In this powerful paragraph, Paul communicates that God’s power and love move toward His glory. Again, two phrases communicate what’s needed: “To Him who is able” and “to Him be the glory.” Do you see right away how these two phrases are related? The glory of Christ in the church comes because of He who is able. He gets the glory because He alone is able.
To Him who is able: Able to do what? “Who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us” (v. 20). Paul was praying for God’s power, God’s presence, God’s strengthening, God helping them comprehend that which is incomprehensible in the flesh—to know the love that surpasses knowledge. But ultimately, the brazen prayer was this, “That you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
God is able to do more than we ask or think—how? “According to the power at work in us.” Remember Ephesians 1:19-20?
…and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might 20 that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places.Ephesians 1:19-20
Christ’s resurrection power is at work. This doxology (word of praise) echoes much of another doxology at the tail end of Romans, 16:25-27:
Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.Romans 16:25-27
“To him be the glory.” Where? In the place and through the people where the manifold wisdom of God is made know to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places (3:10), the church. But not just the Ephesians church—“throughout all generations, forever and ever” (v. 21).
John Piper would often say, “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” We often find our satisfaction in what God gives us, what God does for us—but our satisfaction is not found in Christ alone. “To him who is able”—“to him be the glory.”