Vol. 15 No. 24
Vs. 20 which says God “is able to do infinitely more abundantly above all that we ask or think,” is the link between the doxology and the preceding prayer, which reflects the transition from request to praise. In the formulation of the praise, glory is ascribed to God in the Church and in Christ, and then two more features round off the doxology, an affirmation that such glory will last forever and an Amen.
Eph 3:21, “To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”
The main word of this sentence is DOXA, δόξα, the Greek noun for “glory.” It can mean, “glory, splendor, radiance, fame, renown, or honor.” DOXA was a secular word for “what one thought of another or reputation.” The Biblical writers used and radically redefined this word to align with its Hebrew counterpart, KABOD. DOXA then absorbed the more objective and absolute character associated in the Hebrew term KABOD, which denotes the majesty and splendor of God. Therefore, the terms noted above have come to stand for DOXA in the NT.
This is the last time “glory” is used in the letter. It conveys the reflection of the essence of one’s being, the summation of all of one’s attributes, and here it refers to God’s splendor, power, and radiance. It includes here God’s great work of reconciling Jewish and Gentile believers into one body, which was noted previously in this chapter, and prompted Paul with an outflow of praise to Him who is glorified “in the Church.”
The next important phrase is “in the Church,” which is EN HO EKKLESIA, ἐκκλησία, that means, “assembly, congregation, or church.” This word comes from KALEO, “called,” meaning the “called out ones”, and is used for the gathering of the body of Christ in any given location, as opposed to the Hebrew term SUNAGOGE. And, as it is used here, it means all believers of the Church Age collectively. This tells us who glorifies God; every Church Age born again believer whether they are Jewish or Gentile.
Secondly, we see by what means the Church glorifies: CHRISTOS IESOUS, “Christ Jesus,” the anointed Savior. This is the uniqueness of the Church Age in which we currently live; that we are in union with Jesus Christ eternally and through Him we glorify God the Father. This is also part of the Mystery Doctrine for the Church Age, which Paul has now revealed.
Through the indwelling of Jesus Christ in every Church Age believer, and with Christ being at home in the heart of the Supergrace believer who achieves the Life Beyond GNOSIS, or the Life Beyond Dreams, or the Life of Glory, God is glorified. Therefore, the believer glorifies God based on the salvation he has received from God the Father that is based on the work of Jesus Christ upon the Cross. And God is further glorified by the believer who advances in the spiritual life to Supergrace by means of the filling of God the Holy Spirit and the Word of Christ being resident within his soul by means of the Grace Apparatus for Perception, (GAP), and applied on a consistent basis.
After having Christ at Home in your heart, and knowing the 4D Love of Christ, you have The Life Beyond GNOSIS, then as you continue to advance in the spiritual life you achieve The Life Beyond Dreams, and then you have the third result of the spiritual dimensions of vs. 18, the ultimate objective of the Church Age, The Life of Glory. This is the life of the invisible hero who brings maximum glory to God.
As noted at the conclusion of vs. 20, Paul’s words focus our attention on the power of God, which is at work in us. God’s power is the means by which His glory is achieved. It is He from whom, through whom, and to whom are all things, Rom 11:36. The power of God is infinite. The power of God is at work in us. The infinite power of God is at work in us to bring glory to Him. To God be the glory! This should be the theme of our lives, as it was with the Apostle Paul.
Then we see that this glorification of God through the Church by means of Jesus Christ will occur “to all generations forever and ever,” EIS PAS HO GENEA HO AIONOS HO AIONON, or literally, “to all generations of the age of the ages.” The distinctive formula of the double use joined with the plural is literally, “of the age of the ages.” It occurs regularly in Paul’s writings and in Revelation; also in Heb 13:21; 1 Peter 4:11; 5:11. This device of using repetition is a Hebrew idiom indicating a superlative, e.g., Holy of Holies = the most Holy Place. Thus, here it means, “of the age of the ages” or “to the farthest age,” and hence, “forever and ever.” These constructions stress most emphatically the concept of eternality. In the Epistles, the double form is used only in contexts of praise to God or Christ, Gal 1:5; Eph 3:21; Phil 4:20; 1 Tim 1:17; 2 Tim 4:18; Heb 1:8; 13:21; 1 Peter 4:11; 5:11.
