Romans 1:28 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Romans 1:28, NIV: "Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done."

Romans 1:28, ESV: "And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done."

Romans 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;"

Romans 1:28, NASB: "And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a depraved mind, to do those things that are not proper,"

Romans 1:28, NLT: "Since they thought it foolish to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their foolish thinking and let them do things that should never be done."

Romans 1:28, CSB: "And because they did not think it worthwhile to acknowledge God, God delivered them over to a corrupt mind so that they do what is not right."

What does Romans 1:28 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In prior verses, Paul pointed out that humanity has been given more than enough evidence of God (Romans 1:18–20). Despite not having any excuse, those who reject God fall further and further into foolish thinking to justify their attitude (Romans 1:21–23). As a result, God demonstrates wrath on mankind. However, the expression of that wrath takes a form we might not expect. It turns out that, at least on this side of eternity, God has expressed His wrath by allowing human beings to be consumed with the desire to do unrighteous things out of a debased mind.

In other words, God allowed humanity free reign to express their sin unchecked. The result is nothing more or less than the natural system of cause and effect: we experience all of the painful consequences that come with our choices. In the previous verses, those sinful desires and actions were sexual. Now, though, God is described as allowing human beings to give full vent to all kinds of sinful desires.

Is this really an active punishment from God, or has God merely allowed humanity to follow our rejection of Him to its logical conclusion? What's clear is that the limits God has set are shown to be for our good and not for our harm. The best earthly results happen for those who will acknowledge Him in how they live sexually and in relationship to each other. Great harm comes from indulging in the sins about which God has warned us.