Giving thanks always for all things to God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Giving thanks always for all things.—This temper of universal and pervading thankfulness is dwelt upon in the First Epistle to the Thessalonians (1Thessalonians 5:18) as indissolubly united with unceasing joy and prayer (“Rejoice evermore; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks.”) Since thanksgiving is for what God has given us, and prayer for what we still need, both must be united in our imperfect condition here. In Colossians 3:17 it is associated with action “in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.” Here it is dealt with alone, as the basis of the praises, public and private, corporate and individual, described above. In regard to the former, St. Paul marks thanksgiving as the fundamental and invariable element of all Christian worship, clothing itself naturally in all variety of music; in regard to the latter, he describes the habitual spirit of thankfulness, prevailing alike in joy and sorrow, undisturbed even by penitent sense of sin, as the inner music of all Christian life.
Unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.—Both these expressions are emphatic. To all consciousness of God belong fear and reverence; to the belief in Him as “our Father” (see Romans 8:14-17; Galatians 4:4-6) specially belong love and thanksgiving. But it is “in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ”—that is, as identified in perfect unity with Him—that we have the adoption to sonship which is the ground of such thanksgiving. So also in the same unity (see John 14:13; John 15:16; John 16:23-24) we have the ground of perfect confidence in prayer.
For all things - ὑπὲρ πάντων huper pantōn - for all things, or all "persons." Dr. Barrow supposes that the meaning here is, that they were to give thanks for "all persons," and to regard themselves as under obligations to give thanks for the mercies bestowed upon "the human race," in accordance with the idea expressed in the Liturgy of the Episcopal church, "We, thine unworthy servants, do give thee most humble and hearty thanks for thy goodness and loving-kindness to us, and to all men." This idea is beautiful: and it accords with the requirements of the Scriptures elsewhere; 1 Timothy 2:1. "I exhort, therefore, that first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all people. Such is the duty of Christians; and I see no departure from the fair meaning of the words here, in supposing that the apostle may have designed to express such an idea. The sense, according to this, would be, that we are to praise God for his general mercy to mankind; for all the happiness which mortals are permitted to enjoy; for the love of God to mankind in creation, in providence, and in redemption - just as a grateful child will give thanks for all the kindness shown to his brothers and sisters One obvious effect of this would be to overcome "selfishness," and to make us rejoice in the happiness of others as well as in our own.
Another effect would be to make us feel a deeper interest in the condition of our fellow creatures. Another would be to elevate and enlarge our conceptions of the goodness of God - directing the mind to all the favors which he has bestowed on the race. Man has much for which to be grateful; and the duty of acknowledging the mercy of God to the race should not be forgotten. We are often prone so to magnify our calamities, and to contemplate the woes of the race, that we overlook the occasions for gratitude; and we should, therefore, look upon the "mercies" which we enjoy as well as the miseries which we endure, that our hearts may be right. He who looks only on his trials will soon find his mind soured and complaining; he who endeavors to find how many occasions for gratitude he has, will soon find the burden of his sorrows alleviated, and his mind tranquil and calm. Yet, if the words here are to be taken as in our translation, "for all things." they are full of force and beauty. At the close of life, and in heaven, we shall see occasion to bless God for all his dealings with us. We shall see that we have not suffered one pang too much, or been required to perform one duty too severe. We shall see that all our afflictions, as well as our mercies were designed for our good, and were needful for us. Why then should we not bless God in the furnace as well as in the palace; on a bed of pain as well as on a bed of down; in want as well as when sitting down at the splendid banquet? God knows what is best for us; and the way in which he leads us, mysterious though it seem to be now, will yet be seen to have been full of goodness and mercy.
Unto God and the Father - Or, "to God, even the Father." It cannot mean to God as distinguished from the Father, or first to God and then to the Father, as if the Father were distinct from God. The meaning is, that thanks are to be given specially to God the Father - the great Author of all mercies, and the source of all blessings.
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ - That is, through his mediation, or trusting in him; see the notes on John 14:13. The meaning is, that we are "always" to approach God through the mediation of the Lord Jesus. When we ask for mercy, it is to be on his account, or through his merits; when we plead for strength and grace to support us in trial, it is to be in dependence on him; and when we give thanks, it is to be through him, and because it is through his intervention that we receive all blessings, and by his merits that even the gratitude of beings so sinful as we are can be accepted.
unto God and the Father—the Fountain of every blessing in Creation, Providence, Election, and Redemption.
