Scripture Reading:  Ephesians 2:1-10

“Among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.” (Ephesians 2:3)

Paul is explaining the reason for sin and evil in the human experience.  He is making a strong case for our need of salvation.  The reality is that every human being, who is born by ordinary generation, is sinful by nature.  This sinful nature leads to sinful acts.  Thus, Paul says that at one time we were all “sons of disobedience.”

Our essential, primary trouble is disobedience.  It is our disobedience that leads to many of our troubles and difficulties.  Sin is not merely something passive and negative; it is active, positive and deliberate.  It is rebellion against God and against His will for our lives.  It is being disobedient to God by doing what He forbids and by failing to do what He commands.

Human beings want to be self- sufficient.  We want to be in control of our own destinies.  We want to save ourselves through our own efforts.  But the reality is — “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  Our best efforts will never qualify us for a life with God.

But the problem is deeper than disobedience.  Human beings are sinful by nature.  They “were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.”  This is strong language — “by nature children of wrath.”  The wrath of God is an expression of God’s hatred of sin and His punishment of sin.  Thus, human beings are sons of disobedience and are under the wrath of God by nature.

All of us were born into this world with a disobedient nature.  We are not born neutral; we are sinners by birth.  This sinful nature is called “original sin.”  We inherited it from our first father Adam:  “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned” (Romans 5:12).  All our individual sins flow from our sinful nature.  Our sins come from our sin.  As a result of this nature, “we once lived in the passions of the flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind” (v. 3).

Do you see the depths of sin in which we live?  Do you see our hopelessness and helplessness apart from God’s grace?  It is only when we realize how desperate we are that we can appreciate the wonders of the gospel.  The next verse (v. 4) begins with these words:  “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us.”  God takes the initiative.  He acts on our behalf.  He comes to rescue us from our terrible state:  “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:13,14).

Lord God, I acknowledge my sins before You.  I know that I can never repay You for all the sinful actions and thoughts I have committed.  You came to my rescue.  You sent Jesus to die in my place, so that my sins could be forgiven.  Thank you for Your rich mercy and incomprehensible love that saved a wretch like me.


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