Exiled from Israel and held as a political prisoner for Christ on his way to Rome, Paul had something to say to the believers in Ephesus and Asia Minor. He had spent over three years ministering in the region. He had lived there, preached there, been persecuted there, bled there, and nearly died there.
Yet, as we learn in The Letter to the Ephesians, Paul’s confidence did not waver, his faith and vision never faltered: God had acted decisively in Christ to unify people and establish the church assembly, the people of God set apart and empowered by the Holy Spirit.
This 12-week study Dr. Fred Long takes learners through Paul’s grand vision of the Church as Christ’s body, a people called to be holy and blameless in love. As the political head of the church Body, Christ exemplifies virtue and the church aspires to grow to be like him in sacrificial love and service. Paul, as an ambassador of Christ in chains, depicts the church assembly as a holy temple filled with God, Christ, and the Spirit, and then stands firm wearing divine armor ready to withstand all evil forces and to spread the peace of the gospel of Christ to the whole world.
Fredrick J. Long teaches New Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary, and enjoys researching, presenting, and writing on biblical interpretation, Greek language and linguistics, and Greco-Roman and Jewish backgrounds for understanding Jesus and the early Church. He is married to Shannon and they have five children. He enjoys hiking, fishing, and reading and watching science fiction.