Scripture is clear—there is no partiality or favoritism with God: “For there is no partiality with God” (Romans 2:11). However, this passage is often misunderstood, sometimes purposefully, to teach that God loves everybody and so nobody will perish. This is clearly not the case since Paul goes on to write that those who sin will perish and be judged (Romans 2:12-16). How does Scripture describe the partiality and impartiality of God?
Though our subject is the partiality of God, we must consider the impartiality of God. When Peter came to the house of Cornelius, and understood that the gospel was for Gentile as well as Jew, he said, “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him” (Acts 10:34,35). In Romans 10:12 Paul further described the impartiality of God: “For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him.”
The impartiality of God is shown in various ways:
God has declared all under sin. “What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin … for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:9,23).
God has provided one Savior for all men. “He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf” (2Corinthians 5:15). “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, the testimony given at the proper time” (1Timothy 2:5,6). The writer of the book of Hebrews tells us that by the grace of God Christ should taste of death for every man (Hebrews 2:9).
God has given one system of law for all men today. The law and covenant of God now applicable to all men is the gospel of Christ. This is what Christ charged His disciples: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15). In regard to this gospel Paul said, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16). Since the gospel is universal in its scope, every member of mankind is accountable to God under it. All, then, who look to Communism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, or any other system are woefully misled. The gospel is for all.
God has extended the same invitation to all. Out of His great love for all men Jesus said, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Further, He said, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink” (John 7:37). The last great invitation is to all: “The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost” (Revelation 22:17).
God has required of all the same conditions of pardon. When Jesus lived among men, He taught that they must believe on Him, that they must repent of their sins, that they must confess Him, that they must be baptized, that they must do all that He taught if one expected to be a citizen of His coming kingdom (John 8:24; Luke 13:3,5; Matthew 10:32,33; John 3:3-5; Matthew 7:21). After He arose from the dead, and with all power in heaven and on earth, He set forth the same conditions that His disciples were to preach as they carried this gospel into all the world (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:46-47). When Peter preached under this commission on the day of Pentecost to the Jews, he preached these conditions: “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). When he preached to the Gentiles, he preached the same conditions of salvation: “And he ordered them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ” (Acts 10:48).
God has provided one church—one saved body—for all men. Jesus said, “upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it” (Matthew 16:18). His promise was to build one—one foundation, one structure—upon that foundation—one church. Paul tells us when speaking to the elders of Ephesus, that He purchased that one church with His precious blood (Acts 20:28).
There will be one judgment for all. In that day all will be gathered before the great judge to hear either tidings of great joy, “Come, you who are blessed of My Father,” or words of woe, “Depart from Me, accursed ones” (Matthew 25:34,41). “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (2Corinthians 5:10).
We must consider the partiality of God. God is partial. In fact, He could not be impartial unless He was partial. That may sound strange, but by being impartial, God has always favored the faithful and obedient. Remember what Peter said after speaking of the impartiality of God? “In every nation the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him” (Acts 10:35).
Those that have the proper respect for God, those that work righteousness, those that are faithful in doing His will are favored with His exceeding precious promises. They are the ones who meet His conditions of pardon and therefore enjoy the forgiveness of their sins.
They are the ones who enjoy freedom from want (Matthew 6:33) and freedom from fear (Matthew 10:28). They are the ones who have his protection and care. To those doing His will Jesus promised, “lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). They are the ones who have “the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension” (Philippians 4:7). They are the ones who are saved from an eternal punishment, and to whose ears in that last day will come that joyful message, “Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” (Matthew 25:34). They are the ones who will enjoy the endless favor of God by being permitted to live forever in His presence amid the glory of the city foursquare in the heavenly mansions (John 14:1-4).
God is very partial to those who do His will.