A Reprobate Mind:
Its Cure

In a Brief  Survey of the Epistle of Paul to the Romans
Based on sermons preached in PCC Worship Services, July 2003 to Sep 2005
Part 7c of 83

28 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; 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, covenantbreakers, 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 in them that do them” (Romans 1:28-32)

[We have thus far considered what is a reprobate mind and the shocking array of sin that the reprobate mind produces. This leads us to the third question that we must ask when we read this passage.]

3.   What is the Cure for
a Reprobate Mind?

a. The reprobate mind is a problem. It is the cause of all the troubles in the world. It lies in the bottom of every war, every marriage break-up, every quarrel, every fight, every discord and tension in the church.

Yes, it is also the cause of trouble in the church. It pleases God that Christians should not be perfect in this life. Therefore, a remnant of the reprobate mind remains in us. Therefore the sins that Paul described are found in our hearts—in your hearts and my heart.

I am not saying that everyone of us manifest every of these sins. But these are the sins in the world. These are the result of a reprobate mind. So we all have the seed of these sins. Some of us will manifest some of these sins more than others. Others will manifest other sins. And we will manifest them to various degrees.

The reprobate mind and the sins that flow from it is the doom of the world. “They which commit such things are worthy of death” says Paul. Unless there is a cure and solution, the whole world will perish. And likewise the church will perish.

b.   What shall we do?

Shall we invent a new drug? There are many drugs in the market that are designed to help those who are suffering from mental ailments. Many of these drugs are helpful. Shall we invent one for the reprobate mind? No, no, the reprobate mind has to do with the soul not the body. Psychiatric drugs work on the body to correct chemical imbalances. But the reprobate mind, is because of deadness of the soul. It has nothing to do with the body.

Shall we form a political party? Shall we seek election and introduce laws against all the sins that Paul lists? Reconstructionists may think that this is what we must do. But no, that will not help. The nation of Israel had the Law, but the progress of sin was not checked.

Shall we infiltrate the education system? Shall we teach good morals? No, no, that will not ultimately help. The reprobate mind knows what is right, but it chooses not to retain God in its knowledge. Education of unregenerate hearts will not help.

Shall we all migrate to New Zealand where there are more sheep than men? Shall we live in an enclosed community, free of outside influence—like the Amish people? No, no, the sin that Paul talks about, arise from a reprobate mind. The enemy is within. Isolation cannot keep him out.

c.   What shall we do then?

We shall preach the Gospel. We will say with the apostle Paul:

·        “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth…” (Rom 1:16).

·        “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God” (1Cor 1:18).

“The carnal mind is enmity against God” (Rom 8:7) says Paul. God must change the mind. He must make it a spiritual mind.

He has appointed that He will do so through the preaching of the Gospel of Christ. It is by the power of the Gospel, that we are “renewed in the spirit of [our] mind” (Eph 4:23). It is by the power of the Gospel that we are “transformed by the renewing of [our] mind” (Rom 12:2).

Perhaps might have felt a twinge of guilt when you read Paul’s catalogue of sin explained in the previous issue. Did you repent and resolve to do better?

I know you did not and would not, unless the Spirit of Christ work grace in your heart. And the Spirit of Christ does not work apart from the Word of Christ. He has bounded himself to work through the reading and hearing of His Word. Except in extra-ordinary circumstances, this is how He always work.

We must therefore continue to preach the Gospel. And we must continue to hear the preaching of the Gospel. We must continue to call sinners to come hear the preaching of the Gospel.

And we must continue to pray that God will pour His Holy Spirit upon all of us as a church. I will pray that He will pour His Spirit upon our children. I will pray that He will pour His Spirit upon each of us individually,—beginning with myself. I will pray that He will pour His Spirit this land as we continue to preach the Gospel.

Will you not join me to pray? Will you not be an instrument to call sinners to come hear the Gospel? Will you not heed the Lord’s call to preach the Gospel? Amen.

JJ Lim