The Riches OF GRACE
“hath appeared to all men.” Titus 2:11
Robert W. Reed
“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.” Romans 1:28
+ The Reprobate Mind +
The Scriptures are clear that God does give some over to a reprobate mind. It is a sobering thought that once a person becomes a reprobate, there is no hope of salvation for that individual. Instead, they are given over to their depravity and will suffer the eternal consequences of it in Hell. As one author so plainly said, “When God gives you up, you are just as sure for Hell as it is sure there is a Hell.” Those who have rejected the knowledge of God will be given over to a reprobate mind. May we take God’s Word seriously, and meditate upon these Holy Truths.
“They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” Titus 1:16
This article will consider the meaning of the word reprobate, the way one becomes a reprobate and the results of being a reprobate. In Romans chapter one, we have a brief overview of salvation through the gospel of Christ (vv. 1-17), and the terrible consequences of mankind turning from God (vv. 18-32).
The Meaning of the Word Reprobate
Three times in Romans chapter one God gives someone up or over to their own depravity (vv. 24, 26, 28). In verse twenty-eight, it is clear that the word reprobate is found in reference to those whom God has rejected as being wicked and godless. The word describes the one who has passed the point of no return to God. It means having a mind void of judgment, abandoned by God, rejected, disapproved, condemned, lost, apostate, disqualified, unworthy, debase, and beyond hope.
The Greek word adokimos signifies not standing the test or rejected, and in Hebrews 6:8, it is also translated rejected, and in I Corinthians translated castaway. The Webster 1828 Dictionary defines reprobate as “not enduring proof or trial; not of standard of purity or fineness; disallowed; rejected.”
In the King James Bible, the word reprobate appears seven times, once in the Old Testament and six times in the New Testament (Jeremiah 6:30; Romans 1:28; II Timothy 3:8; Titus 1:16; II Corinthians 13:5-7). In Jeremiah 6:30, Israel is compared to reprobate silver because of their wickedness and were to be judged. Reprobate silver was worthless and useless. In II Timothy 3:8, the reprobate is one who rejects the truth of God, and in Titus 1:16, the reprobate is the one who denies the Lord in his works. In II Corinthians 13:5, the reprobate is clearly seen as being outside of Christ and rejecting the faith. In other words, there is a clear distinction between the believer and the reprobate.
The Way One Becomes Reprobate
In Romans 1:28, the verse begins with the statement, “And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge…”. Before God rejected them, they had rejected God. They persisted in unbelief and rebellion against the God of Heaven, who had clearly revealed Himself to them (vv. 19-20). According to verse 18, they held the truth in unrighteousness, that is, by their sin and rebellion truth had so little progress and influence in their lives that they refused to give God His rightful place in verse 21, and were not thankful to Him. They walked in their own wisdom (vv. 22), and exchanged glory for corruption (vs. 23). According to vv. 24-27, when people refuse to worship God, they will end up in idolatry and sexual immorality. The root problem of the reprobate is his rejection of God’s truth and righteousness which is found only in the gospel of Jesus Christ (vv. 1-4, 16-17).
In vs. 28 God gave them over to a reprobate mind because they refused to retain Him in their knowledge. So, God gave them over to their own depravity and destruction. To be left to ourselves is a great judgment from God and to go deeper and deeper in depravity. There are a number of Scriptures that speak of the reprobate in one form or another. (Ephesians 4:17; II Thessalonians 2:10-12; Matthew 12:43-45; Jeremiah 17:9; John 12:40; Proverbs 29:1; Psalms 81:12; Acts 7:42). Some examples of a reprobate mind are seen in Cain, Pharaoh, Balaam, Judas, Ahab, and Jezebel. The Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart when he hardened his own heart in rejecting truth (Exodus 7:1-4, 10-17, 20-22; 8:15, 29; 9:27, 34-35, 10:1, 16-20; 11:6-10). Take warning, God will give an individual over to themselves, without restraint, to their own depravity, folly, reasoning, and devices.
The Results of Being Reprobate
The reprobate is turned over to his depravity with no restraints, to be eternally lost. Once a reprobate, always a reprobate. In Romans 1:28, the reprobate is given over to do those things which are not convenient. They are given over to utter moral chaos. The sins listed in verses 29-30 describe the reprobate’s life-style. Those sins in themselves are a part of God’s wrath upon them. The very practice of these is indication of being given over to them. Every evil sin is connected with rejecting God. Again, the reprobate mind will act upon his depravity. In vs. 29, the words “being filled” shows the characteristics of the reprobate, and in vs. 32 they do what they do with pleasure in them, “knowing the judgment of God.”
According to Romans 1:1-17, the saints of God are followers of God. In vs. 17, “The just shall live by faith.” According to Romans 1:18-32, the unjust will live out his depravity. There is a clear distinction and a great gulf between the two. The only solution to man’s depravity is the gospel, for in it the righteousness of God is revealed (vs. 17). On the other hand, the wrath of God is revealed against the ungodliness and unrighteousness of men (vs. 18).
The way to avoid ever becoming a reprobate is to believe the truth of God and receive the Lord Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The gospel message is summed up in Acts 20:21, “Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” The gospel is the power of God unto salvation. It is sin that put Christ on the cross and it is sin that we need to be saved from. Please think on these things, Amen.
“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?” II Corinthians 13:5
“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; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” Romans 1:28-32
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Acts 16:31
Victory Baptist Church
Pastor Robert W. Reed
14473 Bellingrath Road
P.O. Box 257
Coden, Alabama 36523