Ephesians 3:21
Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
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(21) Unto him be glory in the church by (properly, in) Christ Jesus.—In the parallelism of these clauses is implied the great idea of the Epistle—the unity of the Church in Christ. Hence all that is “in the Church” is “in Christ Jesus.” The visible unity of the Church represents, as it depends on, the invisible unity with God in Him.

Throughout all ages, world without end.—The original expression is emphatic and peculiar: to all the generations of the age of the ages; that is, in each successive generation of that age (or, dispensation) which includes in itself all the ages which we can reckon or conceive. The conception represents to us each generation, as adding its own peculiar thanksgiving to the great chorus of praise which fills eternity.

3:20,21 It is proper always to end prayers with praises. Let us expect more, and ask for more, encouraged by what Christ has already done for our souls, being assured that the conversion of sinners, and the comfort of believers, will be to his glory, for ever and ever.Unto him be glory - see the notes, Romans 16:27.

In the church - Or, by the church; Ephesians 3:10. The church was to be the instrument by which the glory of God would be shown; and it was by the church that his praise would be celebrated.

Throughout all ages, world without end - There is a richness and amplification of language here which shows that his heart was full of the subject, and that it was difficult to find words to express his conceptions. It means, in the strongest sense, forever. It is one of "the apostle's self-invented phrases" (Bloomfield); and Blackwall says that no version can fully express the meaning. It is literally, "Unto all generations of the age of ages," or "unto all the generations of the eternity of eternities, or the eternity of ages." It is the language of a heart full of the love of God, and desiring that he might be praised without ceasing forever and ever.

Remarks On Ephesians 3

1. It is a great and glorious truth that the offers of the gospel are made to us, who are by nature Gentiles; and that those offers are confined to no class or condition of people - to no nation or tribe; Ephesians 3:1-6. This truth had been concealed for ages. The Jews regarded themselves as a unique people, and as exclusively the favorites of Heaven. The great effort has been made everywhere to show that there was a favored class of people - a class whom God regarded with special affection, on account of their birth, or rank, or nation, or wealth, or complexion. In one nation, there has been a distinction of "caste" carefully kept up from age to age, and sustained by all the power of the priesthood and the laws; and it has been held that that one class was the favorite of Heaven, and that every other was overlooked or despised. In another nation, it has been held that the services of an illustrious ancestry made a difference among people, and that this fact was to he regarded, even in religion.

In another, complexion has made a difference; and the feeling has insensibly grown up that one class were the favorites of Heaven, because they had a skin not colored like others, and that those not thus favored might be doomed to hopeless toil and servitude. In another, the attempt is made to create such a distinction by wealth; and it is felt that the rich are the favorites of Heaven. In all these eases, there is the secret feeling that in virtue of rank, or blood, or property, one class are the objects of divine interest, more than others; and that the same plan of salvation is not needed for them which is required for the poor, for the ignorant, and for the slave. The gospel regards all people as on a level; offers the same salvation to all; and offers it on the same terms. This is one of its glories; and for this we should love it. It meets man as he is - as everywhere a fallen and a ruined being - and provides a plan adapted to raise all to the glories of the same heaven.

2. Humility becomes us Ephesians 3:8. Paul felt that he was the least of all saints. He remembered his former life. He recalled the time when he persecuted the church. He felt that he was not worthy to be enrolled in that society which he had so greatly injured. If Paul was humble, who should not be? Who, since his time, has equalled his ardor, his zeal, his attainments in the divine life? Yet the remembrance of his former life served always to keep him humble, and operated as a check on all the tendencies to pride in his bosom. So it should be with us - with all Christians. There has been enough in our past lives to make us humble, if we would recall it, and to make us feel that we are not worthy to be enrolled among the saints. One has been an infidel; one licentious; one intemperlate; one rash, revengeful, passionate; one has been proud and ambitious; one has been false, dishonest, faithless; all have had hearts opposed to God, alienated from good, and prone to evil; and there is not a Christian in the world who will not find enough in his past life to make him humble, if he will examine himself - enough to make him feel that he deserves not even the lowest place among the saints. So we shall feel if we look over our lives since we made a profession of religion. The painful conviction will come over our souls, that we have lived so far from God, and done so little in his cause, that we are not worthy of the lowest place among the blessed.

