By Nature, Children of Wrath

In Ephesians, Paul says we are “by nature, children of wrath”.

Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.   ()

Whatever could he mean?

Here’s a thought experiment…


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. (ESV)

1 comment to By Nature, Children of Wrath

  • What could he mean?

    “…By nature children of wrath, even as the rest.” Ephesians, like virtually all of Paul’s writings, was written to the already converted (the “we” in this verse), the saints of God who were chosen by God for salvation by an act of grace, at God’s good pleasure before the foundation of the world…also stated in Ephesians The “rest” makes reference to the unconverted. In this context, the term “nature” would appear to make reference to God’s natural inclination toward’s the human race. Therefore, it appears to me that based on this verse, as well as others in the bible that paint a consistent picture of this theme, it shows God’s natural inclination towards the human race as being one of wrath. I don’t like it, but the bible is consistent in this area. When the bible speaks of God hating Esau in

    “I have loved you,” says the Lord. But you say, “How have you loved us?” “Is not Esau Jacob’s brother?” declares the Lord. “Yet I have loved Jacob but Esau I have hated. I have laid waste his hill country and left his heritage to jackals of the desert.” (ESV)

    some clarity comes to light for why when Paul elaborates. Paul quoted Malachi and stated in

    10 And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, 11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— 12 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” (ESV)

    ….10 And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, 11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— 12 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.”

    So why did God love Jacob? So that God’s purpose in election might stand. Based on understanding the character of God, his whole character as defined by the bible (not just what we may like about the bible or God), it’s a greater curiosity why he loved Jacob. Evidently since we all sinned in Adam, and the sinner’s heart is repugnant to God, that God would choose to love any of us is something to behold, yet He did so from way, way back before the foundation of the world…so His purpose in election might stand. Did I answer anything?? 🙂

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