Vol.XII No.IV Pg.7
June 1975

?You Know What?

Robert F. Turner

Bro. Turner:

Please explain Eph. 2:3. How are we by nature children of wrath?


By nature (phusis) may refer to physical law by which the universe functions (Rom. 11:2l, 24); and by extension of this, mean reality or actually (Gal. 4:8, Cf. 1 Cor. 10:20). The term is also used to indicate the pattern of conduct or conceptions that, either instinctively or by long usage, become a part of us — of our nature (Rom. 2:14; 1 Cor. 11:14).

The passage certainly does not say we inherited sin from Adam. In Rom. 1:26-27 nature is on Gods side, so to speak; and sin is against nature. In Rom. 2:14 the Gentiles did by nature things of the law of God.

Eph. 2:1-f. says the Ephesians were dead through your sins (not Adams), wherein you walked (or lived) according to the course of this world in the spirit (of the devil) that now works in the sons of disobedience. It is clear by context that by nature children of wrath means they conformed to the generally accepted Ungodly and worldly standards.

Dear bro. Turner:

Did Jesus take the Nazarite vows, and is this what is meant by sect of the Nazarenes?


Matt. 2:23 says Jesus dwelt in a city called Nazareth, that it might be fulfilled... he was called a Nazarene. This clearly states that it was his residence (not vows) that caused Him to be called a Nazarene. Jesus manner of life is clearly distinguished from that of John the Baptist (Lu. 7:33-34) and Jesus was certainly no Nazarite. His followers were called sect of the Nazarenes because Jesus had lived in Nazareth.

The word Nazarene does not occur in prophecy, but Matt. 2:23 could refer to Isa. 11:l, Zech. 6:l2, where the Messiah is called Branch — and Nazarene means a branch in the language usually spoken in Palestine in Matthews day (Lockhart, Principles of Interpretation; p. 154).

Dear sir:

Does not Lu. 11:l3 teach us to pray for the Holy Spirit as a gift? S. B.


The parallel passage (Matt. 7:11) reads how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give good things to them that ask him. The tenor of the passage (vs. 7-11) emphasizes God in His fatherly role, and teaches us to pray for and expect such blessings as would come from a proper father-child relation. In Luke the Holy Spirit is therefore used to embrace and represent (since by the Holy Spirit is delivered) all the good things (the bread) that our Father gives us. Alford calls it His best gift — His Holy Spirit-- in all the various and fitting manifestations of His guidance and consolation and teaching in our lives.

By metonymy the Holy Spirit stands for many things (1 Cor. 12:4-11); and we might profitably remember Lu. 11:13 when studying Acts 2:38.