Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 22, 1966
NUMBER 33, PAGE 5c-6a

"Good For Nothing"

J. David Tant

The word "reprobate" is a relatively seldom used word in the scriptures, yet is a word that is familiar to every Bible student. Paul uses the word in Rom. 1: 28 in describing the Gentiles, as ".. God gave them up unto a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting," and then lists the evils of which they were guilty. In II Tim. 3:8 the apostle writes of Jannes and Jambres, who withstood Moses and the truth; "Men corrupted in mind, reprobate concerning the faith." Again we find the word in Titus 1:16: "They profess that they know God; but by their works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate."

With such usages, some have a misconception of the meaning of the word. The Greek word, adokimos', which is translated "reprobate," conveys the idea of "not standing the test, not approved; properly of metals and coin...Isaiah 1:22 (here translated "dross"---JDT)... hence, which does not prove itself to be such as it ought:... of sterile soil, Heb. 6:8; in a moral sense... unfit for something..." (Thayer) Thus we can see that evil and wickedness is not inherent within the word, but rather the idea that that which is reprobate is simply "worthless," as a counterfeit coin. The coin has the "appearance" of the real thing, but it won't stand the test. It is "good for nothing."

How accurately this word then describes some supposed "Christians," Yes, one can be a member of the church "in good standing" with the local church, and yet be reprobate in the fullest sense of the word, Maybe if some of these realize just what they are, it will wake them up.

Consider Titus 1:16. Here are some who profess that they know God, BUT IT CANNOT BE SEEN IN THEIR LIVES! Thus they become an abomination to God in their disobedience, and they are ABSOLUTELY WORTHLESS TO EVERY GOOD WORK! Not that these are openly EVIL in their lives, any more than the one talent man of Matthew 25, but the point is that they are not good for anything, even though not necessarily bad.

Yes, they PROFESS to know God, but when it comes time to get out and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, they do NOTHING. When it comes time for the members to be out making calls on weak members, on prospects, on new families, they DO NOTHING. They are worthless to this good work, When they have opportunity to meet with the saints in study of the Word of God, they neither contribute to the class nor study in preparation for the class (they may not even come!). They are OF NO VALUE to this good work. THEY ARE REPROBATE! The test for service; the test for zeal; the test for thirst for knowledge have all been given, and THESE HAVE NOT PASSED THE TEST.

Are you "good for nothing?" Are you reprobate unto these and other good works? Or are you "doers of the word and not hearers only?" (Jas.1:22) Read Matthew 25:14-30 and with fear and trembling note the fate of the reprobate, the unprofitable, the worthless, the "do-nothings," Profit from that example.

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