Respect of Persons

There is no respect of persons with God.”

Romans 2:11

There is no respect of persons with God states the apostle, Paul. In other words, there is no distinctions regarding individuals who are in Christ Jesus. Those distinctions disappear because our focus is on Christ Jesus. Can we have respect for others? How do you define respect of persons? Respecting someone means to treat them by showing you care about their well-being. Do we really care about another’s well-being? The Greek Strong’s Concordance word for respect of persons is “prosópolémpsia,” and its meaning is showing partiality, or personal favoritism. It seems so easy to show respect for those we like rather than those we do not like. Do we have good role models to show us the way to respecting others?

Who can show us the way? In the world we look to parents, teachers, friends, bosses, and coworkers. We like to imitate those who we think are at the top of their game in performance. But let us remember that performance is action, and it may not always have good moral standards. We must also consider motives of an individual, the reason why they do what they do. There is no respect of persons with God, for He looks at us through the eyes of His only begotten son Jesus Christ. We must know who we are as a person and know that we are all sinners. Paul states, “who will render to every man according to his deeds” in Romans chapter two verse six.

It is God who will judge man’s work whether it is good or not. Let’s look now to verse 10 of Romans chapter 2, where Paul exclaims that “glory, honor, and peace, to everyman that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” This Paul states before he affirms that there is no respect of persons with God. Whatever law you put yourself under will bear forth the result of what is written in your own heart. Your conscience will bear witness to it whether you excuse or accuse yourself and others. Why? Because no one is better than another person. The “scripture has concluded all are under sin, that the promise of faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those that believe,” [see Galatians3:22]. Thank the Lord that the promise of faith is in Jesus Christ. This shows that God cares for each of us, and He provided a way for all of humanity.

Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”

1 John 4:10

Jesus is our atonement and the promise of faith. Jesus is the “author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,” [see Hebrews 12:2]. Through the love of God came Jesus his son. Good moral codes come from God. The Bible gives us the history of people’s actions and you can learn how partiality and personal favoritism brought jealousy and hatred against others rather than love. Today, Jesus is our example of love without partiality. Can we see that God is no respecter of persons like Peter did in Acts chapter ten, verse 34. God sent his son Jesus Christ, who is lord of all no matter what ethnic group we came from. This includes every individual on earth, no matter where they were born. God is acquainted with all our ways. We need Jesus as our sacrifice for sins so we can be forgiven and become a new creation in Christ Jesus.

He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.  Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

2 Corinthians 5:15-17

Christ died for all, and we now live through faith in Christ Jesus. There is no competition or favoritism with God. He will accept all who believe in His Son. When an individual believes in what Jesus has done, they have entered into the Kingdom of God as his children. They now have access to the throne of God and can ask him for anything. Even in matters regarding kicking a drug or alcohol habit. Their self-respect relies on Jesus who is the author and finisher of their faith. They are valuable in God’s eye and have a future. Because of Christ, they learn the royal law of loving thy neighbor as thyself. They no longer fear, for God’s love through his son, has broken down the chain of bondage of fear.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.”

1 John 4:18

Remember that a person who is afraid, is not made perfect in the love of Jesus. You need not fear any longer or have shame when you have placed your sins and fears at the feet of Jesus. We have been reconciled to God. As a child of God, we “put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof,” [see Romans 3:13-14]. As followers of Jesus, we should not be boisterous in what we do in order to gain recognition in the body of Christ, for all glory belongs to the Lord. Whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. [1 Corinthians 10:31]. We need the power of God to intervene and bring not only restoration but reconciliation. It does not matter who you are or where you come from, there should always be respect for each other. Unity embodies loyalty and friendship in Christ. It is as the Apostle Paul told the Philippians.

Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves.”

Philippians 2:3

This means that one should give respect to others and also be treated in the same way. Know that you may be tested on your own partiality, or personal favoritism. We rarely hear how “respect of persons” is a sin. We must make the choice to love our neighbor as our self. This is the second greatest commandment that Jesus exclaimed in Mark chapter 12, verse 31. That is why James, the brother of Jesus, stated the following in his writings;

But if ye have respect of persons, ye commit sin, and are convicted of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.”

James 2:9-10

Listen to what the apostle Paul told Timothy.

“Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:”

1 Timothy 1:5

The end of the commandment is love out of a pure heart. Having a pure heart means that you have a clear conscience. Jesus said to love your enemies and to bless those who curse you, do good to them that hate you. [see Matthew 5:43-44]. This is not possible in our own flesh even if we try very hard. We must yield ourselves to God and pray for God to help us to become more like Christ. We must ask for the Holy Spirit to come and change our heart to reflect Jesus in our lives. We must grow towards maturity of godliness until we all come into the unity of Christ’s love. Only then will we realize the true value and meaning of having no respect of persons like Jesus and the apostles had in walking daily in his love.