Unlimited: Doing and Approving
May 4, 2022 541
Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them (Romans 1:32).
There are two evils that Paul mentions here. The first one is doing those things that are wrong. The second evil is to approve of those who do them. We are not only guilty for the sins we commit ourselves, but also for those we approve in others.
The word translated “approve” here is a stronger word than the translation implies. It doesn’t mean just “to consent, ” it actually also has the meaning of being pleased together with those who do those things, and even to applaud them.
We are not only guilty for the sins we commit ourselves, but also for those we approve in others.
The apostle has listed a number of terrible sins in the previous verses. This is what happens when God allows us to do and have the things that we think we need or want. As a result, we will suffer the natural consequences of our choices. As much as we want to avoid thinking of it, the natural consequence of sin is death.
Paul says that people don’t do these things in complete ignorance. At some level “they know God’s righteous decree.” In the following verses he will show us how. Even worse for us, he is going to point out that those who consider themselves followers of God should stop condemning the rest, because we are just as guilty of the underlying sin as they are.
Paul is talking here about those who are not followers of Jesus. However, think it through carefully. What are some evils to which we consent, or even actively support, even in Christian churches?