Five Eternal Gifts from God - Grace 7
The deadened sinner is not only under the bondage of the world and the devil but also under bondage to the Flesh. Paul continues in Ephesians 2:2 by saying, “Among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind” (Ephesians 2:2, ESV).
We all lived in the bondage to our sinful natures. Our conduct indicated this allegiance. It was/is an allegiance to the passion and desires for what is forbidden by God. The flesh in this context refers to the human nature, the earthly nature of man apart from divine influence, and therefore prone to sin and opposed to God. We carried out these desires in fulfilling the desires of the body. These are the animal like cravings which incite us to sin.
Paul describes this kind of life in Romans 1:18-32. He gives a similar description in Galatians 5:16-21.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:16-21, ESV)
The sinner’s need for grace is not only because of sins of the body but also of the mind. This refers to our cognitive ability to think and understand what it is that we are thinking. We formerly physically and mentally participated in active sin. We were, or presently are, in need of God’s grace.