Ephesians: The Love We Long For, Study Guide with Leader's Notes (eBook)

Scotty Smith
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Am I loved? The central question of every human heart is answered with a resounding yes through this study of the Ephesians. Through an easily accessible, self-contained small group study each participant will grow in their understanding of the love of Christ, and the riches of his grace and how that love shapes every relationship and every interaction with others.

The small group guide includes twelve in-depth lessons that include discussion questions, a short article to read, and a practical application section that can be used for one-to-one discipleship, small group, or large group settings. Explore this resource and find the riches of grace, the out-working of the gospel into every part of life, and the knowledge and love of God you've been waiting for.

Ephesians: The Love We Long For offers Scripture-based, theologically rich content with an easy-to-follow structure to engage readers. Smith invites men and women to reflect of the God of the Bible by reading the book of Ephesians slowly.

He shares how the New Testament letter presents the love we all deeply long for-God's great love for us in Jesus.

In this guide, discover the implications of God's love for every aspect of your life and relationships. With rich discussion questions, practical application exercises and Scripture-based teaching, Smith helps readers see Jesus more clearly in the themes found in the book of Ephesians.


Scotty Smith graduated from The University of North Carolina, Westminster Theological Seminary, and Covenant Theological Seminary (DMin). Smith planted and pastored Christ Community Church in Franklin, TN, for twenty-six years. He worked on pastoral staff of West End Community Church as teacher in residence and also served as adjunct faculty for Covenant Seminary, Westminster (Philadelphia), RTS, Orlando, and Western Seminary in Portland, OR. He authored Unveiled Hope, Objects of His Affection, Restoring Broken Things, Everyday Prayers, Every Season Prayers, and Ephesians: The Love We Long For. Scotty and his wife of over forty-five years, Darlene, live in Franklin, TN.

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"Every time my longtime friend and mentor, Scotty Smith gets ahold of good gospel truth, it is only a matter of time before that same gospel truth gets ahold of him. Before you know it, he is gushing about the grace and freedom that are ours in Christ Jesus, because gushing about grace and freedom is what Scotty does. This wonderful, practical work on Paul's letter to the Ephesians is a treasure. Part commentary and part devotional, we learn about the church and also ourselves as seen through the eyes of the One who loved us and gave himself for us. He is the Father, and we are his daughters and sons. He is the Bridegroom, and we are his bride. We were never his choice people because we are sinners, but we will always be his chosen people because he is a God of mercy and grace. Whether you use this book to prepare talks or sermons, as devotional material, or for group discussion, I pray that its effect on you will be contagious, and that the very truths that have gripped the author's heart will also get a grip on yours."
Scott Sauls, Pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church, Nashville, TN; author of A Gentle Answer

"Scotty Smith is one of the most gospel-rich men I know, and this book is like having Scotty himself right there in your living room, with friends sitting around and together savoring the gospel riches of Ephesians. That circle of honest fellowship is where God's grace touches our deepest needs."
Ray Ortlund, Renewal Ministries, Nashville, TN

"It is a pleasure to commend to all this new study of my favorite book of the Bible written by my favorite pastor/scholar. My friend and mentor Scotty Smith offers in these pages a captivating and accessible study of Ephesians that fills the heart with gospel joy just as much as it transforms the mind with gospel truth. When I succeeded Scotty at Christ Community the first thing I did was start preaching through Ephesians not only because I knew it would reinforce the message he'd always preached there, but because I knew that every time we catch a glimpse of the beauty of this epistle we grow in our astonishment at God's grace, freshly kindle the flames of our first love for Jesus, and step forward with renewed faith into our calling to love one another. Ephesians is the Swiss Alps of Paul's writing, and Scotty is just the trusted and experienced guide we need to help us appreciate its beauty. I pray that God will be pleased to give this study a wide readership, and that it will strengthen and equip many to walk with Jesus for the sake of the gospel."
David Cassidy, Senior Pastor, Christ Community Church, Franklin, TN

