Ephesians describes the church as God’s new humanity, a colony in which the Lord of history has established a foretaste of the renewed unity and dignity of the human race … a community in which God’s power to reconcile men and women to himself is experienced and then shared in transformed relationships.… It is an outpost in a dark world … offering light to the lost.… The church is a bride being prepared for the approach of her lover and husband.

J. Ligon Duncan and Susan Hunt