Lord Jesus Christ—by whom all things, even distresses, become ours (Ro 8:35, 37; 1Co 3:20-23).Giving thanks always: God still by fresh mercies gives fresh occasion for thanksgiving, and we must accordingly continue our thanksgiving through the whole course of our lives without weariness.
For all things; all sorts of mercies, among which afflictions may be reckoned, as working for good to them that love God, Romans 8:28.
Unto God and the Father; i.e. unto God even the Father, the Fountain of all our good.
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; in whose name, and by whose merit, all good things are given to us, and by whom we offer up all our prayers, and praises, and spiritual services, that they may be accepted of God.
unto God, and the Father; to God who is, and as he is the Father of mercies, and of all creatures; and as he is the Father of Christ, and of all the elect in him:
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; for all the mercies of God's people, both temporal and spiritual, come through him, and for his sake; and thanksgivings for them are only acceptable to God as they are offered up by him; nor is there any other way of bringing them to God, but through him: this duty, as it stands connected with the former, shows that praise and thanksgiving are the principal subject matter of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, to be sung; and that the manner of singing is with thanksgiving; and that the end of it is to give thanks to God.Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Ephesians 5:20. A third modal definition to the πληροῦσθε ἐν πνεύματι, likewise co-ordinate with the two preceding ones, bringing into prominence—after the general singing of praise, etc., of Ephesians 5:19, which is to take place as well audibly as in the heart—further, and in particular, the thanksgiving, which the readers have always for all things to render to God.
πάντοτε] This always is not to be pressed; see on 1 Corinthians 1:4; in accordance with Colossians 3:17, at all action in word and work. Observe, however, that πάντοτε is only introduced at this point; for not the ᾄδειν and ψάλλειν, but certainly, amidst the constant consciousness of the divine manifestations of grace, thanksgiving also, like prayer in general, may and ought to belong to the constant activity of the Christian life. Comp. Ephesians 4:18; Romans 12:12; Colossians 4:2; 1 Thessalonians 5:17. For the emphatic juxtaposition πάντοτε ὑπὲρ πάντων, comp. 2 Corinthians 9:8, and see Lobeck, Paralip. I. p. 56. This πάντων is not masculine (Theodoret), but neuter, and relates, in accordance with the context, to all Christian blessings. To understand it of all that happens to us, even including sufferings, as is done by Chrysostom, Jerome, Erasmus, and many, including Meier, Olshausen, Baumgarten-Crusius, and de Wette, is foreign to the connection, yet doubtless the Christian παράκλησις and joy in suffering belong thereto.
ἘΝ ὈΝΌΜ. ΤΟῦ ΚΥΡΊΟΥ Κ.Τ.Λ.] not ad honorem Christi (Flatt), but: so that what is embraced in the name Jesus Christ (“per quem omnia nobis obtingunt,” Bengel) is the element, in which your grateful consciousness moves in the act of thanksgiving. Comp. Colossians 3:17; John 14:13. As regards subject matter, ἐν Χριστῷ (Ephesians 3:21) would be different, and ΔΙᾺ ΧΡΙΣΤΟῦ (Romans 7:25) similar.
Τῷ ΘΕῷ ΚΑῚ ΠΑΤΡΊ] See on Ephesians 1:3; 2 Corinthians 1:3; 1 Corinthians 15:24. The referring of ΠΑΤΡΊ to Christ, the Son (Erasmus, Estius, Harless, Baumgarten-Crusius, and others), is more in keeping with the connection (ἐν ὀνόματι κ.τ.λ.) than the rendering: our Father (Zanchius, Rückert, Matthies, and others).
