A Short Study of Acts 10:34
“God is no respecter of persons.”
These words do not mean, as many imagine, that God treats all men alike in providence and grace. He does not, God’s grace is His own; and He dispenses it according to His own sovereign will and pleasure. God sovereignly distinguishes men from one another (1st Corinthians 4:7), in election (2nd Thessalonians 2:13), in redemption (John 10:11; John 10:15; John 10:26), in providence (Romans 8:28) and in His saving grace (2nd Timothy 1:9). The illustrations of God’s distinguishing grace in the Scriptures are numerous. The LORD accepted Abel but not Cain. He chose Isaac and rejected Ishmael. God loved Jacob and hated Esau. God gives light and withholds light, gives grace and withholds grace entirely according to His own sovereign will, without any regard to man’s person. (Matthew 11:20-26).
The text simply means that God has no regard to those things that distinguish men from one another in this world: wealth or poverty, morality or immorality, learning or ignorance race or face. God does not prefer any man or despise any man because of his earthly condition. God’s grace is entirely free and sovereign. He says, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion, So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy… and whom He will He hardenth” (Romans 9:15-18). No earthly condition, hereditary descent, outward circumstance or religious heritage will secure God’s saving grace, or even make a man a likely candidate for salvation. And none of these things will keep God from saving any man, or make him less likely to be saved than others.
“God is no respecter of persons”, and neither should we be. There is no place in the church of God for the honouring of human flesh. We court none and we despise none. We receive as brethren all who worship our God. All are to be treated with equal love, care, and esteem. Rich and poor, black and white, male and female – are all equal in Christ.