Children of Wrath?

“and we were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.” (Ephesians 2:3)

The apostle refers to everyone who has sinned as being “sons of disobedience” and “children of wrath.”  The latter phrase speaks of the rebellious, warring nature within man, apart from Christ. 

While we are usually quick to recognize rebellion, strife, and aggression in others, we are often blind to the same in our own lives.  Before we can effectively reflect the peacemaking nature of our Heavenly Father, we must come to terms with the reality that we are children of strife and wrath.  Indeed, we need to be saved from our own warring natures! 

The nature of man, apart from regeneration through Christ, is one of rebellion and strife.  The sinful rebellion we inherit from Adam, “predisposes” you to be at war with…

1.The Law of God.  The commandments seem grievous, actually exposing the rebellion within us. We basically dislike God’s rules.  The Bible says that adultery is sin.  Mankind says that it is unfair for God to keep us from pursuing whatever makes us happy.  The Bible says that coveting is sin. Our world says, “Those who gain the most possessions in life are the winners.” And on and on…

2.Your own conscience.  Everyone has a conscience.  It has often instructed you.  The reason you are really nervous when you lie to your boss is because your conscience is telling you it is wrong.  But you fight against that inner judge and rebel.  Guilt is the product of our own heart siding against our actions and lifestyles. Billions of people are morally crippled by the war.
3.Your own bodies.  There is a downward spiral.  As the spiritual and moral condition of man descends, more and more identity confusion and hatred occurs.  Self hatred, self-mutilation, eating disorders, and ultimately suicide reflect this inner war.
4.Your spouse.  The high incidence of divorce and domestic violence reflect deep strife in marriages and homes.
5.Other people. Interpersonal conflict is the root cause of most of the world’s problems, including physical and mental health loss.  People leave marriages, jobs, churches, towns because of unresolved interpersonal conflict and strife.
6.Other races.  The presence of racism and ethnic genocide in our world reveal this. It is ugly, but it is inherit to the human race.  You will never fully wipe it out.
7. Other political parties. Just a little objectivity reveals that there is a sad lack of objectivity when it comes to party politics.  Though there are real issues being debated, there is sadly so much strife and distrust across the aisle.  This shouldn’t seem strange, however.  It’s the same all over the world.  There is strife and war in the heart of man.
7.Other Sports teams: the Canucks fans rioted after the Bruin’s won game 7 of the NHL World Championship. Though sports can be a wholesome thing, human history is full of examples of violence being played out as sport.
Let no one pretend they are immune from strife and war within.  Those who protested America being at war three years ago during the Bush administration are strangely silent today during the Democratic presidency.  And we’re involved in more armed conflicts now than then!  Those protests were in themselves the product of political and party strife more than a deep hunger for peace!
In one way everyone in our world longs for peace.  We just want it on our own terms.
God offers us peace on His terms.  The Bible says that Jesus is Himself our peace.  He is the Prince of Peace.  Only He can free you from the war within and without.

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