3. It is a privilege to preach the gospel; Ephesians 3:8. So Paul felt. It was an honor of which he felt that he was by no means worthy. It was proof of the favor of God toward him that he was permitted to do it. It is a privilege - an honor - to preach the gospel, anywhere arid to any class of people. It is an honor to be permitted to preach in Christian lands; it is an honor to preach among the pagan. It is an honor far above that of conquerors; and he who does it will win a brighter and more glorious crown than he who goes forth to obtain glory by dethroning kings, and laying nations waste. The warrior goes with the sword in one hand, and the torch in the other. His path is marked with blood, and with smouldering ruins. He treads among the slain; and the music of his march is made up of dying groans, and the shrieks of widows and orphans. Yet he is honored, and his name is blazoned abroad; he is crowned with the laurel, and triumphal arches are reared, and monuments are erected to perpetuate his fame. The man who carries the gospel goes for a different purpose. He is the minister of peace. He goes to tell of salvation. He fires no city; lays waste no field; robs no one of a home, no wife of a husband, no child of a father, no sister of a brother; - he goes to elevate the intellect, to mould the heart to virtue, to establish schools and colleges; to promote temperance, industry, and chastity; to wipe away tears, and to tell of heaven. "His" course is marked by intelligence and order; by peace and purity; by the joy of the domestic circle, and the happiness of a virtuous fire-side; by consolation on the bed of pain, and by the hope of heaven that cheers the dying. Who would not rather be a preacher of the gospel than a blood-stained warrior? Who would not rather have the wreath that shall encircle the brows of Paul, and Schwartz, and Martin, and Brainerd, than the laurels of Alexander and Caesar?

4. There is ample fullness in the plan of salvation by the Redeemer; Ephesians 3:8. In Christ there is unsearchable riches. None can understand the fulness that there is in him; none can exhaust it. Millions, and hundreds of million, have been saved by the fulness of his merits; and still those merits are as ample as ever. The sun in the heavens has shone for 6,000 years, and has shed light and comfort. on countless million; but his beams are not exhausted or diminished in splendor. Today, while I write - this beautiful, calm, sweet day - (June 24, 1840) his beams are as bright, as rich, as full, as they were when they were shed on Eden. So of the Sun of righteousness. Millions have been enlightened by his beams; but today they are as full, and rich, and glorious, as they were when the first ray from that sun reached the benighted mind of a penitent sinner. And that fulness is not to be exhausted. No matter how many partake of his abundance; no matter how many darkened minds are enlightened; no matter though nation after nation comes and partakes of his fulness, yet there is no approach to exhaustion. The sun in the heavens may waste his fires and burn out, and become a dark orb, diffusing horror over a cold and cheerless world; but not so with the Sun of righteousness. That will shine on in glory forever and ever; and the last penitent sinner on earth who comes to partake of the riches of the grace of Christ, shall find it as full and as free as did the first who sought pardon through his blood. Oh, the unsearchable riches of Christ! Who can understand this? Who can grow weary in its contemplation?

5. There is no good reason why any sinner should be lost; Ephesians 3:8. If the merits of the Saviour were limited; if his arm were a feeble human arm; if he died only for a part, and if his merit were already well-nigh exhausted, we might begin to despair. But it is not so. The riches of his grace are unbounded and inexhaustible. And why then does the sinner die? I can answer. He does like the man who expires of thirst while fountains bubble and streams flow all around him; like him who is starving amidst trees loaded with fruit; like him who is dying of fever in the midst of medicines that would at once restore him; like him who holds his breath and dies while the balmy air of heaven - pure, full, and free - floats all around him. If a man thus dies, who is to blame? If a man goes down to hell from lands where the gospel is preached, whose is the fault? It is not because the merits of Christ are limited; it is not because they are exhausted.

