Ephesians 2:3 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Ephesians 2:3, NIV: All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.

Ephesians 2:3, ESV: among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

Ephesians 2:3, KJV: 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.

Ephesians 2:3, NASB: Among them we too all previously lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the rest.

Ephesians 2:3, NLT: All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God's anger, just like everyone else.

Ephesians 2:3, CSB: We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also.

What does Ephesians 2:3 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Paul looks back at both his life and the lives of his readers when recalling prior sins. All have sinned (Romans 3:23), and Paul certainly includes himself in that group. Before coming to faith in Christ, we follow our human desires to one degree or another, seeking to please ourselves rather than God. In Paul's words, unbelievers are motivated by the whims and urges of our imperfect bodies and minds. We live in sin, both in our actions and in our thoughts. Though temptation is not a sin in and of itself (Hebrews 4:15), impure thoughts and immoral actions are both wrong. Apart from God, we have no power to stand against these forces.

Paul says the unbeliever's destiny is that of a child "of wrath." This indicates a person who is under judgment. Prior to knowing Christ, Paul and his readers were subject to judgment "like the rest of mankind." There is a universal judgment that exists upon all who do not know Christ. This is why we are called to believe in Jesus by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8–9) and seek to share Him with others worldwide (Matthew 28:18–20).