“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind to those things which are not fitting.” What is it like inside a reprobate mind? There are many “interpretations” of what a reprobate mind is, but all we need to understand for now in this article is: what’s going on in there? (For context see Romans 1:18-32).
The Wrath and The People
The Apostle Paul was revealed from heaven “the wrath of God.” God’s wrath is against all ungodliness and unrighteousness.
Some Christians believe this wrath is directed toward those not destined for salvation. Yet, there is not an exact context of that in Romans. All who are not saved will experience the wrath of God, but also all who are “ungodly and unrighteous.” So, if one is born-again yet are ungodly and unrighteous in their sanctification, the wrath of God is against them also.
As he writes, the ungodly people he is speaking about, “Knew God.” They knew God because He was “manifest in them” and the invisible attributes of God are clearly seen by these people. To me, they sound like Christians. Because, how can sinners “know God” and see his invisible attributes when some don’t even believe in His existence?
THE FOUNDATION OF A REPROBATE MIND
Despite not knowing exactly “who” can have a reprobate mind, let’s look inside a reprobate mind.
Interestingly, this Greek word is divided into two root words “alpha” “dokimos.” The “alpha” is a negative particle so it means “without.” Apparently, in ancient Europe a “dokimos” was considered an honorable money-changer who did not “whittle” down the metal when making money coins. This gives context that a Dokimos is a trying, real-person with integrity. So, a reprobate mind is “without Dokimos,” or without a real, honest mind.
We could also say that since ancient Dokimos worked harder to ensure the money they made was accurate, it’s safe to say they had common sense. So, inside a reprobate mind it does not have common sense, and “it exchanges the truth for a lie or deceit.” And, “it suppresses the truth in unrighteousness.”
It appears that a reprobate mind was not “always that way.” It seems that at some point, they had understanding. They had a conscience, and were intelligible. It also seems that God does not create a reprobate mind. He actually protects us from such a mental place.
Yet, at some point the “pre-reprobate mind” begins. It seems that the mind suppresses the truth about God and becomes unthankful. This mind refuses to see the good that God has provided them. Their minds then begin to think “futile” or “vain” thoughts that eventually darken the heart. At this point in the mind, there is still a “profession of being wise” but a contradiction within them, making them “foolish.”
In this foolish state of their mind and heart, they engage in idolatry. It is here, God “gives them over” to uncleanness in the lust of their hearts. He gives them up to “vile passions” because they have “lost the safe ground” they had by their self-deception. From here, we see deeds of a reprobate mind rebel against the natural design and construction of human beings.
Inside a reprobate mind is a heart full of unnatural and bizarre thoughts of lust and evil.
A reprobate mind in full action is extremely evil and absolutely corrupt. Because inside a reprobate mind “there is no truth.” That which is true is traded for error, this makes them deceptive in nature. In which, the Devil can prey off of, leading these people into wickedness, sexual immorality, envy; into being whisperers, violent, proud, unforgiving, unloving and undiscerning.
Inside a reprobate mind is zero discernment. They can’t tell anything from God and the Devil and themselves. They are lost! This is why God protects us from such a mind! A reprobate mind is in a devastating place, far worse than being “uneducated.”
IS THERE A WAY OUT?
Can a reprobate mind be restored? Well, once the Holy Spirit moves on a reprobate mind to repent at the Cross of Jesus Christ of Nazareth then yes, I do believe a reprobate mind can be restored, but I am not sure.
It also seems to me that a reprobate mind (in a way) “gives ground” to Satan to have such a mind. Perhaps if a reprobate mind is able to come to the truth about their developed mental condition they can gain back “a right mind.” But who knows, Satan might have such a strong claim on the mind that God “gave over” that it may not be possible.
Then, maybe the only people who can be restored are those predestined for salvation.