6. The church is designed to accomplish a most important purpose in the manifestation of the divine glory and perfections; Ephesians 3:10. It is by that that his great-wisdom is shown. It is by that entirely that his mercy is displayed; Ephesians 2:7. His power is shown in the creation and support of the worlds; his goodness in the works of creation and Providence; his truth in his promises and threatenings; his greatness and majesty are everywhere displayed in the universe which he has brought into being. His mercy is shown in the church; and there alone. Angels in heaven not having sinned, have had no occasion for its exercise; and angels that are fallen have had no offer of pardon. Throughout the wide universe there has been so far as we know, no exercise of mercy but in the church. Hence, the interest which the angelic beings feel in the work of redemption. Hence, they desire to look into these things, and to see more of the heighth and depth and length and breadth of the love of God evinced in the work of redemption. Hence the church is to be honored forever as the means of making known to distant worlds the way in which God shows mercy to rebellious creatures. It is honor enough for one world thus to be the sole means of making known to the universe one of the attributes of God; and while other worlds may contain more proofs of his power and greatness, it is enough for ours that it shows to distant worlds how he can exercise compassion.

7. All tribulation and affliction may be intended to do some good, and may benefit others; Ephesians 3:13. Paul felt that his sufferings were for the "glory" - the welfare and honor of the Gentiles, in whose cause he was suffering. He was then a prisoner at Rome. He was permitted no longer to go abroad from land to land to preach the gospel. How natural would it have been for him to be desponding, and to feel that he was leading a useless life. But he did not feel thus. He felt that in some Way he might be doing good. He was suffering in a good cause, and his trials had been brought on him by the appointment of God. He gave himself to writing letters; he talked with all who would come to him Acts 28:30-31, and he expected to accomplish something by his example in his sufferings. The sick, the afflicted, and the imprisoned often feel that they are useless. They are laid aside from public and active life, and they feel that they are living in vain. But it is not so. The long imprisonment of John Bunyan - so mysterious to him and to his friends - was the means of producing the Pilgrim's Progress, now translated into more than twenty languages, and already blessed to the salvation of thousands. The meekness, and patience, and kindness of a Christian on a bed of pain, may do more for the honor of religion than he could do in a life of health. It shows the sustaining power of the gospel; and this is much. It is "worth" much suffering to show to a world what the gospel can do in supporting the soul in times of trial; and he who is imprisoned or persecuted; he who lies month after month or year after year on a bed of languishing, may do more for the honor of religion than by many years of active life.

8. There is but one family among the friends of God; Ephesians 3:15. They all have one Father, and all are brethren. In heaven and on earth they belong to the same family, and worship the same God. Let Christians, therefore, first love one another. Let them lay aside all contention and strife. Let them feel that they are brethren - that though they belong to different denominations, and are called by different names, yet they belong to the same family, and are united under the same glorious head. Let them, secondly, realize how highly they are honored. They belong to the same family as the angels of light and the spirits of just men made perfect. It is an honor to belong to such a family; an honor to be a Christian. Oh, if we saw this in its true light, how much more honorable would it be to belong to this "family" than to belong to the families of the great on earth, and to have our names enrolled with nobles and with kings!

9. Let us seek to know more of the love of Christ in our redemption - to understand more of the extent of that love which he evinced for us; Ephesians 3:16-19. It is worth our study. It will reward our efforts. There are few Christians - if there are any - who understand the richness and fulness of the gospel of Christ; few who have such elevated views as they might have and should have of the glory of that gospel. It is wonderful that they who profess to love the Lord Jesus do not study that system more, and desire more to know the heighth, and depth, and length, and breadth of the love of Christ. True, it passes knowledge. We cannot hope fully to fathom it in this world. But we may know more of it than we do. We may aspire to being filled with all the fullness of God. We may long for it; pant for it; strive for it; pray for it - and we shall not strive in vain. Though we shall not attain all we wish; though there will be an infinity beyond what we can understand in this world, yet there will be enough attained to reward all our efforts, and to fill us with love and joy and peace. The love of God our Saviour is indeed an illimitable ocean; but we may see enough of it in this world to lead us to adore and praise God with overflowing hearts.

21. Translate, "Unto Him be the glory (that is, the whole glory of the gracious dispensation of salvation just spoken of) in the Church (as the theater for the manifestation of the glory, Eph 3:10) in Christ Jesus (as in Him all the glory centers, Zec 6:13) to all the generations of eternal ages," literally, "of the age of the ages." Eternity is conceived as consisting of "ages" (these again consisting of "generations") endlessly succeeding one another. Unto him be glory in the church; the whole church of Jews and Gentiles. The church only knows the mystery and partakes of the benefits before mentioned, and therefore the church only can rightly glorify God for them.

