On this coming Sunday, our Bible class is addressing Eph 2:3 that’s says “we were by nature children of wrath” .
First, it’s not talking about children age-wise, but children of the creator God. That is, we are all children of God who have gone astray. Second, the wrath is ours because of knowing and choosing to disobey God. The point is, infants and small children are not children of wrath.
The nature? There is an instinct of animals. It just comes natural. And babies have this to know how to suck, for example. Babies know how to look for the soul that is connected through the eyes. Babies do nothing that is sinful or nothing that’s the result of selfishness. As the seed tends towards life that pushes the shoot through the earth to open up to the sun, so a baby tends towards life to reach out and taste and express in their way their needs. Nothing babies are doing is coming from some inherited brokenness. If Adam were not made full grown and had to first go through infancy and childhood, he would have done all of the exploring, touching what wasn’t good, saying what wasn’t right. The foolishness in a child is explained by self volition, power, motion, exploration, poor boundaries, and it is driven out by discipline.
In the Sunday lesson, we follow a booklet provided by the Elders . From Eph 2, Paul talks about the walking dead. By their sins they are the walking dead, spiritually dead, who got that way by walking according to the course of this world. Ephesians 2 shows how the dead state resulted in the people becoming “children of wrath”. All of the sinful life is related to the consequence.
In vs 3, he said we ‘lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulged the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath”. The “nature” being described here is not the instinctual nature of an animal. It is instead the nature that developed by practice of sin. You speak to people and say, “your nature is to resist God and your nature is to lie, cheat and steal.” It’s not anything negative about a small child’s nature, which is perfect, while of course each one being exposed to nurturing environments that shapes later what their nature will be.
In Ephesians, baptism is eluded to where? The language of baptism is seen right there in the first of Ephesians 2. If you aren’t sure, read what Paul says to the Colossians 2:11ff and Romans 6:3-7.
Upshot. When reading Ephesians 2 “children of wrath” don’t let your mind be led to thoughts of little children. Instead, see that Paul is describing adults like himself and how we engage in the sinful things of the world, being liars and cheaters, and it resulted in being lost and needing salvation. How are you doing? Are you saved? Have you repented and been baptized? If not, you are still a child of wrath and if you died today, you would spend eternity away from God and away from anything pleasant. Come to God today. Leave me a message if you want to know more about securing God’s grace.