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.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your free trial.
Starting your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus is easy. You’re already logged in with your Bible Gateway account. The next step is to enter your payment information. Your credit card won’t be charged until the trial period is over. You can cancel anytime during the trial period.
Click the button below to continue.
Step 1 - Create an account or log in to start your subscription.
You’ve already claimed your free trial of Bible Gateway Plus. To subscribe at our regular subscription rate of $3.99/month, click the button below.
You've successfully created your account! For the best Bible Gateway experience, consider an upgrade to Bible Gateway Plus. For less than the cost of a latte each month, you'll get reduced banner ads and a huge digital Bible study library. Try it free for 30 days!