No Respecter of Individuals
Category : General
Acts 10: 34(KJV)
34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons.
The word ‘respecter’ used here denotes “the act of showing favor to one on account of rank, family, wealth, or partiality arising from any cause.” It is explained in James 2:1-4. A judge is a respecter of persons when he favors one of the parties on account of private friendship, or because he is a man of rank, influence, or power, or because he belongs to the same political party, etc. The Jews supposed that they were especially favored by God. and that salvation was not extended to other nations, and that the fact of being a Jew entitled them to this favor. Peter here says that he had learned the error of this doctrine, and that a man is not to be accepted because he is a Jew, nor to be excluded because he is a Gentile. The barrier is broken down; the offer is made to all; God will save all on the same principle; not by external privileges or rank, but according to their character. God does not esteem a Jew, because he is a Jew; nor does he detest a Gentile because he is a Gentile. It was a long and deeply rooted opinion among the Jews, that God never would extend his favor to the Gentiles; and that the descendants of Jacob only should enjoy his peculiar favor and benediction.
Peter was of this opinion, when he privy to the heavenly vision mentioned in this chapter. However, he was now convinced that God was no respecter of persons; that as all must stand before his judgment seat, to be judged according to the deeds done in the body, so no one nation, or people, or individual, could expect to find a more favorable decision than another who was precisely in the same moral state; for the phrase, respect of persons, is used in reference to unjust decisions in a court of justice, where, through favor, or interest, or bribe, a culprit is acquitted, and a righteous or innocent person condemned.
Let us remember that even when we seem to be using our gifts profitably, we may be using them in a spirit of blindness and presumption before God, as unlovely as that of those who more openly misuse them. High intellectual culture, good as it is and stimulating, often carries with it an element of moral weakness in developing a man’s acuteness out of all proportion to his training in judgment and moral strength. It has a tendency, especially in early life, to lead to a very false estimate of qualities so common as mere cleverness, or even cleverness combined with learning, to overrate them as possessions, and as keys to unlock what is really deepest in human life,—to make a man overlook the fact that others whom he perhaps despises for their beliefs, are able to rest in them, not because they are less acute than their critics, but because they are of a more earnest mood and a finer spirit. May God keep us all from yielding to the temptations to which our several temperaments or circumstances may most naturally incline us—from idleness and selfish indulgence—from coldness and vanity—that none of these things may ever blind us to our true position and duty as in the sight of the great Judge who is no respecter of persons.
Moreover, in the great day of the judgment of men, God will render to every man according to his works. Every work or fact of a man’s life will be estimated in the full light of all the surrounding circumstances,—the temptations if it were evil, and the inducements if it were good, and with God’s unerring knowledge of the spirit in which it was done, and the real motives from which it proceeded. And when things are thus laid bare in God’s light, shall not the Judge of all the earth do right. We will all have to answer to God one day!
Have a great and God filled day!