2 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,g 2 in which you used to liveh when you followed the ways of this worldi and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air,j the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.k 3 All of us also lived among them at one time,l gratifying the cravings of our flesha m and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. 4 But because of his great love for us,n God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressionso—it is by grace you have been saved.p 6 And God raised us up with Christq and seated us with himr in the heavenly realmss in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace,t expressed in his kindnessu to us in Christ Jesus. 8 For it is by gracev you have been saved,w through faithx—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—9 not by works,y so that no one can boast.z 10 For we are God’s handiwork,a createdb in Christ Jesus to do good works,c which God prepared in advance for us to do.
11 Therefore, remember that formerlyd you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)e—12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreignersf to the covenants of the promise,g without hopeh and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who oncei were far away have been brought nearj by the blood of Christ.k
14 For he himself is our peace,l who has made the two groups onem and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, 15 by setting aside in his fleshn the law with its commands and regulations.o His purpose was to create in himself onep new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross,q by which he put to death their hostility.
In contexts like this, the Greek word for flesh (sarx) refers to the sinful state of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit.