Ephesians: The Love We Long For

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 HopeObjects of His AffectionRestoring Broken ThingsEveryday PrayersEvery 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 SaulsPastor 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 DorianiAuthor; 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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6 Reviews

  • 4
    Great Book

    Posted by Harry on 08 24 2023

    Awesome Book

  • 5
    The Gospel-Centered Life In the Bible Series

    Posted by Herbert Welday IV on 11 09 2022

    This series beautifully summarizes the heart of the Christian life as it seeks to renewal hearts and minds with the Word of God. This series is tailored for any Christian regardless of their maturity in the faith. The structure of the book is tangible for Christians to read, discuss, think, and apply the Bible in their everyday lives. This series does a great job at seeking to have a holistic gospel-centered approach connecting the head, heart, and hands to living out the faith. I would highly recommend these theologically rich and insightful guides to growing in Jesus.

  • 5
    Great Small Group Study Option

    Posted by Laura on 11 16 2020

    The Gospel-Center Life in the Bible Series provides Bible Study guides that are perfect for small groups. The topic for this particular study is the New Testament book of Ephesians. There are twelve in-depth lessons that explore the primary theme of the book – The Love Long For. These easy to follow guides require no homework for the participants and are packed with solid Bible teaching. While this complimentary book was provided for review by New Growth Press, no other compensation was given. All remarks are my personal and honest opinion.

  • 4
    Good for group or personal use

    Posted by Wendy on 10 08 2020

    Part of an ongoing series of bible studies that emphasise gospel centred living. Intended for group use, they helpfully point the members towards honest reflection about how the gospel affects them and how change can be affected through God’s grace. In each lesson, the author has helpfully written an article and probing questions for application. However, the studies do not lead the reader into detailed exegesis, and so do not really help people to read and interpret the Bible for themselves. (I received an ebook in exchange for an honest review)

  • 5
    A Great Study that Can Also Be for Personal Use

    Posted by Julie Arduini on 09 21 2020

    Like my upcoming review on Jeff Dodge's study on Titus, this is designed for small group use. Something about Scotty Smith's look at Ephesians felt like it was just as appropriate for personal use. Perhaps it's his passion for the subject, which leaps off the page. He also gives personal examples to emphasize the Biblical principles from Ephesians. I found, as the author intended, this wasn't just a look at Ephesians, but a challenge on how to live like Christ. The exercise from each session is a hard reflection on how we are personally doing in the areas of discussion. Although we might not like what we see, we need to grow and change to be part of a healthy Body of Christ. <!-- wp:paragraph --> <p>I loved this study and think anyone interested in moving forward in their Bible reading and living for Jesus should definitely check out Scotty Smith's Ephesians, The Love We Long For.

  • 3
    Hits the high points of Ephesians

    Posted by Joan Nienhuis on 08 23 2020

    This book is an overview or an introductory level study of Ephesians. There are twelve lessons, basically two to a chapter of Ephesians. Each lesson covers around 10 to 20 verses, with lesson four covering 23 verses while lessons 10 and 11 cover just four verses each. The studies hit the highlights, not going into depth nor looking at the Greek (except for doulos). The lessons take about an hour of group time and require no homework nor preparation (except for the leader). Smith draws attention to some good issues in Ephesians. One is the challenge to compare what our prayers look like against Paul's in Ephesians 1:15-19. I was impressed with Smith's insight that Jesus fulfills the promise of every piece of armor in Ephesians 6:11-17. “As we live in faith union and robust communion with Jesus, this entire armament is ours.” (1735/2144) Of the studies in this series I have reviewed, this one contains the most personal content from the author. Smith writes of his experience needing a root canal, of growing up in the church in the South, of sitting next to his mother dressed in his Sunday best saying the Lord's Prayer, and includes a complimentary letter from a visitor to his church. He even shares the wrong concept of holiness he was taught as a child, writing “I don't want to project my story (and pain) on you, but...” (1050/2144) While Smith relates these personal experiences to a lesson from Ephesians, I found his personal experiences distracting from the incredible wealth of material in Ephesians itself. Including his childhood experience of holiness teaching that created fear and doubt in him was really unnecessary. This is a good introductory level study on Ephesians for those who want no homework. It covers the highlights and will hopefully inspire participants to explore Ephesians in much greater depth. I received a complimentary digital copy of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

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