the Father, for no one else is capable of doing what he is able to do. No one else compares to the Father. All glory belongs to him, and likewise, all faith, hope, and trust belong to him.

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Ephesians Sentence by Sentence: 3:14-19

Τούτου χάριν κάμπτω τὰ γόνατὰ μου πρὸς τὸν πατέρα ἐξ οὗ πᾶσα πατριὰ ἐν οὐρανοῖς καὶ ἐπὶ γῆς ὀνομάζεται ἵνα δῷ ὐμῖν κατὰ τὸ πλοῦτος τῆς δόξης αὐτοῦ δυνάμει κραταιωθῆναι διὰ τοῦ πνεύματος αὐτοῦ εἰς τὸν ἔσω ἄνθρωπον κατοικῆσαι τὸν Χριστὸν διὰ τῆς πίστεως ἐν ταῖς καρδίαις ὑμῶν ἐν ἀγάπῃ ἐρριζωμένοι καὶ τεθεμελιωμένοι ἵνα ἐξισχύσητε καταλαβέσθαι σὺν πᾶσιν τοῖς ἁγίαοις τί τὸ πλάτος καὶ μῆκος καὶ ὕψος καὶ βάθος γνῶναί τε τὴν ὑπερβάλλουσαν τῆς γνώσεως ἀγάπην τοῦ Χριστοῦ ἵνα πληρωθῆτε εἰς πᾶν τὸ πλήρωμα τοῦ θεοῦ. For this reason I bend my knees toward the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, in order that he might give to you according to the richness of his glory in power to be strengthened through the Spirit of him in the inner person, Christ to dwell through faith in your hearts, in love having been rooted and established, in order that you might be fully capable to process with all the saints what is the width, length, height, and depth, and to know the love of Christ that is surpassing knowledge, in order that you might be filled in all the fullness of God.

As a result of his suffering on behalf of the readers, Paul said that he was bowing down to the Father. He says that the Father is the one who gives every family a name both in heaven and on earth. Paul was bowing down to the Father for the purpose that He would give to the readers according to his glorious riches. Paul followed this statement with two infinitives of purpose. The Father would give them according to his glorious wealth, with the purpose that they would be strengthened in power inwardly through his Spirit, and Christ would dwell in their hearts through faith. Following the first infinitive, κραταιωθῆναι, comes a genitive prepositional phrase expressing agency. It is through the Spirit, the agent that accomplishes the action, that the readers are strengthened in power. Following the second infinitive, κατοικῆσαι, is a genitive prepositional phrase expressing means. Faith is the means for Christ to dwell in their hearts. Without faith, Christ could not dwell in their hearts.

Paul continues with two participles, ἐρριζωμένοι and τεθεμελιωμένοι. These participles are perfect passive, meaning that the action is done to the subject, rather than by the subject, and while the action did happen in the past, its effect are still felt through the present. The former participle means to be deeply rooted or firmly grounded; the second means to be established, and this by God. Paul is moving on from the idea of God giving and is focusing now on what God has done and continues to do in their lives. God has firmly grounded and established the readers in the foundation of love. But this grounding and establishing continues. God has not left the readers to their own demise. He continually tends to them. God has done and continues to work in their lives for the purpose that they should be fully capable of processing information, information regarding the width, length, height, and depth, and the love of Christ that is surpassing knowledge. The purpose of the two infinitives, καταλαβέσθαι and γνῶναί, to process and to know, is for the readers to be filled in all the fullness of God.

For this reason I bow down to the Father, from whom every family is named in heaven and on earth, with the purpose that he might give to you according to his glorious wealth, in order for you to be strengthened in power on the inside through his Spirit, in order for Christ to dwell in your hearts through means of faith, having been grounded and established in love (and continue to be), with the purpose that you might be fully capable to understand with all the saints what is the width, length, height, and depth, and to know the love of Christ that is surpassing knowledge, with the purpose that you might be filled into all the fullness of God.

Despite his suffering, Paul bowed down to the Father. We need to be equally devoted to the Father in our suffering. We need to recognize that God is in charge; he has given everyone their name. As we devote ourselves to the Father, God will be faithful to grow us in love, giving us deep roots that dig deep in the richness of love. Christ dwells in our hearts through faith, and we are strengthened inwardly with power by the Spirit of God. In light of this gracious blessing, we need to process in an effort to comprehend the vast love of Christ, which surpasses knowledge.