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Read Introduction to Ephesians

 

20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,

 

Verses 20 to 21 are an attribution of praise, a doxology. This doxology is suitable for the conclusion of the first major argument of Ephesians. The first three chapters deal with our status before God in Christ. We hold the same status that Jesus has before God. No wonder there is a major ascription of praise here!

There are two descriptions of God that pertain to believers in verse 20:

God is able to do things in a measure that exceeds our expectations.

God is exhaustless in what He provides.

Now to Him

We give God praise rather than celebrate our own accomplishments.

who is able to do

God can accomplish what we cannot do and make us love what we would not otherwise love. God is at work. We have all seen the road signs about “Men at Work.” Here it is “God at work.” He is not passive or indifferent about our lives.

exceedingly abundantly [hyper-abundantly]

If believers allow Christ to dwell in them in fellowship, then God will do things “exceedingly abundantly” beyond what they anticipated. This one word in Greek occurs in ancient writings only here and in 1 Thessalonians 3:10. The idea is that God has superlative of superlatives in dealing with His people.

above all that we ask or think,

God can do more than we “ask” in prayer or even what occasions our thinking. It is beyond our ability to comprehend. This is an affirmation about prayer. God works beyond what we might “ask” or “think” in terms of possibilities.

Note the word “all.” God can do more than most of what we ask; He can do “all” that we ask or think. This does not mean that we can command God to give us what we want from our perspective, but it does mean that God can answer prayer beyond our extant petitions or even the possibility of asking. It is God who has this ability, not us. He will do “above” what we ask or think.

according to [norm or standard] the power that works in us,

Some people may think that the previous statements of this verse are hyperbole, but the phrase here shows why that is not so. God is able to do this, not us. None of us will ever know the full extent of how God works. This is true even in our salvation.

PRINCIPLE:

God can do more in us than we have the capacity to conceive.

APPLICATION:

All of us at times are uncertain about our petitions and intercessions to God. Sometimes it is a matter of faith or boldness as to why we do not pray more aggressively.

Carnal and indifferent Christians have no idea what God can do in them. They are so buried in anti-biblical patterns that they are not even aware of the possibility of God using them or answering their prayers beyond the way they configure their lives.

All of this misses what God can do through the Spirit of God in their lives. He offers the “power” to live beyond what otherwise we could live (Eph 4:20). We have power available for us to live beyond our perceived limitations.

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