Romans 1:28 - The Reprobate Mind - Losing the Freedom Not to Sin.

Rom 1:28 (KJV)  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;

Rom 1:28 (RSV)  Since they did not see fit to acknowledge God,
God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct.

Rom 1:28 (CWB)  Because they didn't want to recognize God as
their Creator and remember Him, their minds became twisted, their
actions gross and they ended up doing all sorts of things people should
never do.

Reprobate, base or twisted mind; That which is depraved or
without morals. [Holman Bible Dictionary mod]

There is hardly any passage which so clearly shows what happens
to a man when he leaves God out of the reckoning. It is not so much
that God sends a judgment on a man, as that a man brings a judgment
on himself when he gives no place to God in his scheme of things.
When a man banishes God from his life he becomes a certain kind of
man, and in this passage is one of the most terrible descriptions in
literature of the kind of man he becomes. The following verses catalogue
the dreadful things which enter into the godless life. [Barclay

Paul clearly portrays the inevitable downward spiral into sin.
First, people reject God; next, they make up their own ideas of what a
god should be and do; then they fall into sin--sexual sin, greed,
hatred, envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice, gossip. Finally, they grow
to hate God and encourage others to do so. God does not cause this
steady progression toward evil. Rather, when people reject him, he
allows them to live as they choose. God gives them over or permits them
to experience the natural consequences of their sin. Once caught in
the downward spiral, no one can pull himself or herself out. Sinners
must trust Christ alone to put them on the path of escape. [Life
Application SB]

These people chose to reject God, and God allowed them to do it.
God does not usually stop us from making choices that are against
his will. He lets us declare our supposed independence from him,
even though he knows that in time we will become slaves to our own
rebellious choices--we will lose our freedom not to sin. Does life without
God look like freedom to you? Look more closely. There is no worse
slavery than slavery to sin. [Life Application SB]

We've all made unhealthy "exchanges." Our addiction or any other
sin is one example, because through it we exchanged the peace and
the power of God for the momentary lift of our substance or habit.
So God "gave us over" to experience the horrible consequences of
our actions. Why didn't he simply rescue us? Because he respects our
freedom. He wants us to choose him freely. And we may never have chosen
him had we not been allowed to "hit bottom" first. [Life Recovery
Devotional SB mod]

When we refuse to admit our powerlessness, and hold on to our
self-sufficiency, we follow the downward path that Paul
describes here. First, we
exchange our worship of God for the worship of things - our addictions
and compulsions. Second, we exchange our worship of the living God
for a willful form of sin. Third, we move beyond these forms of sin
to a state of deep denial - we believe lies and reject truth. This
passage describes a life that has become totally unmanageable, the
natural consequence of pride and self-sufficiency. The only way to
escape such destruction is to recognize our powerlessness and turn our
life over to God. [Life Recovery SB]

People tend to accept whatever beliefs reinforce their own
self-centered lifestyle. Their beliefs about God and the world may or may not
be true. Today more than ever we need to be careful about what we
allow to form our beliefs. With television, music, movies, and the
rest of the media often presenting less than wholesome values, we
find ourselves constantly bombarded by philosophies and assumptions
that are in direct opposition to the Bible. Be careful about what you
believe. The Bible reliably shows us the truth. Look at all other beliefs
in light of its teachings. [Small Group SB]

I must admit that I grinned Monday night as I watched my
youngest son coming up the walk toward Capio's restaurant. He was holding
hands with Liz, a 3rd-grade teacher he met at his church's youth
group. Not that Tim's all that young. The occasion was his 27th
birthday. It was just nice to see him, good-looking but very shy, walking
hand-in-hand with an attractive and very nice girl.
Actually, holding hands is a pretty good image of the response
God wants when He reveals Himself to us. When we catch a glimpse of
God, we should be attracted to Him, and reach out. In Paul's words we
should automatically find ourselves glorifying Him as God and being
But Romans 1 describes a totally different reaction. Instead of
reaching for God's hand, as Tim did for Liz's, mankind reacted as if God
were a hot iron. When brushing up against God, the natural man jerks
away! Again in Paul's words, they supressed the truth. And rather than
turn to God, they turned away, so that "their thinking became futile
and their foolish hearts were darkened" (v. 21). What followed the
rejection of God was idolatry, immorality, and wickedness of every kind.
Why does Paul launch his exploration of righteousness with this
description of our race? For a very simple but important reason. He doesn't
want anyone to think man lacks righteousness because God has been
holding out on us, or even because of the wicked deeds men do. Mankind
lacks righteousness because all men are sinners by nature. And the
proof is that when God revealed Himself to man, man jerked his hand
Tim and Liz reach out naturally for each other's hand. They feel
an affinity, a warmth of affection. Man's rejection of a loving and
righteous God is unmistakable proof that human beings are lost and in sin.
If they felt any affinity with God, they would respond to Him with
warmth. Only the power of God flowing through the Gospel can change
man's heart, and enable us to respond to God's great love. [The
365-Day Devotional Commentary]