At the house of Cornelius (a Gentile), Simon Peter (a Jew), said, “Of a truth I perceive that God is no re-specter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is acceptable to him” (Acts 10:34–35). By this statement, Peter especially referred to the racial distinction between Gentiles and Jews. Peter’s observation caused him to enter the home of this Gentile, which the Jews considered “unlawful” (verse 28).
That God is no respecter of persons has many applications:
- Jesus’ Death: Calvinism’s “limited atonement” heresy teaches that Jesus died for “the elect only.” The Bible teaches that He gave himself “a ransom for all” (1 Timothy 2:6; cf. Hebrews 2:9; 1 John 2:2). Most men reject Him, but He still died for all.
- Jesus’ Invitation: He invites all men to accept the blessings available only in His death. He invites all to come to Him for rest (Matthew 11:28–30). He invites “whosoever will” (Revelation 22:17; compare with John 3:16).
- Jesus’ Gospel:He ordered the preaching of the Gospel to “the whole creation” (Mark. 16:15–16). The Gospel is His sole means of inviting all men to come to Him. The Gospel is God’s power to save men (Romans 1:16). All who obey the Gospel are one, whether Jew or Greek, bond or free, male or female (Galatians 3:28). “God is no respecter….”
- Jesus’ Plan of Salvation: All must believe in Him (John 8:24). All must confess Him as the Son of God (Romans 10: 10). All must repent of their sins (Acts 16:30). All must be baptized to be saved (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38). All must faithfully serve Him (1 Timothy 4:16). The Lord does not save some by the “sinner’s prayer,” others by faith alone, and others by some other response. All men are subject to the same conditions of pardon and salvation. Paul taught the same thing “everywhere in every church” (1 Corinthians 4:17). “God is no respecter of persons” in His plan of salvation.
- Death: Of mankind, Solomon wrote: “All are of the dust, and all turn to dust again” (Ecclesiastes 3:20). Death is an “appointment” all of us must keep (Hebrews 9:27). Whether rich or poor, good or evil, powerless or powerful, regardless of race, “God is no respecter of persons” in death.
- Judgment: All—good and evil—will be raised and judged (John 5:28–29). Jesus will be the Judge (Acts 17: 31) and none will avoid it (2 Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 20:12). All will be judged by the same standard (John 12:48), and the sentences that will determine our eternal abode will all be flawless (Matthew 25:31–46, 2 Timothy 4:8).
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