Therefore, the Church will glorify God in time, until time ends at the conclusion of the Millennial Reign, and on into eternity that will never end. The Church will glorify God for all of eternity, which is what God is meant to receive.
Paul ends his prayer and doxology with “Amen,” AMEN, ἀμήν the Interjection that means, “Truly, surely, so let it be, indeed, or amen.” It is a transliteration of the Hebrew into the Greek into the English. In the NT it functions as a solemn affirmation. It is a term Paul used almost exclusively to end doxologies, and this is the end of the second apostolic prayer in Ephesians. Its basic use is to confirm what has just been stated. Here it is a “yes” to the praise just expressed. It does not reflect Paul’s pride in his own writing or prayer, but rather his sense of being overwhelmed by God’s grace and glory. He was essentially saying, “Let me repeat that again.”
This “amen” not only concludes his prayer and doxology, but also concludes the doctrinal section of this book. It is a truly fitting response to the powerful message Paul has imparted in these three chapters.
So that leads us to our final doctrine of this chapter, the Doctrine of the Life of Glory, the Glorification of God.
As we have noted in this passage, the glorification of God by means of the Church occurs especially when the believer attains spiritual adulthood and moves to spiritual maturity. Then the believer is said to be “filled with all the fullness of God,” Eph 3:19. The three categories of spiritual adulthood in the Supergrace life include.
- Spiritual self-esteem, which is cognitive self-confidence.
- Spiritual autonomy, which is cognitive independence.
- Spiritual maturity, which is cognitive invincibility, when you are manufactured into an invisible hero.
The believer glorifies God when he parlays the Life Beyond GNOSIS vs. 19, into the Life Beyond Dreams, vs. 20, which are the two categories of the Supergrace life in Predesigned Protocol Plan of God.
The Life Beyond GNOSIS is EPIGNOSIS doctrine in the soul, meaning consistent function of post-salvation renewing of the mind through cognition of Bible doctrine through perception, metabolization, and application of the Mystery Doctrine of the Church Age. Learning doctrine in the OT will not advance you in the Life Beyond GNOSIS. You must understand the Mystery Doctrine of the Church Age which is found in the NT epistles, for it contains all the mechanics for the Plan of God in this dispensation. The result is the attainment of spiritual adulthood. Then you begin to gather fantastic and dynamic momentum. Spiritual maturity parlays the Life Beyond GNOSIS into the Life Beyond Dreams, which becomes the basis for glorifying God. And because they are achieved by Divine good production, God is glorified.
No one glorifies God with legalistic religious human motivated service, sacrifice, or works. All this is wood, hay, and stubble; it will all be burned at the Judgment Seat (BEMA) of Christ, 1 Cor 3:10-15. The only Christian service and production that counts is the production that results from faith perception of Bible doctrine coupled with the filling of God the Holy Spirit in faith application of the Word of God. Therefore, human service and human works are not the means of attaining spiritual maturity or of glorifying God.
Spiritual growth is not measured in works; spiritual growth is measured in momentum. When there is momentum, there will be production with resultant glorification of God. That production will be gold, silver, and precious stones; it will be rewardable at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
The way we glorify God in the Church Age is by post-salvation renewing of the mind, the pattern of the three R’s.
- Reception of Bible doctrine is the #1 priority. Therefore, your #1 priority is the daily reception of the Mystery doctrine of the Church Age.
- Retention refers to the metabolization of Bible doctrine, so that EPIGNOSIS doctrine in the right lobe is the basis of momentum in the Plan of God.
- Recall is comparable to the concept of wisdom; it refers to the application of Bible doctrine.