"Scotty Smith has a distinct calling to help men and women explore the heights and depths of the gospel in sermons, seminars and books. This guide to the gospel in Ephesians is clear, concise, compelling, biblical, and emotionally resonant. It also leads you to think and act on the gospel with a group of friends. The questions are wise and penetrating enough to occasionally make you uncomfortable, but it will be a godly discomfort that leads you to the greater comfort of God's grace and direction in Christ."
Dan Doriani, Author; Professor of Theology and Vice President at Large, Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis, MO

"Nothing is more vital to our intimacy with Christ than spending time with him in his Word. But a lot of Bible studies stop short and only deal with concepts and ideas and never really speak to our hearts. That's why I'm so excited about this series. Each author writes about the unique gospel insights he or she has gained from Scripture and has created a small group study that will help people actually encounter Christ and be changed by the power of his grace. God has used this material powerfully in my life, marriage, and ministry, and that is my prayer for you as well."
Bob Osborne, Executive Director, Serge

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4 Reviews

  • 4
    Good for Beginners

    Posted by Ian Acheson on 10 12 2020

    I read this study along with Eugene Peterson's Practice Resurrection Book and Study Guide as I worked through Ephesians. Ephesians is the book that helps guide us in maturing in Christ as evidenced by a church that began with 12 people. Smith's study is 12 lessons (nee chapters) long, 2 lessons per chapter of the epistle. There is no requirement for pre-work, nor really any homework which limits the study a little. There are a series of questions to reflect on as one reads through the verses, Smith provides a 1-2 page commentary of sorts and then another set of more in-depth exercises to work through as a group or individual. It was good, just fairly basic and so long as one knows this from the outset then it meets expectations. Smith is a learned Biblical teacher and so there is plenty here really for everyone, more for those starting out in studying this magnificent Epistle. I received a complimentary ebook copy from Audra Jennings as part of her association with the publisher. This has no bearing on my review.

  • 4
    A clear and approachable Bible study

    Posted by Annette Kristynik on 09 23 2020

    What I love about the Ephesians study: ~A Gospel Glossary is included at the end of the book. Words like glorification and propitiation are sometimes unknown to new Christians. The glossary is not lengthy but beneficial. ~Leader’s Notes. These notes (over lessons 1-12) are not just for the leader in the study, but for people who are reading the book and want clarification and understanding. This is important additional teaching to clarify the “conversation sections.” ~Each of the 12 chapters have a lesson section, article to read, and exercise (questions). These are brief reading sections. ~I feel the Bible study is clear, concise, approachable, and reflective. The Ephesians study is more for a group study. The study can be managed for single personal use. Source: I received a complimentary eBook copy from New Growth Press, I was not required to write a positive review.