By Christ Jesus; either in Christ, in whom the Father hath displayed all his love to us; or rather by (according to our version) Christ, as the Mediator between God and us; by whom we offer up our services to God, praises as well as prayers, Romans 1:8 7:25. Throughout all ages; or, through all generations.

Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus,.... This is a doxology, or an ascription of glory to God, with which the apostle concludes his prayer; glory is to be given to God on account of his perfections, which are to be celebrated; and on account of the works of creation and Providence, which are to be commended and acquiesced in; and on account of temporal mercies, for which thanks should be given; and especially for spiritual mercies, and above all for Jesus Christ: the glory of salvation, from first to last, is to be ascribed to his free grace; and his worship is to be regarded and constantly attended on; faith is to be exercised on him, as a promising and covenant keeping God; and our lives and conversations are to be ordered aright according to his word; and we are cheerfully and patiently to suffer for his cause and interest, in all which instances he is glorified: and the place where this glory is to be given, is the "church"; for the church, and true believers, only know the blessings and mysteries of divine grace; and they only know how to glorify God aright; and besides, glory must be given to God by believers, not only separately and apart, but conjunctly and together, in a church state; because there the Lord appears glorious, grants his presence, and displays his mighty grace: and this is to be done by "Christ Jesus", or "in" him; and may refer either to the church, which is in Christ; or to him as the medium by whom praise and glory are to be given to God; for all blessings are in Christ, and come to us through him, and he is the only way of access to God; nor can our praises and thanksgivings be acceptable unto God, but through him: and this glory is to be given

throughout all ages, world without end, Amen; for the church will abide for ever, in which it is to be given; the blessings of grace will be for ever dispensing, for which it is to be given; and Jesus Christ, the Mediator, will continue for evermore, by whom it is given: to all which is added the word "Amen", signifying his wish, that so it might be, and his faith, that so it would be.

Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
Ephesians 3:21. αὐτῷ] pointing back with rhetorical emphasis. See Schaef. Melet. p. 84; Kühner, II. p. 330.

ἡ δόξα] sc. εἴη: the befitting honour. Comp. Romans 11:36; Romans 16:27; Galatians 1:5; Php 4:20. Certainly God has the glory (Ephesians 1:17), from which fact Harless explains the article; but it is not of this that the doxologies speak, not of this fact being testified to God, but of His receiving the human praise, which to Him pertains (Revelation 4:11). Compare the conception, δοῦναι δόξαν τῷ Θεῷ, Luke 17:18; Acts 12:23; John 9:24; Romans 4:20; Revelation 4:9.

ἐν τῇ ἐκκλ. ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰ.] not to be taken together (Luther, Michaelis, Koppe, Rosenmüller, Flatt, Holzhausen, Meier, Olshausen), against which we may decidedly urge, not indeed the want of the article,—since ἡ ἐκκλησία ἐν Χριστῷ, the Christian church, might be combined as one idea in contradistinction from the Jewish, or any other ἐκκλησία whatever,—but the utter superfluousness of this distinguishing designation; for that ἡ ἐκκλησία was the Christian church, the ἐκκλησία κατʼ ἐξοχήν, was self-evident. Rather is ἐν τῇ ἐκκλ. the outward domain in which God is to be praised, and ἐν Χριστῷ the spiritual sphere in which this ascription of praise is to take place; for not outside of Christ, but in Christ—as the specific element of faith, in which the pious life-activity of the Christian moves—does he praise God. Comp. Ephesians 3:5; Ephesians 3:20. Allied, but not identical (in opposition to Grotius and others), is the conception διὰ Χριστοῦ, Romans 1:8; Romans 7:25. Both conceptions: Colossians 3:17.