This results in understanding the Ten Unique Characteristics of the Church Age. Those ten characteristics are the basis for your mode of operation. This also results in the understanding of the Eleven Problem Solving Devices for the Christian way of life. Momentum is based on solving problems. Momentum is based upon handling the problem of suffering. There is x-amount of suffering for blessing involved in momentum, because this is the way you apply doctrine to your experience. Therefore, glorification of God is the execution of the Predesigned Protocol Plan through the advance to spiritual maturity. This means advancing through the three stages of spiritual adulthood. It also includes Suffering for Blessing, not Divine discipline or self-induced misery under the law of volitional responsibility.
Self-induced misery results in Divine discipline, which is designed to cause us to rebound and recover life inside of God’s Power System (GPS). Only suffering for blessing has momentum, with its three categories.
- Providential Preventative Suffering.
- Momentum Testing.
- Evidence Testing.
Finally, glorification of God is related to the distribution of your escrow blessings for time. That is when the life Beyond Dreams begins. This is then the mode of operation for the mature believer who becomes an invisible hero with maximum glorification of God as a witness for the prosecution in the appeal trial of the Angelic Conflict.
Summary and Conclusion to Chapter 3
1.) Chapter 3 continued the theme from Chapter 2 of our “positional relocation” from spiritual death to spiritual life in Christ. The believer has been transformed from being an enemy of Christ to being built into a holy temple for the dwelling of God. So Chapter 3 continues the “new position” side of the equation, speaking further of the unique spiritual life of the Church Age believer and our unity in Christ as the Temple Home of God.
We broke this chapter into two main parts:
- Revelation, Paul’s Stewardship of God’s Mystery Doctrines for the Church Age, vs. 1-13.
- Reverence; Paul’s Prayer and Doxology, vs. 14-21.
Within this chapter we saw three main themes:
- The Mystery doctrines, the Product of Revelation, Eph 3:1-6.
- The Minister, Appointed to Proclamation, Eph 3:7-13.
- Prayer for Realization, God’s Fullness for the Church, Eph 3:14-21.
We also note that this message takes us, the believer, from entrance into and position within the Family of God, all the way to “Supergrace” status of Spiritual Adulthood. Therefore, we noted the progression of spiritual growth outlined in these passages from spiritual birth to spiritual maturity that has four basic doctrines:
- The Doctrine of the Mystery of the Church, vs. 1-6.
- The Doctrine of Ministry, vs. 7-13.
- The Doctrine of the Grace Apparatus for Perception, GAP, vs. 14-18.
- The Doctrine of the Super Grace Life, vs. 19-21.
In addition, along the way, we also noted several other doctrines including:
- Underserved Suffering for Blessing, in Paul and our lives.
- Dispensations; God’s administration of human history.
- Revelation; How God reveals the mystery to man.
- The Heart; Compartments for learning, storing, and applying Bible doctrine in your soul.
- The Heavenlies; The Angelic Conflict – Four phases of the appeal trial of fallen angels.
- Grace Apparatus for Perceptions, (GAP); The teaching ministry of God the Holy Spirit.
- Distinction between the Indwelling of Christ in your body, and Christ being at home in your heart.
- The Unveiled Face.
- Oil used as typology of the Holy Spirit.
- Four Dimensions of the Knowledge of Christ’s Love, (Tesseract Love).
- The Life Beyond GNOSIS.
- The Privilege of Knowing God.
- The Supergrace Life.
- The Life Beyond Dreams.
- The Life of Glory, glorification of God.
We also noted how Chapter 3 shows us a type of the insertion of the Church Age into the Age of Israel, as vs. 1 is interrupted with vs. 2-13, (the explanation of the Mystery Church), and then resumed again in vs. 13 with Paul’s Tribulation, and vs. 14 -21 that speak of the unique advanced spiritual life of the Church Age believer, which is a type of the unique spiritual life during the Millennial Reign of Jesus Christ.
2.) Specifics topics of this Chapter included:
- Paul’s Imprisonment, vs. 1, 13.