 Chrysostom, in fact, includes even hell therein, the contemplation of which is for us a check of fear and thus very salutary.Ephesians 5:20. εὐχαριστοῦντες πάντοτε ὑπὲρ πάντων: giving thanks always for all things. Another coordinate clause giving a third and more particular way in which the being “filled with the Spirit” should express itself. The two preceding sentences referred to praise, both outwardly with the mouth and inwardly in the silence of the heart. This third sentence mentions a special form of praise, viz., thanksgiving. This thanksgiving is described as a constant duty, the πάντοτε which would have been inappropriate with the λαλοῦντες and with the ᾄδοντες καὶ ψάλλοντες being in place here where, as in the case of joy and prayer (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17), the matter is one primarily of attitude or spirit. The ὑπὲρ πάντων, “for all things” (neut., not masc., as understood by Theodor.), is taken by many in its widest possible extent, as including things evil as well as good. The Epistle does not deal, however, particularly with the sufferings of the Christian, but with what he receives from God and what his consequent duty is. It is most accordant, therefore, with the context to understand the πάντων as referring to all the blessings of the Christian, the whole good that comes to him from God.—ἐν ὀνόματι τοῦ Κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ: in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. The phrase ἐν ὀνόματι … Χριστοῦ is different from ἐν Χριστῷ and of wider application. It has different shades of meaning, authority, power, honour, dependence, etc., in different connections. Here probably it expresses the idea of doing something in dependence upon Christ, or in regardfulness of what Christ is; cf. John 14:13; John 15:16; John 16:23; Colossians 3:7.—τῷ Θεῷ καὶ πατρί: to God and the Father. The RV gives “to God, even the Father” in its text, and “to the God and Father” in the margin. But the most appropriate rendering of the title is the above. The title designates One who is God and at the same time Father; the Fatherhood here, as elsewhere, being no doubt primarily the relation to Christ, as is suggested by the ἐν τῷ ὀνόματι, etc.20. always for all things] Because everything in hourly providence is an expression, to the believing heart, of God’s “good, perfect, and acceptable will” (Romans 12:2). In view of this, the Christian will be thankful, both generally and as to details. St Chrysostom’s habitual doxology was, “Glory be to God for all things”; and it was the last word of his suffering life.
unto God and the Father] Lit. to the God and Father; i. e. probably, of our Lord, and of us in Him.
in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ] For the same phrase, or the like, cp. e.g. Matthew 10:41; Matthew 21:9; Mark 16:17; Luke 10:17; John 5:43; *John 14:13; *John 14:14; John 14:26; John 15:16; *John 16:23; *John 16:24; *John 16:26; John 17:11-12; Acts 3:6; Acts 9:27; Acts 10:48; 1 Corinthians 5:4; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Php 2:10; Colossians 3:17; James 5:14; 1 Peter 4:14. Of these references, those marked * carry, like this verse, the idea of an approach to the Father through the Son. The whole series (compared with parallel phrases of the O. T., e.g. Deuteronomy 18:19; Psalm 20:5; Psalm 44:5; Psalm 89:24) indicates, as an idea common to all the uses of the expression, that he whose “name” is in question is the basis or reason of the action. Empowered by the “name” of Jehovah, His revealed glory and will, the prophet speaks. Empowered by the “name” of Christ, going upon His revealed character as Mediator, the believer in Him offers praise and prayer to the Father. And so in such phrases as Psalm 63:4; “I will lift up my hands in Thy name”; the thought is of action upon a revelation of God and of the way to Him.—In Php 2:10 we perhaps find combined the ideas of worship of and worship through Jesus Christ.Ephesians 5:20. Εὐχαριστοῦντες, giving thanks) Paul often urges this duty, and diligently practises it: it is performed by the mind, by the tongue, and by working. Colossians 3:17.—πάντων, for all things) The neuter, including the power of the masculine; comp. 1 Thessalonians 5:18.—Ἰησοῦ, of Jesus) by whom all things become ours.Verse 20. - Giving thanks always for all things; this being not only a most Christian duty, but an excellent way to keep the heart in good tone, to keep up happy feelings - the duty not being occasional, but "always," and not for things prima facto agreeable only, but "for all things" (see Job 2:10; Romans 8:28). In the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father. God the Father is the proper Object of thanksgiving, as of prayer generally; but the thanks are to be given in the Name of Christ. That is, through him who has brought in the economy of grace, whereby for wrath we get blessing, for suffering we get reward, for misery glory; whereby, in short, the whole aspect of life is brightened, and even the greatest trials and sorrows turned into real blessings.
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