Verses 18-19 say it all; nothing more can be added. So Paul simply bursts into doxology. The indicative yields to the imperative of worship. When one thinks on God's riches lavished on us in Christ Jesus, what else is there to do but praise and worship?
Christ is indeed the focus of everything that God has done and is doing in this world and the next, but God the Father is always the first and last word in Paul's theology. My God is now our God and Father; and the living God, the everlasting One who belongs to the "ages of ages" and who dwells "in glory," is now ascribed the glory that is due his name.
All of this because the Philippians have sent Paul material assistance to help him through his imprisonment! True theology is expressed in doxology, and doxology is always the proper response to God, even—especially?—in response to God's prompting friends to minister to friends.
This passage thus belongs to several such doxologies in the Pauline corpus, which come at varied moments and reflect Paul's true theological orientation. The amen with which they conclude, taken over by Christians from the Jewish synagogue, is the last word, our "so be it," not only to the doxology itself but especially to the ultimate eschatological words, for ever and ever. This is our way of acknowledging that "glory to God for ever and ever" is the way it is and ever will be world without end, no matter what we do. So let us, God's people in all times and climes, join the chorus.
IVP New Testament Commentaries are made available by the generosity of InterVarsity Press.
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