Of the fall of Man, of Sin, and of the Punishment thereof.
Chapter 6, Paragraph 3.
“…and 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.
“Children of wrath.” Doesn’t that phrase initially strike you as a little too much? We’d expect to see it as the title of a horror movie, or the name of a heavy metal band. But to say that we are all children of wrath? Isn’t that just the product of some dour-faced minister from centuries ago? Haven’t we progressed past that?
It won’t be the title of Joel Osteen’s next book, but it is a truthful statement to say that all humanity bear the title of “children of wrath”. Scripture states plainly in Ephesians 2 that without Christ, we all deserve God’s wrath. Because of Adam and Eve’s sin, we inherit a corrupted nature that does not fade away on its own. The child that seems so sweet, the kindly elderly lady, the hardworking man, are all corrupted by sin. Despite how they look to us, they are at enmity with God, and as such are children of wrath.
Realize, then, that the title “children of wrath” is not too strong a statement for mankind. There is something dreadfully wrong with the human race. There is something dreadfully wrong with us. But Scripture does not leave us to stare morbidly at the wretched condition of humanity: it points us to Christ. Because of His work and sacrifice on the behalf of His people, those who turn from sin and trust in Him are no longer “children of wrath”, but are part of God’s household. (Ephesians 2:19)
See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are.
-1 John 3:1
Questions to Consider
- Is it hard to accept that, without Christ, all of humanity are “children of wrath”?