Concerning his status as a prisoner for Christ, Paul avoids speaking of his circumstances, or of the details of his suffering. He speaks rather of the reason for his incarceration. His imprisonment was due to his faithfulness to his calling. His arrest in Jerusalem, which led to his incarceration in Rome, Acts 21-28, was brought about by unbelieving, legalistic Jews, who understood the nature and implications of Paul’s calling and wanted to kill him to keep the gospel he preached from spreading, Acts 22:21-22. Although Paul was falsely accused of taking a gentile into the Temple, Acts 21:28, he chose not to focus on the negative aspects of his circumstances, but on the positive dimension of the mystery, which had been revealed to Him. So too should we, as we face various forms of Suffering for Blessings.
Further, Paul’s imprisonment was mentioned as a part of his credentials, as a minster / ambassador for Christ, showing that he was Divinely appointed to proclaim the Gospel. Unlike some television evangelists of our day who promise prosperity to their followers and who flaunt their own extravagance as proof of their message, Paul points to his prison chains as proof of his calling, showing that the gospel does not promise present prosperity, but does assure the Christian of eternal blessing. How different Paul is from the religious hucksters of our time. They have learned the “secret to prosperity;” Paul learned the secret of the Gospel, which led to suffering. Let the frauds be compared with Paul and see how they and their message stand up to the scrutiny of Scripture.
- The Mystery Revealed, vs. 2-6.
In Chapter three we also saw that God revealed the Mystery of the Church, along with its mystery doctrines to Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, and made him a steward of that message for the new Dispensation, the Church Age, and authorized him to proclaim it to the Gentiles. Paul spoke of the gospel as a “mystery,” as the “summing up of all things in Christ,” Eph 1:9-10. In Chapter 2, the term “mystery” is not used, but it is a prominent theme in Chapter 3.
While God had clearly revealed the fact that He purposed to save and to bless both Jews and Gentiles through the seed of Abraham, it was not revealed that this would be accomplished in such a way as to make Jewish and Gentile saints one in Christ and to unite them in the Church, the body of Christ. This was indeed a mystery which no Old Testament saint or prophet anticipated. It is no wonder that the Jewish apostles required some time to grasp this fact and to see it as a vital part of the gospel. So Paul summarized the mystery in vs. 6 as Gentiles are equal members of the Body of Christ and fellow heirs to the eternal inheritance.
Paul’s proclamation of the mystery, which was not fully disclosed in the O.T., and which the Jews so strongly opposed, was that of the gospel, that in Jesus Christ Jews and Gentiles would be reconciled to God and to each other, not as two different categories of Christian, but as “one new man,” as “one body” in Christ, as one dwelling temple of God, Eph 2:22.
- Paul’s Calling to Minister, vs. 7-12.
Paul’s calling was, first and foremost, to become a believer in Jesus Christ. His conversion delivered him from the condemnation which he rightly deserved as a self-righteous Pharisee, making him an unworthy soul saved by grace, Phil 3:1-16; 1 Tim 1:12-17. He was also called as an apostle to the Gentiles to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, reveal the mystery of the Church, and expound on End Times prophecy for the Church, Rom 1:5; Gal 2:9; 1 – 2 Thes. Paul, having grasped the destiny God had given him, walked in that Plan and fulfilled it in his life. We too need to understand God’s Plan for our life and walk with a Personal Sense of Destiny.
- The Intercessory Prayer, vs. 14-21.
Paul’s great intercessory prayer in vs. 14-21 reflects his thoughts, love and desire for the Gentiles of the early Church, which ironically is for those whom he would have tortured or put to death before his conversion. His prayer was for their spiritual growth, not for their physical and material well-being. He prayed for what God purposed in the lives of His elect;
- That the Holy Spirit would strengthen our souls through the Grace Apparatus of Perception, vs. 16.
- That Christ would be at home in our hearts through the residency of Bible Doctrine in our soul, vs. 17a.
- We would be rooted and grounded in love, (being both positionally and experientially sanctified), vs. 17b.
