32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.
This verse is a concluding summary of man’s culpability because of God’s revelation of Himself in nature.
Mankind’s knowing about God’s revelation was previously stated three times, in vv. 19, 21, 28. This is the theme of chapter one. God in a transcendent way revealed Himself to everyone. This made them culpable. There is enough ground for them to understand the “righteous judgment of God.” The willful nature of rebellion against God’s revelation is patent for all men of all time.
the righteous judgment [decree, ordinance] of God,
The Greek for “righteous judgment” is decree. The decree is God’s and it is His declaration of revelation, about what is right and just. The decree of His revelation is righteous or just. All people have enough information about God to thoroughly understand His plan. They have enough knowledge to act the way they should act.
that those who practice such things
This phrase speaks of the pattern of people who deny revelation. They have lifestyles of rejecting God’s revelation.
are deserving of death,
Those who are “knowing the righteous judgment of God” deserve death. Death means separation and death, here, is eternal separation from God. This is God’s judicial end for people who reject His revelation.
not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.
People who reject God’s revelation approve of others who do the same. This shows something of the enormity of their negative volition—they applaud the negative attitude toward truth by those who follow their practices resulting from rejection of revelation.
If man refuses the light that he has, he is responsible to God for that revelation.
All people are culpable for the revelation that God gives. People cannot claim that they have insufficient information about God and are therefore not culpable for their sin. They know enough to violate a transcendent God; their knowledge is sufficient to condemn them. The wrath of God was revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress God’s truth (v.18). Rejection of truth results in the ruin of the soul.