If you look around us, the world seems to be moving at lightning pace compared to even just ten years ago. Technology has given us the means to communicate, connect and learn about causes, concerns and points of view from people all over the world. This is exciting- but it also has created a lifestyle for many that appears to be frenetic, full of ‘things to do’ and for many people, opens the door to take us further away from the truth of God’s word.
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When we think about the fact that God gave us free will to choose what we place as priorities and values in our lives, this current lifestyle of instant communication and frenzied living of always being on the go does one thing: It enables the seduction of easily walking with a reprobate mindset instead of having our thoughts be focused first and foremost on God.
God clearly states the number one commandment we are to remember and follow:"And thou shalt (you, absolutely shall) love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.”Mark 12:30.
In Luke 10:27, we see the same commandment from God established. Its importance is set forth in this second occurrence.
Luke 10:27: And he answering said, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour (the one- like Christ- who will do things for you without any expectation of a return favor- it’s out of the pureness of heart - agape - the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation) as thyself.”
We are told by God to keep him, his thoughts, his knowledge, his wisdom, FIRST- in everything we do. When we do this, we will receive many blessings and abundance in our lives. When we don’t, we practice a form of idolatry- and there are direct consequences for this practice. God states early on in Leviticus 19:4 “Turn ye not unto idols, nor make to yourselves molten gods: I am the LORD your God.”
Whenever we place anything before the importance of God, we inadvertently make it an idol. Idolatry- blatant or subtle- intentional or unintentional- opens our mind up into thinking that is contrary to the Word of God. When we begin to think contrary to the word of God, we have the foundation for a reprobate mind. The further away from God’s word, his knowledge, his wisdom we walk, the more worldly we think- the more reprobate we become - and the more in need we are for emotional healing of our reprobate mind.
Studying the depth of this word, reprobate, is vital and relevant to many things that are occurring in today’s world. History is repeating itself in many ways with technology driving the ease of infiltration of the perverseness of thought. Let me state one thing: most technology in and of itself is not the problem. It is our own personal choices of what we make important in our lives. Are we walking with Agape so that we manifest the verse of: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself”- or are we walking and thinking worldly?
There are many verses in the word that talk about the problems with idolatry and having a reprobate mind. In times both before Christ and after, reprobate thinking results in death.
The dictionary definition of reprobate is:
1. a depraved, unprincipled, or wicked person
2 .a person rejected by God and beyond hope of salvation
3. morally depraved; unprincipled; bad.
4. rejected by God and beyond hope of salvation.
5. to disapprove, condemn, or censure.
6. (of God) to reject (a person), as for sin; exclude from the number of the elect or from salvation.
Under the Law in the Old Testament, before people had the choice to be born again of God’s seed, His holy spirit, people had consequences for their actions that are more profound than what we have under the current Grace Administration. (Keep in mind that the current spiritual ‘government/administration is finite- it will change again. Just because God’s grace is upon us now – does not entitle us to walk against His word and expect no consequences.)
In Jeremiah, God is addressing people of the nations, saying that He has been giving instruction, law, and knowledge on how to live a life that is just and right. In Jeremiah chapter 6, God declares that although He has been sending His Word, His way for a blessed and abundant life, people’s hearts, ears and thinking have chosen to not listen and learn. They (the people of the nations) have declared that they find no delight in learning His (God’s) word- (see Jeremiah 6: 10).
Today, with all of the new fads and ways to communicate with one another, it seems easier to pay attention to thoughts and actions of the world. Technology allows us to stay in the excitement and drama of other people’s lives instead of tending to our own and focusing our thoughts on God First. This is what people did back in the times before Christ and after- and there are consequences for this. With this choosing to -walk their own way- the way of the world- God states that they (the people walking of their own accord/own believing not based on God’s word)- that they will be unable to see when evil, trouble and times of tribulation come.
The first use of the word reprobate is in Jeremiah 6:30: "Reprobate silver shall men call them, because the LORD hath rejected them"
In this verse, the word reprobate is the word maas- which means to despise, to loathe or reject. The comparison of people’s thinking/choices to silver refinement is here: When refining silver (and other metals) there is something called “dross” that is a by product of the purifying of the metal. Dross is: waste, refuse, a waste product taken off molten metal during smelting, essentially metallic in character – it has little value. Dross is considered reprobate- because it is impure and of no value to the silversmith. This verse lays out an understanding of the perspective attributed to reprobate in the Old Testament.