  • 5
    A journey to knowing Jesus more intimately

    Posted by SHIRLEY ALARIE on 09 14 2020

    The intention of the comprehensive and interactive Ephesians Bible Study is not just to analyze the letter that Paul wrote, but to come to know Jesus more intimately. The call to action is to learn to live the disciplined life, like Paul did. The author includes stories from his own experiences to tie the concepts from Paul’s letter to current day circumstances. I found them to be helpful examples when considering how the letter is still speaking to each of us today. The twelve segments walk through the letter to the Ephesians and cover topics such as Getting the Gospel Deep in Our Hearts, Growing in the Knowledge and Love of Jesus, and Repentance and Gospel Transformation. This study is made to benefit a group. No prep or homework is required of the participants. Each of the twelve one-hour lessons includes a Big Idea, a Bible conversation, an article that expands on the topic, discussion and exercise, and wrap up and prayer. The target time is one hour, but could easily be extended based on the involvement of group members. The Ephesians Study Guide includes Leader’s Notes per lesson. They’re meant to be read by the leader beforehand but not relied upon. The key is working through the process as a group and not relying on the leader notes as the “answer”. A Gospel Glossary includes in-depth explanation of terms such as Justification and Sanctification. Ephesians Bible Study Guide with Leader Notes is one in the series of The Gospel-Centered Life in the Bible, published by New Growth Press. Scotty Smith is the primary author of this book in the series. How this book affected me: This bible study encourages a personal relationship with Jesus that’s critical for any Christian journey and a major focus of my current personal journey. It shed new light on the message meant for me in Ephesians and challenged me to deepen my relationship with Jesus further. Who would enjoy this book: Any group who’s looking for a study to deepen a personal relationship with Jesus would enjoy this book. This study provides more of a personal challenge than an analytical argument or historical study. It’s not written for apologists, but average Christians who desire more Jesus. Our Christian Book Reviews: The book reviews at Finding God Among Us focus on Christian books – adult and children, fiction and nonfiction. Our specialty is books on faith and new Christian book releases. We’re proud to be included in the Top 50 Christian Book Review Bloggers. Our publisher partners include New Growth Press, Shadow Mountain Publishing, and Revell and BakerBooks, divisions of Baker Publishing Group. I chose to read this book in exchange for my honest opinion.

  • 4
    Helpful resource!

    Posted by Jesvin Jose on 09 08 2020

    Ephesians is a gospel-saturated epistle from the pen of the Apostle Paul. Despite being in prison, Paul’s relentless focus is the grace of Jesus available to those submitting to His Lordship. Scotty Smith, in this new addition to the gospel-centered life series of books, helps us grasp the central message of the letter to the Ephesians, showing us how the gospel brings transformation to every aspect of our lives. The gospel-centered life series of books is designed primarily for group study but can also benefit the individual reader. Each chapter has a big idea, a Bible conversation, an article, discussion questions and a personal exercise, concluding with a final wrap-up and prayer (same format as followed in most books in the series). The books also provide a section for leader’s notes, which provide more detail and insight for those leading the study. This 12-week study from Ephesians displays the gospel of Jesus with brilliant vigor and helps us apply this gospel to our daily lives. In the initial chapters of the study, we are given a glimpse of our past, present, future and forever blessings as children of a loving God. We were elected in the past, we’re redeemed in the present, we’ll be restored in the future and we worship Him now and forever. What glorious blessings we enjoy!! Scotty Smith writes, “God’s grace claims our past, present, future and forever.” We also see Jesus as our resurrected Savior, our ascended Advocate, Ruler of all things, King of all ages, Victor over evil, Head of the church and Filler of all things. Without Christ our Savior, we are spiritually dead, condemned under God’s wrath and enslaved to the world, the devil and our own flesh. The gospel, Scotty rightly points out, “reveals the depth of our need and the greatness of God’s provision to meet our need.” Indeed! What I love about Scotty Smith’s approach, like his other study on Revelation, is his relentless focus on God’s grace in Jesus. He explains that God’s grace, however, doesn’t minimize the need for our faith. He rightly shows us that “God’s grace is the basis, and faith is the means, by which God enriches us with the astonishing wealth of our salvation.” He also points out how the gospel transforms our relationships in church, family and society. The more clearly we see Jesus, the more we see how we are not like Him and the more we sense our need for His grace in our relationships. The gospel replaces dishonest living with ‘truthing in love’; it replaces destructive anger with redemptive conflict; our stealing is replaced with generosity and our bitterness is replaced with kindness and forgiveness. These gospel truths show us our need for daily grace and encourage us to cling more tightly to Jesus every day of our lives. Each book in the series consistently points to Christ and His lavish grace available to those who believe. The publisher New Growth Press needs to be commended for the format and consistent output of such excellent gospel-centered resources. This book, like the other books in the series, will warm your heart to the truths of the gospel and will help you see Jesus more clearly and enable you to experience the riches of His love more deeply. It certainly had that effect on me. For its gospel-rich insights and practical application, I am happy to commend this book to all. 4/5 stars. *I received this free book from New Growth Press, but was not required to write a favorable review.*

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