εἰς πάσας τὰς γενεὰς κ.τ.λ.] unto all generations of the world-age of world-ages.[196] This cumulation of the expressions is solemn. The αἰὼν τῶν αἰώνων denotes the eternal world-period beginning with the Parousia, the αἰὼν μέλλων, conceived of as the superlativum of all world periods (Winer, p. 220 [E. T. 309]), in so far as it, just as the last and eternal one, transcends all. other αἰῶνες since the beginning of the world. Comp. Daniel 7:18; Daniel 3 Esdr. 4:38. The plural expression οἱ αἰῶνες τῶν αἰώνων (Galatians 1:5; Php 4:20, al.) is not different as to the thing intended, but is so as to the conception; since in it the Messianic period, although equally thought of (comp. also on Luke 1:50) as the superlative of all the αἰῶνες, is not thought of in its unity without distinction, but as a continuous series of several periods: consequently not as a single totality, as in the case of ὁ αἰών, but according to the several constituent parts, which collectively form the whole of the Messianic eternity,—in short, not as the time of times, as in our passage, but as the times of times. By εἰς πάσας τὰς γενεὰς κ.τ.λ. the thought is expressed, that the indicated ascription of praise to God will extend to all the generations of the (nigh) Messianic world-period, i.e. that this ascription of praise in the church is to endure not only up to the Parousia, but then also ever onward from generation to generation in the Messianic aeon,—consequently to last not merely ἐς τὸ παρόν, but also ἐς τὸ ἀΐδιον. On γενεά, generation (three of which about = 100 years), comp. Acts 14:16, and the passages from the LXX. and Apocrypha in Schleusner’s Thes.; from Greek writers, in Wessel, ad Diod. I. 24. The designation of the successive time-spaces of the everlasting Messianic αἰών by γενεαί, is derived from the lapse of time in the pre-Messianic world-period—in which with the changing generations one age of man ever succeeds another—by virtue of a certain anthropological mode of regarding eternity. Of the church, however, it is presupposed that she herself (and so, too, will it be with her praising of God) endures on into the everlasting αἰών, but not that she has still a very long temporal duration before the Parousia, according to which de Wette has here found a contradiction to the apostle’s expectation elsewhere of the nearness of the Parousia. The Parousia brings for the ἐκκλησία not the end, but the consummation. Hofmann, Schriftbew. II. 2, p. 127, retaining καί before ἐν Χρ. . (see the critical remarks), would have εἰς πάσας τὰς γενεάς κ.τ.λ., to belong only to ἐν Χρ. ., and not to ἐν τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ; for only at present and upon earth does the glorification of God take place in the church, but in Christ it takes place eternally. Incorrectly, because even the temporal glorification does not take place otherwise than ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ, consequently the καί would have had its logical position only after Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ. If καί were genuine, it would not be equivalent to δέ, as would need to be assumed on Hofmann’s view, but it would be et quidem, idque, however superfluous and cumbrous such a stress laid on it might be. According to Baur, p. 433, there meets us again here the Gnostic idea of the αἰῶνες, in accordance with which they, “as the γενεαὶ τοῦ αἰῶνος τῶν αἰώνων, are the aeons in the sense, in which God Himself, as the extra-temporal unity of time, individualizes Himself in the aeons as the elements of self-unfolding time.” In this way one may over-urge Gnosticism.

[196] “αἰῶνες, periodi oeconomiae divinae ab una quasi scena ad aliam decurrentes,” Bengel.

