Question:

I was studying Acts 10:34,35 where the Bible says that God is no respecter of persons, but now accepts all nations who fear him (also Romans 2:11; Ephesians 6:9; James 2:1-4,9). Is it safe to say that God at one time was a respecter of person by only accepting the Jewish nation, or am I wrong in making that statement?

Thank you for your time.


Answer:

"Opening his mouth, Peter 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).

Look again. "But now" does not appear in this text. Peter is not stating there has been a change in who is accepted by God. He is stating a truth that has always existed. "For the LORD your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe" (Deuteronomy 10:17). Or as Elihu earlier noted that God "shows no partiality to princes nor regards the rich above the poor, for they all are the work of His hands" (Job 34:19).

Consider that Job was not an Israelite or even closely related to Abraham. The same is true of Melchizedek. For that matter Abraham founded the Israelite nation, but he was consider righteous before God made a covenant with him. "Is this blessing then on the circumcised, or on the uncircumcised also? For we say, "faith was credited to Abraham as righteousness." How then was it credited? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised; and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, so that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them" (Romans 4:9-11).