In Jeremiah 6:30: ‘Reprobate silver shall men call them’- refers to the people who choose to not heed God’s word- and choose instead to walk their own way- the worlds way of thinking. The byproduct of this is impure, waste and of no value. In the Old Testament, walking with reprobate thinking caused the ultimate separation between men and God- that final separation was death- without hope of salvation. Spirit was only upon people- and it could be removed if they did not walk according to His word, His way.
Thanks to the life and sacrifice that Christ endured for us, we are now in the administration of Grace- meaning, that when we do wrong, and honestly acknowledge before God, our sins will be forgiven. During this administration of Grace, we also have the ability to get permanently born again of God’s spirit. We have been given the gift of salvation by simply proclaiming Romans 10:9 & 10- and believing it in our heart. When that occurs- we have permanent seed of God... but with that seed, we need to learn to live according to his word – and all the truth’s therein.... otherwise, we still can have our minds and thinking turned aside to reprobate thinking.
Although we can have permanency of seed and will be risen from the dead when Christ comes back- if we choose to be seduced by the wickedness and the reprobate thinking of the world- we can still cause a separation between us and God. We can prevent God from manifesting His grace and fullness in our lives because of our thinking. Two ways this can happen is: 1) we are either unwilling to truly renew our thinking and begin thinking like Christ- or 2) we are not taught how to live according to God’s will.
God tells us he will never forsake us or leave us. It is us- who walk away from Him. We walk away when we choose to not measure our thoughts and actions against what the word says is right, just, honest and pure. See: Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
When we choose to think on the things outlined in Philippians 4:8 we keep ourselves in alignment with God and keep him in our lives.
In contrast, when we look at Romans- which was written for doctrine (or how to believe correctly- by faith), God instructs those of us who are called to Him to understand the consequences that can come even during the Grace Administration when we know the Word – but choose to not live it, believe it, apply it and walk with a renewed (Christ like) mind:
Romans 1:18 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them.
20 For the invisible things of him (God) from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21 Because that, when they (those called of God-the believers) knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened
These people became spiritually darkened… they would rather worship idols, aspects of creation… not the creator… this worshiping included the ‘causes of the day’. We see this history repeating itself even today! This things that we find important (cell phones, texting, the internet, movies, T.V, and even causes like Global Warming are all aspects of the creation.. they are idols in their own right.
22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four footed beasts, and creeping things. (IDOLS)
24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature (things of this world) more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26 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:
27 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 recompense of their error which was meet.
28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate ( unapproving) mind to do those things which are not convenient (fitting)” ;. The Greek to English translation of the word reprobate is ‘adokimon’ – translated as unapproving. This comes from the Greek, ‘adokimon noun’. The word, ‘noun’ refers to the ‘mind, intellect, or understanding.’ The other word, ‘adokimon’ is a compound word made up of ‘a’ implying negation, and a form of ‘dokimadzo’ which means to ‘judge or examine with the intent of finding good. Hence, ‘adokimon’ means a mind or intellect that is incapable of discerning (or judging) with the intent of finding good.
Here’s the results – the consequences that manifest when a mind is incapable of discerning or judging to find good … you see people now become:
29 “Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure (Pleasure in the Greek word means: “but are consenting to those that do”) in them that do them.” (them: the acts that are caused by unapproved, reprobate thinking).
So, how does one repair a reprobate (unapproving ‘adokimon’) mind? How does a believer get back to walking in the grace of God and keep God in their life? It starts with the personal desire to WANT to have God as the main cornerstone in your life. It starts with the desire to WANT to walk uprightly – and then go to God’s word to learn how to do that. It takes the commitment of learning to turn away from the seduction of reprobate, unsound thinking that infiltrates most people’s minds.
Above all, it takes the willingness and strength to claim and uphold God’s instruction as in Mark 12:30: And thou shalt (you, absolutely shall) love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.
May you be blessed with the sound mind of Christ in you daily!
By: Debbra Sweet
If you are enjoying this article then you will love reading the entire new book by Debbra Sweet titled "Repairing the Reprobate Mind". This exciting new book clearly outlines what exactly a “Reprobate Mind” is and how to fix it for getting back to walking in the grace of God.
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Debbra Sweet is a biblical scholar who served 8 years on the Board of Directors for ACF (The Association of Christian Fellowships) a worldwide biblical research ministry. Debbra Sweet and her husband, Pastor Daniel Sweet, were in charge of the North San Diego County Region of in home fellowships for ACF. She has overseen the growth and development of multiple in home fellowships and has been instrumental in helping many people come to the knowledge and truth of God’s Word. She is also the founder of Sweet Marketing Solutions and an author in the Power of Leadership book series.