Good News for Bad Approvals

In politics what would you rather have, a candidate with the right policies or a candidate with a high approval rating?  In a perfect world, the candidate with the right policies would have the highest approvals; but we don’t live in a perfect world.  Today, it is possible for candidates to hold wrong policies and have a high approval rating.  When that happens, not only are the candidate’s policies in error, but so are those giving their approval to those policies.  In other words, approvals are not always good!  Approvals simply mean that people think well of a certain subject. The Greek word translated, “approve,” is the word, “syneudokeo”. The first three letters “syn” form a preposition denoting union and it is often translated with or together. The main verb, “eudokeo,” is made up of two parts; “eu” meaning well or good, and “dokeo” meaning, to think. By definition, the word means to think well of together or to be in agreement with others.

Romans 1:32 addresses bad approvals, not regarding politics, but ethics. What moral activities and practices do you approve or disapprove?  When it comes to financial ethics, should students who borrow money repay it?  When it comes to ethics of life, is it ever right to approve of those who take a human life? How about sexual ethics, does anything go, or are there activities that you disapprove?  As you are well aware, people are not united in thought about ethics. Sometimes even wrong policies have high approvals.

Why are people not united in thought about ethics?  The short answer is people have a different standard for what is right or wrong.  Romans 1 presents two drastically different standards: the truth and righteousness of God and the unrighteousness of men. These two standards are in conflict as the unrighteousness of men demands approval of various lifestyle choices without regard to God’s absolute standard of right and wrong. Unrighteousness cannot allow for the righteous judgment or truth of God. This conflict was clearly seen in our local news in the last week of March, as an NHL player refused to participate in an event that promoted a certain ethical view of sexuality. The main headlines didn’t focus on God’s standard for right or wrong, but rather on the pressure and importance to approve such an activity.

Romans 1:32 presents a shocking yet sobering reality to those who approve of ethical patterns and practices that are unrighteous; “who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.”  Wow!  There are people who unite together in thinking well of practices that, in God’s righteous judgment, are worthy of death. How do people get to that point?  Romans 1 explains that sinful mankind suppresses the truth of God in unrighteousness and worships and serves the creature rather than the Creator. In other words, people give “bad approvals” because they willingly seek to live life according to their own thoughts and desires and outside of the authority and control of God.
But there is good news for bad approvals. The good news is the gospel of Jesus Christ which reveals the righteousness of God (Romans 1:16-17).  The righteousness of God is God’s perfect moral perfections and it includes His perfect moral judgments. Jesus Christ is the very righteousness of God. And Jesus, the perfect lamb of God died for our sins and rose again the third day proving that He is Lord. The one who believes in Jesus Christ is declared righteous by God the Father, because Christ’s death satisfies the judgment of God that we deserved for our unrighteousness including our bad approvals. The good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is for those who make bad approvals!  

If you are approving of things that are worthy of death according to God’s righteous judgment, there is good news. The Gospel of Christ is the power of God unto salvation, to everyone who believes (Romans 1:16). If you have believed the good news of the gospel, then when people are uniting together in making bad approvals, do not be ashamed of the good news of the gospel of Christ. When you are put in a position to approve or disapprove, shift the conversation to the gospel of Jesus Christ which reveals the very righteousness of God.   
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1 Comment

Steve Nichols - March 31st, 2023 at 5:22pm

I approve !!

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