3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
Do a word study on conversation and you’ll see that it refers not only to your speech but to your behavior and manner of life. Here is an example from the letter of James.
James 3:13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.
The lusts of our flesh control us when we are unsaved. They are a part of the world’s philosophy and the world’s way of doing things. It’s less about fleshy living. That’s the first level, the symptom of the disease. What fundamentalists often miss is that it’s about an attitude toward the world, adopting the affections thereof.
1John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
But, we are told.
Colossians 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
The unsaved are children of disobedience and therefore, children of wrath.
John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
Our minds, by connection in this verse, are part of our flesh even when, with our minds, we wish to serve Christ. You can hardly trust the pleadings of your own mind any more than you can the demands of your flesh. Human beings have several fleshly desires including the desire for self-preservation, for self-propagation, then for self-gratification, and finally, with our minds, for self-justification. You cannot depend upon your own mind to determine what is right or wrong or what is God’s will or not, apart from His word. Your mind can convince you that any sin you are engaged in is correct, just, and even godly from engaging in a needless war with a government leader or of you, a simple citizen, deciding what kind of wicked entertainment you’ll enjoy. Apart from God’s word, the mind is totally unreliable as a guide.
The word of God as found in His Bible is essential to live as a Christian. The life of the mind is the life of the flesh, in submission to the world, and to Satan, without the Bible. If you live in some part of the world where a Bible is hard to come by God will sustain and keep you. However, in the West we have no excuse. There are hundreds of millions of Bibles here.
My point is that you cannot trust your mind or your conscience to keep and sustain you as a Christian any more than you can trust your flesh or the world. You did not save yourself. You cannot keep yourself from destruction. You cannot sanctify yourself by your own will, your good intentions, or by your works. You must surrender to God through His word to have that accomplished.
Notice that we are, “…by nature the children of wrath...” You did not come to Christ by some argument that someone made that appealed to your reason, to your rational mind.
The natural man does not understand the things of God….
1Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
….although they have no excuse not to believe in God because, as Romans, chapter one, gives the religious history of mankind its shows that God did reveal himself to men and that…
Romans 1:19 ¶ Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
So, as children of wrath, because our own will has become so corrupted, we are not able to come to Christ on our own. We need help.
John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
You see, no one comes to Christ or is born again by his or her own will alone.
John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
Are you still a child of wrath or have you been born again?
You can be born again, born a second time, by believing on and trusting in Jesus Christ. The Bible is very clear on this.
To the Philippian jailer who wanted to know what he must do to be saved, Paul and company said;
Acts 16:31 And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
Paul told the Romans how to be saved;
Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12 ¶ For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Believe that Jesus Christ is and was God in the flesh (John 10:30; John 14:9), that He died on the Cross at Calvary for your sins (1 Corinthians 15:3), that He rose from the dead the third day for your justification (Romans 4:25), and that by His righteousness and not your own you can have eternal life with Him (Romans 3:19-26).
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Read the Bible every day(Deuteronomy 17:19; Ephesians 5:26; 6:17; 1 Timothy 4:13), letting God speak to you through it, and pray every day (Romans 12:12; 1 Thessalonians 5:17), speaking to God, unite with other like-minded believers to worship regularly and hear God’s word faithfully preached (Hebrews 10:24,25), and every day seek to wait on (Psalm 27:14) and to do God’s will (Hebrews 13:21).Now, if you’ve done that, you are no longer a child of wrath. What you can expect when physical death takes your body is that God will receive you into His presence and you will have eternal life with a resurrected body that cannot die (Romans 8:23).