“in which you once walked according to the [a]course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.” (Ephesians 2:2-3 NKJV)
We were thoroughly depraved. We weren’t as depraved as we could have been, but we were wholly corrupt prevented from having peace with God. Apart from the intervening work of God in Christ we were walking according to the ‘course of this world’. Think about that word, walking. It has behind it this idea of leisure. Apart from Jesus we were comfortable following the trajectory of this wicked world. We did not sense danger. We did not hurry past the sins we once loved. We relished in them. We marinated in them. We walked in them. We were content to fulfill every wicked desire to our heart’s content and we did this because by nature we were children of wrath.
We were the offspring of Adam and because of this, we were marred by his original sin and committed our actual sins on a daily basis. We stood as men and women condemned and we were content and fine with our condemnation. We were content with exchanging the glory of God and worshipping the creature rather than the Creator (see Romans 1). But God in His grace and steadfast love set us apart before He created the world and He accomplished our salvation in Jesus and gave us a new nature by the power of the Holy Spirit. So, now we can hear Paul, along with the church of Ephesus that we were children of wrath- that’s not our identity anymore. We have peace with God.