- All believers would have the 4 dimensional knowledge of Christ, His Tesseract Love, vs. 18.
- Resulting in the Supergrace Life of the “Life Beyond Gnosis,” vs. 19a.
- And be filled up to all the fullness of God, vs. 19b.
- Then advance to the “Life Beyond Dreams,” vs. 20.
- Resulting in the eternal “Life of Glory,” to God, Vs. 21.
3.) We Need to Understand and Appreciate the Mysterious Dimensions of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and the Various Elements of our Christian Faith.
- The Gospel is Mysterious.
Not only was the Savior revealed through the person of Jesus Christ, but an eternal union was established with all Church Age believers with their Savior, that never before occurred, Rom 16:25-27; Col 1:24-29.
- All Spiritual Truth is Mysterious.
Human thinking and wisdom, Human I.Q., cannot comprehend the reality of and relationship with Jesus Christ. It is only through our Spiritual I.Q. from the power of the Holy Spirit working with our born again human spirit that we can comprehend the mystery relationship with Christ and doctrines. It is by grace that God gives the believer such ability, 1 Cor 2:6-13.
- Christianity is Mysterious because God is Mysterious.
God is infinitely wiser than we are. He is all-wise, all-knowing, all-powerful. He often employs things which are paradoxical or even incompatible to us. He can use sinful men to achieve His purposes and to demonstrate His power and majesty, Rom 9:17. He chooses the weak and foolish things to confound the wisdom of the wise, Isa 55:6-8; Rom 11:33-36; 1 Cor 18-31.
- The Christian Life is Mysterious because God has Chosen to Reveal Himself and His Purposes Progressively.
The term “progressive revelation” is often used with reference to the Bible. God does not reveal His plans and purposes immediately in the Bible, but progressively. And so we find the first promise of Messiah in Gen 3:15, and throughout the rest of the Old and New Testament, more and more is revealed about God’s purposes for Messiah. What we may fail to see is that God’s revelation is still partial and income-plete, 1 Cor 13:9-12; 1 John 3:2.
God is not only revealing Himself to men, but also to the angelic host. The angels are stooping (PARAKUPSAI) to see what is happening, 1 Peter 1:12. The angels are learning from what is going on in the Church, 1 Cor 11:10. Paul tells the saints that the Church is the classroom for angelic beings, Eph 3:10. You may never have thought about it, but many of the mysteries for us as saints are also mysteries for the angelic host. God is keeping the angels in suspense. He is keeping the angels “on their toes” because He is progressively revealing the mysteries of His will to them throughout history and into eternity.
- The Christian Life is Mysterious because there is much going on of which we are ignorant, which is beyond the scope of our knowledge and understanding.
Job did not know that God was teaching Satan through his sufferings, Job 1-2. Elisha’s servant was not aware of the involvement of the angelic hosts in the affairs of men, 2 Kings 6. Finite men are not naturally aware of those things beyond our own understanding and frame of reference. We think in terms of time, and not in terms of God’s eternal purposes. We think in terms of what is seen, but there is much that is going on that is unseen, Heb 11:1. And so it is in Ephesians that Paul speaks of God’s plans and purposes, established before the foundation of the world, Eph 1:3-14. He speaks of their fulfillment, which is yet to occur at the Second Coming of Christ, Eph 1:10-14, 18. He tells us of the instruction of the angelic hosts, which are unseen to us, and of the spiritual war which is currently going on and in which we are engaged, Eph 2:7; 3:10; 6:10-20.
- The Christian Faith must therefore Rest on Divine Revelation, not on Human Reasoning.
Men will not find God on their own because they do not seek Him. There is none who understands God’s ways, Rom 3:9-18. We would not know God apart from His self-revelation in nature and in His Word, Psa 19; Rom 1-3; Heb 1:1-3; 2:1-3; 4:12-13.
- Even the Revealed Word of God is Beyond the Grasp of Man’s Understanding, apart from Divine Illumination of the Holy Spirit, 1 Cor 2:11-16; John 16:7-14.
