Today's Foundations Devotional: Without respect of persons and according to revelation received
The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness,
but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that
all should come to repentance.
(2 Peter 3:9)
The third principle of God’s judgement is stated in Romans 2:11: “For there is no partiality with God.” In place of “partiality” the 1611 King James Version uses the phrase “respect of persons [literally, faces].” This expression implies that God is not influenced in His judgement by a person’s external characteristics. These do not necessarily give a correct indication of that person’s real character and conduct.
Men are often influenced in forming their judgements by such external things as race, religion, profession, social position, physical appearance, wealth, education and so on. However, God’s judgement is not influenced or diverted by any of these things.
For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart (1 Sam. 16:7).
Not only is God Himself never moved by respect of persons; He also strictly charges all those who exercise judgement in human affairs never to yield to this influence. There can scarcely be any principle of Scripture which is stated more often than this. It is mentioned nine times in the Old Testament and seven times in the New Testament – a total of sixteen times in all.
The fourth principle of God’s judgement is: “according to light.” This is implied in Romans.
For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law (2:12).
Applied generally, this means that each person will be judged according to the measure of moral light and understanding made available to him. Those who have had the full knowledge of God’s moral standards revealed to them through the law of Moses will be judged by that law. But those who did not have the fuller revelation of the law of Moses will not be judged by that law, but only in accordance with the general revelation of God granted to the human race as a whole through the wonders of creation.
For since the creation of the world His [God’s] invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse (Rom. 1:20).
Paul here states that a general revelation of God’s nature, that is, His eternal power and Godhead, is given through creation to all men everywhere – irrespective of race or religion – who attain to normal understanding.
This, therefore, is the basic standard by which all men will be judged. However, those who receive an additional and special revelation through God’s Word will be judged by the higher standard of moral knowledge thus granted to them. Therefore, judgement is according to light – according to the measure of moral knowledge granted to each person.
Heavenly Father, thank You for being absolutely just, but also for giving
all of Your children a pure, fair chance to optimally live to Your glory, in
the power that Jesus has made available. That is what I want Father, a
life that honours my Creator and also my Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.