Dead people don’t make themselves alive. Sin brought death upon us all, and only God can rescue us from that condition, doing so through Christ alone. Our sins are more than just a slips here and there, rather it is a way of life, how one ‘walks’ through life, “according to the course of this world.” This is not the good world that God made, but the human society ruled by “the
prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.” (vv. 1-2) We are engaged in a spiritual war (6:10-20), between those who obey God and those who do not. God works in and through us to overcome sin, to complete the work he has done in giving us life, even as the Evil One works in and through the sons of disobedience.
When we were dead in our sins, we also “conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh and of the mind.” (v. 3a) These were the “trespasses and sins” of dead people walking. They start with the lusts and desires of the flesh and of the mind. Some ‘desires’ are good, but Paul modifies this word by adding ‘lusts’. We must note that these also concern the mind, our attitudes and how we think, and what we think about. We all “were by nature children of wrath, just as others.” (v. 3b) The natural inclination of the human heart, the seat and core of our thoughts, since the fall is only evil continually (cf. Gen. 6:5), that only God can change. It is according to his sovereign will that we are adopted children of grace and not natural children of wrath.