4.) Several Implications to this Mysterious Nature of God’s Dealings with His Creation.
- If God and His working is mysterious, then we should expect that there will be much we do not understand.
If we expect to understand all that God is doing we are self-deceived. We do not need to understand why God has commanded us to act in a certain way, but only to know that He has commanded it, and that we are to obey.
- We should not focus our attention on the things which God has chosen to conceal, but rather endeavor to understand and obey what He has clearly revealed to us in His Word, Deut 29:29; 1 Tim 4:6-7; 2 Tim 2:14-15, 23; 3:14-17.
- We should expect to live by faith, not by sight, in obedience to the Word of God, as illuminated by the Spirit of God.
Think of all the times in the Bible when the people of God were called upon to act, solely on the basis of God’s Word and God’s faithfulness. Adam and Eve were commanded not to eat of one tree, when that tree would have given them the knowledge of good and evil, Gen 2:16-17. Abraham was directed to leave his homeland and family, and was not even told where he was going, Gen 12:1. He was promised a son through Sarah, when this couple was “as good as dead” with respect to child-bearing, Rom 4:17-22. By faith, Abraham was ready to take the life of this child, when all of God’s promises rested on him, Heb 11:17-19. All of the Old Testament saints lived as though God’s promises were true even though they did not receive them in their own lifetime, Heb 11:13-16.
You and I are called upon to live in time in the light of eternity. We are to live on earth in the light of heaven. We are commanded not to lay up treasures on earth, but to lay up treasure in heaven. We are told not to take revenge, but to leave justice to God. We are to walk by faith, and not by sight.
- We should not be as intent to know the particulars of God’s plan as we are to understand the overall plan and purpose of God as He has revealed it, and to live in a way that is consistent with that plan.
More and more I am convinced that Christians are too self-centered. They wish to know “God’s will for their life,” and they ignore God’s plan for creation. As I understand Paul’s life and writings, Paul sought to understand God’s plan—the big picture—and then endeavored to live his life consistent with the big plan. Let us take heed, then, to this exhortation of Paul, and seek to practice it as he did, Eph 5:15-17.
- If the angels are being instructed by the conduct and the practice of the church, it is imperative that we obey God’s imperatives for the church, whether we understand and agree with them or not.
If the angels learn from the conduct and the practice of the church, then what we do is vitally important. If we only practice the Scriptures we understand and agree with, we limit ourselves to obeying only what is not a mystery, of acting only apart from faith, and of trusting our own judgment above God’s Word, 1 Cor 11:10.
- Finally, if God’s ways are a mystery to men, which men will not arrive at through their own reasoning, we should be diligent to faithfully proclaim the Word of Truth, the good news of the gospel, to those who are perishing.
The gospel was not merely Paul’s stewardship; it is our as well. Let us seek to be good stewards of the gospel as we proclaim it to a lost and dying world, Rom 10:14-15.
Rom 10:14-15, “How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? 15And how shall they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings of good things!”
Principles to Discover Living the Extraordinary Life.
Dr. Charles F. Stanley
Your life as a masterpiece
1.) Complete surrender to God brings complete life.
2.) God’s grace is the starting point.
3.) True effectiveness comes through intimacy with God.
4.) Trust the Lord, and He will move Heaven and earth to accomplish His purpose.
5.) Obedience always brings blessing
- The key to God’s heart is obedience.
- Obey God and leave all the consequences to Him.
6.) Knowing God’s will is worth the wait.
- God has a plan for your life.
7.) God refines us by fire.
8.) Fight your battles on your knees, and you will win every time.
- We stand tallest and strongest on our knees.
- Ask, Seek, Knock, Trust.
- Identify the enemy, Dress in the full armor of God, Stand firm, Appropriate the strength of the living God, Pray.
9.) The Bible is the Sourcebook of Life.
10.) Trust God for all your needs.
11.) Trust God, He will protect you, leaving a legacy.
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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
#’s 16-070 through 16-072
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A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us. Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life.
To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life. So right now you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ, died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!