to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
I. THE THEME OF THE DOXOLOGY. It is no abstract ascription of glory to God; it is one full of hope and cheer to the Church - the ability of God to do great things for his people. There is a sort of climax in the language employed: God is able to do what we ask or think; he is able to do above all we ask or think; nay, abundantly above it; nay, exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think; and our thinking is very much wider than our asking. Two things make us strong in prayer - a deep sense of need and a strong hope of supply. Perhaps we shall hardly venture to ask some blessings, but we ought to consider that we are either to approach God on our own merits or on the merits of Christ. If we pray for blessing on our own merits, we can hardly be too stinted in our asking; but if on the merits of Christ, we ought not to disgrace God by asking little things on such a wide basis of encouragement. We have, in fact, got a carte-blanche put into our hands by Christ, saying, "Ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you." We are to ask up to our power of thinking, and far beyond it; for "God giveth liberally and upbraideth not?" "Prove me now... if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it." But Paul says merely that God is "able" to do so; what about his will to do so? We remember, when speaking of God's ultimate restoration of the Jews, Paul says, "And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in; for God is able to graft them in again." That is, they shall be, because God is able to do it. Therefore, we shall never have asked too much till we have asked beyond God's ability.
II. THE MEASURE OF THE POWER REFERRED TO. "According to the power that worketh in us." It is not abstract or intrinsic omnipotence, such as merely suggests a possibility that may never pass into a reality. It is a power in actual exercise for the benefit of the Church of God. It is in actual operation even before we have begun to ask or think; it is "the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe;" it is the glorious and surpassing power of God, not only irreversibly pledged, but irrevocably in operation. The principal thing that God does for us is what he does in us. "According to the power that worketh in us." There is a power that worketh for us, in virtue of whose supreme disposal "all things work together for good to them that love God;" but there is a power that worketh in us, to will and to do of his good pleasure, that perfecteth that which concerneth us, keeping us from falling, so that we may be presented blameless before the presence of his glory.
III. THE DEBT OF GLORY DUE TO SUCH A GOD. "Unto him... be the glory." What shall we not render unto him? Is it not a glorious work he has done? We cannot make him glorious, but we can tell how glorious he is in his gracious and mighty administration. "Thine is the glory," said Christ. All glory belongs to him. Many glorious things exist in creation. The sun is glorious, the stars are glorious, even one star differing from another star in glory; but it is God who feeds their wonderful fires. They belong unto Jehovah. "No flesh must glory in his presence;" and the only way not to glory before him is to glory in him. "He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord."
IV. THE SPHERE OR SCENE OF THIS GLORY. "Unto him be the glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus." "The locality or sphere is the Church, the outward theatre on which this glory is manifested before men;" and "Christ Jesus is" the Minister of this glory to God, the Minister of the true tabernacle which the Lord pitched, and not man, by whom the glory in question is presented with acceptance. In fact, it is in him God manifests the glory of his perfections as the God of grace and salvation; it is through him he shines into our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God. Thus the blessings descend through Christ to the Church, just as all the Church's service goes up to God through the hands of Jesus Christ.
V. THE PERIOD OF THIS GLORY. "To all the generations of the age of the ages." A cumulative expression of great force. This glory is to be given to God during all the ages of time. "His Name shall endure forever; men shall be blessed in him; all nations shall call him blessed;" "I will make thy Name to be remembered in all generations." The stream of time rolls on world without end, but the glory is to continue through all the ages of eternity. "Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be to him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever. Amen."
VI. LESSONS TO BE DRAWN FROM THIS DOXOLOGY. Let us not be poor any more in cur supplications; let us not be stinted in asking to the dishonor of his abounding grace. Let us be encouraged to ask by the recollection of the blessings we have already received. Let us show a more signal gratitude for all our mercies. Are not the extent of our obligations and the perfection of the holiness to which they bind us, far beyond our powers of apprehending or appreciating them? and ought they not to leave us with the similar question of bewildered gratitude, "What manner of persons ought we to be?" - T.C.
Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.I. CONSIDER THE ACKNOWLEDGMENT, WHICH THE APOSTLE MAKES, OF GOD'S ALL-SUFFICIENCY. God's ability intends not merely His power, but all those perfections which render Him a suitable object of our faith in prayer. It imports an exact knowledge of what our wants are, a ready disposition to supply them, wisdom to discern the proper time and manner of granting supplies, as well as power to effect whatever His wisdom sees best to be done.
