The desires of the flesh and of the mind
(Henry Law, "Meditations on Ephesians")
"All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying
the cravings of our sinful nature, fulfilling the desires
of the flesh and of the mind. Like the rest, we were
by nature objects of wrath." Ephesians 2:3
Our original state is here represented. Dark and hateful
as the picture is, the contemplation is most profitable . . .
it silences all boastings;
it utterly strips us of all self-righteousness;
it excites self-loathing and self-abhorrence;
it loudly proclaims the sentence of just condemnation;
above all, it exalts the glory of God in His free grace
and unspeakable mercy in Christ Jesus.
May these blessed effects be wrought by the Spirit in our
souls, while we fix our eyes on the portrait before us!
We fulfilled the desires of the flesh and of the mind. Before
the Spirit of God enters the soul, the whole nature is carnal
and corrupt. The mind, in its various operations, only lusts
after evil--the flesh is one mass of depravity, greedy after
low and base gratifications. The mind suggests, and plans,
and invents--the flesh is eager to obey. The mind is enmity
to God--the flesh never can become spiritual. The mind is
the nest of every unclean bird, the fountain-head of polluted
streams--the flesh is the instrument of unholy indulgence.
Here we have the mind desiring and devising, and the flesh
executing, all evil.
"FULFILLING the desires of the flesh and of the mind."
They offer no restraint to their ungodly propensities; they
are carried rapidly down the destructive stream of sensual
indulgence. Their one desire is to crowd the largest portion
of worldly pleasure into the narrow speck of this little life . . .
they know no higher desires,
they are ignorant of God;
they tremble not at His Word;
they are utter strangers to His fear;
they are blind to the real character of sin;
they are reckless of the dreadful consequences;
their eyes are closed to . . .
the realities of eternity,
the approach of judgment,
the appalling terrors of the wrath to come.
Such were we--so we walked--having no holier object
than to fulfill the desires of the flesh and of the mind.
"Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath." God
abhors all evil--it is infinitely repugnant to His holy nature
--His wrath burns like fire against it. So while we were thus
wholly given to work iniquity, God's pure anger was against
our every word, and thought, and work. We were every
moment treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath.
This is the way of all the ungodly. We differed not from
their principles and proceedings, and therefore we were
rapidly hastening to the suffering of the wrath to come.
Praise be to "Jesus, who rescues us from the coming
wrath!" 1 Thessalonians 1:10