We return this week to our series looking at the results of sin in man. Last time we saw that sin blinds the mind, this week I want to look at how sin results in a depraved mind.

When we sin, God gives us a depraved mind. Paul says: ‘Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done’ (Romans 1:28).

But what does it mean to have a depraved mind? The Greek word used in Romans 1:28 is the opposite of another Greek word that means to test something and find it passes. So the opposite of a passed test would mean a failed test. Thus a depraved mind is a failed mind. This is the sense in which the word is translated in 2 Corinthians 13:5. Another way of translating the word is by the word ‘unfit’, which is the sense in Titus 1:16 ‘They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.’

So if depraved means to be a failure and unfit, what does it mean to have a depraved mind? It means your mind doesn’t function the way it should. The mind is responsible for thinking and making decisions based on its reasoning through different outcomes. So if you have an unfit mind it means you cannot think clearly and cannot make right decisions.

Therefore it makes sense that a stupid mind would be the consequence of sin. Sin is a rejection of the knowledge of God as the one who is all-powerful and putting ourselves in charge instead. Such thinking is foolish. It demonstrates a clear inability to weigh up the consequences – if God is God, the last thing you want to do is cross him. So if you are going to make the dumbest decision in the world and reject God, your brain is obviously not working properly and you’re going to make more foolish decisions.

So how do we get a fit mind and start thinking clearly again? We need to accept the knowledge of God as revealed in Jesus Christ. He has revealed that if we accept him through repentance and faith we will begin thinking clearly and our minds will be renewed.

How is your mind? Is it depraved? A failure? Unfit? Or is it thinking clearly because it has accepted knowledge of God through Jesus Christ?

Joel Radford