Ephesians 3:21. αὐτῷ ἡ δόξα ἐν τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ: unto Him be the glory in the Church in Christ Jesus (better, “and in Christ Jesus”). In the αὐτῷ the great Subject of the ascription is named the second time with rhetorical emphasis, and as it stands first in the sentence εἴη (not ἐστί) is to be supplied. The article with δόξα defines it as the glory that is due to Him, or that befits Him. And that “glory” is to be given Him ἐν τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ, the Church being the domain in which the praise that belongs to Him is to be rendered Him. The reading of the TR, ἐν τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ ἐν Χριστῷ, Ιησοῦ, follows such authorities as [351]2[352] [353] [354], Syr., Eth., Arm., Goth. It is rendered by some “in the Church which is in Christ Jesus”. But there is no evident reason for defining the Church here specifically as in Christ; for it is the Christian Church that is obviously meant, and there is no need to distinguish it from the Church of Israel. Such a construction, too, distinguishing one Church from another, would have been clearer if τῇ had appeared before ἐν Χριστῷ, although the absence of the article is not fatal to it (cf. 1 Thessalonians 1:1, etc.). Hence those who follow the TR take the words as two distinct clauses, ἐν τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ, ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ, understanding them to mean that the praise which is given in the Church is praise given in Christ in virtue of her union with Him as her Head, or taking them to point first to the Church as “the outward domain in which God is to be praised” and then to Christ as the “spiritual sphere in which this ascription of praise is to take place” (Mey.), it being only in Christ that believer or Church can really praise God. There is, however, a small, but important addition made to the text by some of the oldest and best authorities, by the insertion of καί before the ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ. The evidence is so strong ([355] [356] [357] [358], 17, Vulg., Boh., etc.) that the καί can scarcely be refused, and it is accepted by LTTrWHRV. So the sentence becomes “in the Church and in Christ Jesus,” and the idea is that praise is to be given to God and His glorious perfections shown forth both in the Church which is the body, and in Christ who is the Head—in the Church as chosen by Him, and in the Christ as given, raised, and exalted by Him. So Haupt, with a somewhat similar idea, understands the sense to be that the glorifying of God takes place in outward-wise in the circle of the Church and at the same time in such inward-wise that it is in Christ.—εἰς πάσας τὰς γενεὰς τοῦ αἰῶνος τῶν αἰώνων. ἀμήν: unto all generations for ever and ever. Amen. More exactly “unto all the generations of the age of the ages. Amen.” Another of these reduplicated, cumulative expressions by which the mind of man working with the ideas of time labours to convey the idea of the eternal. The formula may be, as was suggested by Grotius, a combination of two distinct phrases of similar meaning, one in which continuance, endless continuance, is expressed in terms of γενεά, γενεαί (cf. e.g., Luke 1:50; εἰς γενεὰς γενεῶν, or εἰς γενεὰς καὶ γενεὰς with LTTrWHRV); and another in which the same idea is expressed in terms of αἰών, αἰῶνες (cf. εἰς αἰῶνας αἰώνων, Revelation 14:11; εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων, Galatians 1:5, etc.). The peculiarity here is the conjunction of the two formulæ and the use of the sing. αἰών in the latter; cf. εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα τοῦ αἰῶνος, 3 Esdr. 4:38; ἕως αἰῶνος τῶν αἰώνων, Daniel 7:18; εἰς τὸν αἰῶνα [τοῦ αἰῶνος], Hebrews 1:8; εἰς ἡμέραν αἰῶνος, 2 Peter 3:18. The precise idea underlying the phrase is not quite clear. It may be that the everlasting future is thought of as one long “age” embracing in it an unnumbered succession of “generations” and making the sum and crown of all possible “ages”. Or the “age of the ages” may have the force of a superlative, “the age par excellence,” the “age beside which there is none other to be named,” and that regarded as containing in itself all conceivable “generations”. More precisely, the idea of the Parousia may be behind all, the age (ὁ αἰών) being the Messianic age which opens with the Parousia, brings all other “ages” with the “generations” belonging to them to an end, and is itself to endure for ever. Thus, as Meyer puts it, the idea is that the glory to be given to God in the Church and in Christ its Head is to “endure not only up to the Parousia, but then also ever onward from generation to generation in the Messianic æon—consequently to last not merely εἰς τὸ παρόν, but also εἰς τὸ ἀΐδιον”. The ἀμήν, which occurs so frequently in our Lord’s discourses at the beginning of an affirmation, is used here, as so often in the OT, at the close of the sentence in the sense of so be it (LXX, γένοιτο; cf. Numbers 5:22, etc.). It was the people’s assent in OT times to declarations made at solemn assemblies (Deuteronomy 27:15; Nehemiah 5:13; Nehemiah 8:6, etc.). It was also their response to the prayers offered in the synagogue, and from 1 Corinthians 14:16 we gather that this use of the word was continued in the Christian Church.

[351] Codex Claromontanus (sæc. vi.), a Græco-Latin MS. at Paris, edited by Tischendorf in 1852.

[352] Codex Mosquensis (sæc. ix.), edited by Matthæi in 1782.

[353] Codex Angelicus (sæc. ix.), at Rome, collated by Tischendorf and others.

[354] Codex Porphyrianus (sæc. ix.), at St. Petersburg, collated by Tischendorf. Its text is deficient for chap. Ephesians 2:13-16.

