God is no Respecter of Persons
Introduction: The Bible teaches that there is no respecter of persons with God, "For there is no respect of persons with God," Paul declared (Rom. 2: 11). However, such is hard for man to realize, especially since man is often given to respect of persons. Nonetheless, the scriptures are emphatic and replete with teaching that presents God as not judging or treating man, any man, with respect of persons. In other words, God is just and equitable in his dealings with man (Calvinism and other false systems of theology that present God acting with respect of persons to the contrary, notwithstanding). Read: Acts 10: 34, 35; Eph. 6: 9; Col. 3: 25; I Pet. 1: 17. If God is truly no respecter of persons and treats all men equally (in the sense being addressed), then we would expect to find certain cardinal truths in the Bible to be conducive to and harmonious with the fact of God not being a respecter of persons. Let us see if this is really the case.
I. All men are under the same law.
A. Men today, regardless of race, education, or location, are under the "perfect law of liberty" (Jas. 1: 25). The gospel, Jesus' law, was to be preached to the whole world (Matt. 28: 19; Mk. 16: 15, 16). In fact, in about twenty-five years all had heard the gospel (Rom. 10: 18).
B. Both the Christian and non-Christian are answerable and amenable to God's law. John had Christians primarily in mind when he penned, "Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law" (I Jn. 3: 4, see the context). Romans 8: 7 ("the carnal mind is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be") is not saying that the non-Christian is not answerable to God's law. Rather, the thought is the worldly mind is not interested in God's law and will not be in its present state of carnality.
a. Of the Corinthians Paul wrote, "And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified " (I Cor. 6: 11). They had been (before they became Christians) thieves, drunkards, and adulterers (vs. 9, 10). The fact that they had been while non-Christians thieves, drunkards, and adulterers proves they were judged by and answerable to God's law before they became Christians (Eph. 4: 29; Eph. 5: 18; Matt. 19: 9, notice that God considers non-Christians in unscriptural marriages as being in adultery).
II. Salvation for all men.
A. The Bible says that all men sin (Rom. 3: 23). Therefore, all men (accountable men and women) need salvation. The grace of God that brings salvation "has appeared to all men" (Tit. 2: 11). Jesus is the means of salvation for all men. Jesus, we are told, tasted death for "every man" (Heb. 2: 9).
B. Jesus' blood was shed for the remission of man's sins (Matt. 26: 28). Paul wrote thus of Jesus, "Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time" (I Tim. 2: 6). Hence, Jude referred to the "common salvation," available to all men (Jude 3).
III. Salvation is offered to all men on the same conditions.
A. Yes, there are conditions. If there were no conditions, then all men would unconditionally and universally be saved. However, such will not be the case (Matt. 7: 13, 14).
B. Remember Peter said, "Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him" (Acts 10: 34, 35). To "work righteouness" means to do what God has required of man to do in order to be saved. The scriptures plainly teach: belief; repentance; confession of Jesus' deity; and water baptism for the remission of sins (Jn. 8: 24; Lk. 13: 3, 5; Rom. 10: 9, 10; Acts 2: 38, 22: 16).
C. All men must accept God's grace in the precise same way. God does not require some to believe, repent, confess, and be baptized and not require the same of others. God only has one plan of salvation for all men.
IV. A common church for all men.
A. Jesus promised to build his church (Matt. 16: 18, 19). Jesus said that he would build his church despite death and hades (Ibid.). The establishment of Jesus' church was very important because "in Christ" we have redemption and all spiritual blessings (Eph. 1: 3-7).
B. Jesus' church is for Jew and Gentile alike (Eph. 2: 16). All who are scripturally baptized are placed into Jesus' church or body (Gal. 3: 26, 27, I Cor. 12: 13, see Eph. 1: 22, 23). Hence, there is but one body or church (Eph. 4: 4, Col. 1: 18).
V. All men will be judged by the same standard.
A. It is appointed unto all once to die and then the judgment (Heb. 9: 27). The Bible says, " for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ" (Rom. 14: 10, cp. 2 Cor. 5: 10). Consider the great judgment scene to come revealed in Revelation 20: 11-15.
B. All men will be judged by the standard of God's word, compared to how they lived and accepted or rejected God's grace in this life (Jn. 12: 48).
Conclusion: When we examine in detail the various features and teachings of the gospel, they are all consistent and conducive to the fact that God is no respecter of persons. Let us now revisit the text of Romans 2: 11. Verse eleven that we quoted in the beginning of this article is actually the climax to a passage that begins with verse six. Please consider the passage and the conclusion again (read Romans 2: 6-11, noticing God will render to "every man," there are two classes that are determined by accepting and obeying the truth and rejecting and disobeying the truth).