“ . . . 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
Everyone is born with a sinful nature. We’re not born as good people with blank slates (Psalm 51:5), but we are “by nature children of wrath,” in rebellion against God. Because of the Fall, our natural proclivities are to repeat the sins of Adam and Eve. Naturally, we cannot help but do evil. We’re sinners by nature and choice, as sin is both a nature we inherit and a lifestyle we choose. In such a state, we deserve justice: the full wrath of God, condemnation, and hell.
That’s why we need Jesus to give us a new nature. If you’re in Christ, you’re saved from your sinful nature and given a new nature that desires love for God and holiness. When you become a Christian, you’re given a new mind and desires that are in line with God’s because they’re from him. In Christ, you still have desires of the flesh, but your deepest desires are changed—you are free from the power of sin (Rom. 6:17–18).
This chart, from chapter 7 of Pastor Mark's book, Who Do You Think You Are?, shows the contrast between the sinful nature apart from Jesus and the new nature in Christ Paul talks about in Ephesians 2:1–10.
For more on how Jesus saves us from our sinful nature, check out the latest sermon from our series on the book of Ephesians, “I Am Saved.”
For more on this topic, check out Pastor Mark’s sermon from 2008’s Doctrine series, “Fall: God Judges.”