Philippians 4:20

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. Philippians 4:20

Paul now issues forth a doxology similar to others elsewhere in his letters. Taken with the previous two verses, we see that he is tying “God” here to “God” in the previous verses, but referring to Him in a new way. Here are the three verses together –

“Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. 19 And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. 20 Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen.”

He has gone from a general reference, to a specific but singular reference, to a specific and plural reference. In this verse, “our God” is the object of praise from the church as a whole. All share in His goodness, and He in turn is worthy of the worship of all. It is to “our God and Father” then that this is due. Because of Christ, we are brought into the son-ship of God, and we are reckoned as children of God. He has become our heavenly Father because of Jesus.

It is to Him that shall “be glory forever and ever.” However, there is an article which is missing in this translation. In Greek, it says, “the glory.” Paul shows by his use of “glory” in the previous verse, and the use of “the glory” in this verse, that there is a glory which we can participate in, but there is a specific glory which belongs to God alone. It is a part of His nature which is incommunicable. This particular glory belongs to Him, and it does so “forever and ever;” or as the Greek reads “for the ages of ages.” It is a term which indicates in the strongest sense that it will never, never end.

He finishes with “Amen.” So be it, and thus it is so. Using “Amen” here shows the absolute and pivotal importance of the truth of the statement he has made.

Life application: Paul is known to break into sudden doxologies at various times in his letters. Sometimes they happen only at the end, but not always. He let his sense of awe at what God has done guide him in his praise of God – at any and every moment that was appropriate. We should likewise follow in this habit. If we are overflowing with awe, then let it out. Whether walking alone on a path of beauty in the deep woods, or whether posting on FB after contemplating His splendor, let our voices and words reflect His surpassing glory with praise to Him. Don’t hold it back!

Lord God, You are surpassingly glorious in all ways! To You alone belongs the glory, and to You alone are praises due. May we never withhold our tongues in praise when we are filled to overflowing with the wonder of Your works. How can we withhold from You the praise of our lips when we contemplate Your majesty? May it never be so! Glory to You in the highest, O God. And again, glory to You in the highest! Amen.

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