1. God often does for men those favours which they never thought of asking for themselves.
2. God answers prayer in ways that we think not of. He will not always bestow the particular things which we ask, for we often mistake our own interest; but He will grant us things more valuable in themselves, or better adapted to our condition. Or, if He gives us the blessings in substance, He will send them in a more suitable time and manner, than we had proposed. I remember to have heard, on good authority, a remarkable story of an African, which will illustrate this thought. The poor man, in his own country, was led, by contemplation on the works of nature, to conceive that there must be, though invisible to him, a supreme, all-powerful, wise, just, and good Being, who made and governed the world. Impressed with this sentiment, he used daily to pray to this in, visible Being, that he might, by some means or other, be brought to a more distinct knowledge of Him, and of the service due to Him. While in this contemplative and devout state of mind, he, with a number of others, was treacherously and perfidiously taken by some of his own countrymen, and soon after was sold for a slave. Now his faith began to waver. "For," thought he with himself, "if there is such a just and good Being, as I have supposed, who governs the world, how is it possible that fraud and iniquity should be successful against innocence and integrity? Why are I and my fellow prisoners, who have acted with openness and simplicity, made to suffer, while our enemies are permitted to triumph in the success of their deceit and violence?" The poor fellow, after several changes of masters, was finally sold into a pious family in New England, where he was carefully instructed in the Christian religion, which he embraced with great appearance of sincerity and joy, and obeyed with exemplary diligence and zeal. And, in the relation of his story, he often made this pious reflection, that while he was perplexed to see the triumph of fraud over innocence, God was really answering his fervent prayers, and bringing him to the enjoyment of the means of religious knowledge and eternal salvation; that what he had thought was an objection against the justice of Providence, was really a wonderful and merciful compliance with his daily supplication.
3. The mercies which God is pleased to grant us, often produce happy consequences far beyond what we asked or thought,
4. The worth of the blessings which we ask and God bestows infinitely exceeds all our thoughts.
II. CONSIDER THE ASCRIPTION OF GLORY WHICH THE APOSTLE MAKES TO THIS ALL-SUFFICIENT GOD.
1. God is glorified by the increase of the Church.
2. God is glorified in the Church, when a devout regard is paid to the ordinances which He has instituted.
3. God is glorified by the observance of good order in the Church, and by the decent attendance of the members on their respective duties.
4. That God may be glorified, there must be peace and unity in the Church.
5. That glory may be given to God in the Church, there must be exemplary holiness in its members.
(J. Lathrop, D. D.)I. GLORY MUST BE GIVEN TO GOD. The apostle, as may be inferred from the connection of the words, has chiefly in view the signal benefits of redemption in this elevated ascription of praise.
II. THROUGH WHOM GLORY IS TO BE GIVEN. "Through Jesus Christ." Of Him, through Him, to Him, are all things. He is appointed Head over all. He is the only Mediator between God and man, whether for supplication or intercession or thanksgiving. In Him God bestows all grace upon us, and in Him all our words and our works are sanctified. Whatever we do in the service of God, if it be not done in the name of Christ, and in dependence upon His mediation and Lordship, it is done according to our own carnal will; it is not done according to the will of God.
III. BY WHOM glory is to be given to God. "The Church." By the Church is meant the congregation of faithful men, among whom the pure Word of God is preached, and the Sacraments rightly administered. All God's works show His praise, but His saints shall bless Him.
IV. DURING WHAT PERIOD. "Throughout all ages." Every work of man has its limit and its end: all the glory of the creature is as the flower of the field; the wind passeth over it, and it is gone. But it is not so with the glory of God; His praises are endless as His life. Eternity only is the full scene of God's praise, "As it was in the beginning, so it is now, and shall be evermore."
(H. J. Hastings, M. A.)Nec melior si laudaveris, nec deterior si vituperaveris. As the sun is neither bettered by birds singing, nor injured by dogs barking. He is so infinitely great, and constantly good, that His glory admits neither addition nor diminution.
(T. Adams, D. D.)
(Archbishop Seeker.)Romans 1:23; Romans 9:4; Psalm 8:1). But the modes of manifestation, which are declared to us in the Scriptures, are chiefly two; the one, by an effulgence of light and of unusual splendour, or by its opposite, a dense darkness or obscurity (Matthew 17:2-5; Luke 2:9; Exodus 16:10; 1 Kings 8:11). The other, by the producing of works which agree with His perfection and excellence (Psalm 19:1; John 2:11).
(Arminius.)... might have led Tigranes, King of Armenia, captive at the wheels of his chariot. He rather chose to make him an ally; on which occasion he made use of that memorable expression, "I prefer the glory that; will last forever to that of a day."
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