WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE GIVEN OVER TO A REPROBATE MIND?

We are living in morally depraved times. We are far removed from the Judeo-Christian morality   upon which this nation was founded. We have gradually sunk into a cesspool of moral degradation to where as a nation we are drowning in our own filth. There comes a time when a people can become so engrossed in their own vile affections that the Bible says, “For this cause, God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient (proper)” (Romans 1:26-28).

Paul writes there can come a time when a people can reject and suppress God’s revealed truth (Rom. 1:18) until He turns one over to a “reprobate mind”  or a depraved mind (Rom 8:28). What is a reprobate mind? Before looking in depth at what it means, a reprobate mind refers to those whom God has rejected for their purposeful rejection of Him and their continual  embracing of their godless depravity,  and as a result  the Lord turns them over to the inevitable destructive consequences of their own vile affections and sin. In other words, those turned over to a reprobate mind will be left alone to  eventually be destroyed by their own moral depravity.  This can happen to individuals or nations.

Let us examine Romans 1:28 a little more closely and examine Paul’s play upon words in using the word “reprobate.” Though not retained in English, this play of words when understood shines great light upon the text. Again, verse 28 reads, “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient (proper).” Paul says those who have given themselves over to file affections “did not like to retain God in their knowledge.”  The words translated “did not like” comes from the Greek word “dokimazo” which means “to put to the test for the purpose of approving, to put one’s approval upon something or someone, to declare as worthwhile.” The word “dokimazo” was used to speak of testing metals or coins to see if they met the proper specifications and passed the test for approval. Paul says there are those who put the God of the Bible to the test as to whether or not He meets their specifications and meets their approval as to being a god of their liking. Since they would rather embrace their vile affections and depravity, they reject the Moral Law Giver of the Universe as not meeting the specifications which they have laid down for a god who would be of their liking. Since the God of heaven doesn’t meet their approval, they refuse to approve Him as worthy of submission, worship, or to retain Him in their knowledge. Since the Creator of the Universe doesn’t meet their liking, they reject him.

Paul goes on to say in verse 28 that those who determine that the Moral Lawgiver of the Universe doesn’t fit their approval and reject Him, He turns them over to a “reprobate mind.” The word “reprobate” is from the Greek word “adokimos.”  In the Greek language when an alpha (a) is put in front of a word it makes it a negative. So, the word adokimos means “unapproved, not meeting the test, not accepted; that is, that which is rejected because it is worthless.” The word adokimos came to be used to speak of that which was literally worthless or morally worthless. “Reprobate” means “tried and found wanting, and therefore cast away as worthless.” The play on words is clearly seen. Those who have given themselves over without restraint to vile affections, and have announced the Moral Law Giver doesn’t meet their approval or meets the test as to being a god of their liking, thus reject Him. As a result,  God gives them over to drown in their own moral corruption and are themselves in the end rejected as not meeting the approval of a holy God.

So when Paul begins verse 28 with the words “even as” he is saying just in like proportion you reject God because He doesn’t meet your approval as to be a God to your liking, in the end you will find you are rejected because you don’t meet His approval. The degree of God’s rejection corresponds exactly to the degree of man’s willful rejection of God. It is truly sad when an individual or a nation rejects God to the place they have become hardened in their sin “to do those things which are not convenient (proper)” (Romans 1:28).

It is abundantly clear we are living in such a time when as a nation our leaders have given themselves over “to do those things which are not proper” and are clearly contrary to the moral laws of the Moral Law Giver of the Universe.  Our current leaders continue to choose the path of moral depravity in regard to abortion, homosexuality, transgenderism, gender identity, the dismantling of traditional marriage between man and a woman, pushing Equality Act, and moral perversion of every kind. By declaring the God of Judeo-Christian morality as to not meeting their approval as being the kind of god they would like, they are sealing their own fate and the fate of this nation. I wonder if is too late, for is it is not in the DNA of our current leaders to make any decision that favors Judeo-Christian morality, but every decision made results in us as a nation descending lower into the depraved cesspool of moral perversion.  The outcome is clear to those paying attention, if we continue on the moral path we are currently on we will be allowed to be washed away in our own flood of moral perversion.

The choice is open to us all. Either we retain God in our knowledge and commit ourselves to His will and ways, or we put Him out of our minds and are given over by Him to our depravity,  and receiving divine disapproval,  allowed to drown in our sin.  We cannot be neutral. The sands in the hourglass are running out quickly

Blessings,

Dr. Dan

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