Guilty By Association—Romans 1:32
"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)
Have you ever been guilty by association? I remember in high school our teacher gave us a work day but warned us that if we talked during the class period, he would kick us out of class for the next two days. So for the next two days, while I was sitting in the Library during class, I remembered evaluating my choices of where and with who I sat. I thought to myself, perhaps I hadn't chosen very wisely.
Although I wasn't the instigators in the talking and goofing off that occurred, I participated and by that gave approval to it. When the teacher followed through with the punishment, I was both guilty of disobedience and guilty by association. One could debate that giving approval to sin is just as contemptible as participating in it.
In chapter 1 of Romans, Paul has eloquently laid out the case as to why man was helpless to save himself and why we needed a savior. Paul is building this foundation brick by brick and lays the last element explaining that everyone is accountable by association. Mankind blatantly did these things although they knew they went against God. Not only did they continue to do these things but also approved and applauded those who practiced them.
Just as witnessing a crime without objecting makes one an accessory, giving approval to the those who take part in sin is the same as participating in it. Stacking all of this reason upon one another, Paul has without a doubt proven the need for Jesus to be the one to stand in the gap and make peace with God for us.
Today, I encourage you to evaluate your life to see where you approve of sin. Look intently at those places where you are guilty by association and remove it from your life. Not because sin is a barrier between you and the Lord, but because we as Christians should be above reproach . Jesus has already paid the price and brought us peace with God, so we should live holy and blameless lives in this world to bring glory to him.