[355] Codex Vaticanus (sæc. iv.), published in photographic facsimile in 1889 under the care of the Abbate Cozza-Luzi.

[356] Codex Sinaiticus (sæc. iv.), now at St. Petersburg, published in facsimile type by its discoverer, Tischendorf, in 1862.

[357] Codex Alexandrinus (sæc. v.), at the British Museum, published in photographic facsimile by Sir E. M. Thompson (1879).

[358] Codex Ephraemi (sæc. v.), the Paris palimpsest, edited by Tischendorf in 1843.

21. glory] Lit., and better, the glory; the glory due to the Father of the Saviour, and of the saints in Him.

in the church by Christ Jesus] Lit., in Christ Jesus. “The glory” is ascribed “in Him” as the Father is manifested in Him, and “in Him reconciled the world to Himself.”—But very strong evidence favours the reading in the Church and in Christ Jesus. If this is adopted, and it is nearly certain, the meaning is that the reasons of eternal praise to the Father lie both in the Church and in the Saviour; in the Church, as chosen and glorified by Him, in the Saviour as His supreme and all-including Gift.

throughout all ages, &c.] Lit., unto all the generations of the age of the ages. Such is the length of prospect revealed for the Church of Christ, as the “habitation of God” (Ephesians 2:22). The meaning manifestly is, “to all eternity,” whatever manifestations the eternal Future may bring. This is viewed as one vast “age” (aiôn), the sum and circumference of ages, which ages again contain developments faintly imaged by the “generations” which make up the centuries of Time.—The phrases “for ever,” or “for ever and ever,” of our A. V., usually represent the “unto the age,” or “unto the ages,” or “unto the ages of the ages,” of the Greek. The first Gr. phrase is almost confined to St John’s Gospel and Epistles; the last is distinctive of the Revelation, but it occurs also in St Paul and St Peter. St Peter (2 Ephesians 3:18) writes “unto the day of the age,” the “Day” which shall usher in the Eternal State.—On the word aiôn see further, last note on Ephesians 1:21.

Amen] The word is properly a Hebrew adverb (“surely”), repeatedly used as here in O. T. See Psalm 89:52; Jeremiah 11:5 (marg. A. V.); &c.

On the great passage thus closed Monod remarks: “This doxology, which concludes at once the Apostle’s prayer and the first part of his epistle, would be remarkable anywhere, but it is doubly so here … After the grandest promises which human language can express, the Holy Spirit here closes by declaring that all which can be expressed is infinitely below the reality which is in God.… But nothing less could answer the vast and undefined need of the heart. All that the mind can clearly grasp and the mouth articulately utter is incapable of satisfying us. And thus this close, so astonishing and unexpected, is just what we needed … But alas, if this language which is infinitely below the reality which is in God is infinitely above the reality which is in us!… To pass from Scripture to our experience, seems like a fall from heaven to earth.… The Lord teach us how to bring our experience into harmony with His promises.”

Ephesians 3:21. Ἐν τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ, in the Church) Ephesians 3:10.—εἰς πάσας, into all) Ephesians 3:11, ch. Ephesians 2:7 : comp. again Psalms 117. Into all generations, which ὁ αἰὼν, the age, comprehends, and which terminates in the everlasting ages, τοὺς αἰῶνας.—τὰς γενεὰς, generations) A generation is properly a period of human life, whilst we proceed from parents to children; αἰῶνες are periods of the Divine economy, passing on as it were from one scene to another. Here both words, for the sake of amplification, with a metaphor in γενεὰ, generation, are joined together, so that a very long time may be implied. For there are in αἰῶνες no longer generations.[55]

[55] Therefore γενεὰ must be taken metaphorically.—ED.

Ephesians 3:21Glory

Properly, the glory, which is His due.

In the Church

Through which His many-tinted wisdom is to be displayed, and which is His fullness. The variety of the divine wisdom is again hinted at in all that we ask or think.

By Christ Jesus (ἐν)

Rev., better, in. As the Church is the outward domain in which God is to be praised, so Christ is the spiritual sphere of this praise.

Throughout all ages, world without end (εἰς πάσας τὰς γενεὰς τοῦ αἰῶνος τῶν αἰώνων)

Lit., unto all the generations of the age of the ages. Eternity is made up of ages, and ages of generations.

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