No Respect of Persons Rom. 2: 5-11 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In Rom 2:11 Paul said that there is no respect of persons with God concerning salvation; he gives salvation to people regardless of whether they are Jews or Gentiles. In Rom 2:7, you might understand the passage to say that a person receives eternal life if he continues in well doing. In other words, it might appear to you that Paul is preaching salvation by good works regardless whether the good works are performed by a Jew under the law or by a Gentile without the law. Therefore, we are going to study this verse and the verses in its context to see what’s going on here because we know that Paul didn’t preach salvation by good works [Rom 3:20, 28].
In Rom 2, Paul rebukes and reproves Jews who judge Gentiles as sinners by the law and who fail to judge themselves as sinners by the same law while committing the same sins. He rebukes them further by stating that a Gentile who keeps the law by nature because of his conscience is more of a Jew than the Jew who knows the law and doesn’t keep it, though he has been circumcised.
Therefore, in Rom 2:6-7, Paul says that the Lord will render eternal life to a person who by patient continuance in well doing seeks for glory and honour and immortality. And in Rom 2:8-9, he says that the Lord will render indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish to every soul of man who is contentious, who does not obey the truth, who obeys unrighteousness and who does evil, regardless whether he is Jew or Gentile.
So, what is Paul saying? Paul is showing us that there is:
No respect of persons in judgment – Jews are not exempted from judgment because they are Jews or because they have been circumcised or because they know the law or because they go to the synagogue or for any other reason they might use to excuse themselves – Annas and Caiaphas, who was the high priest [Jn 18:13], were law abiding Jews but they were also contentious and they obeyed not the truth – they will receive indignation and wrath at their judgment – Gentiles are not exempted from judgment because they are not under the law or because they hold positions of authority or because they proclaim their innocence or for any other reason they may profess – Pilate was the Roman governor who turned Jesus over to the multitude and said, “I am innocent of the blood of this just person” [Matt 27:24] – Pilate is in hell today washing his hands in its eternal flames – he will receive indignation and wrath at his judgment because he obeyed not the truth [Jn 18:37-38].
You may be baptized and a member in good standing in your church, you may do good to your fellow man, you may tithe, you may give to the poor, you may be a lot of things – but if you have not obeyed the truth of the gospel, you will be judged and you will receive indignation and wrath at your judgment just like these other men – there is no respect of persons.
No respect of persons in preaching – You see the gospel is to be preached to every creature, we are to go into all the world and preach the gospel [Mk 16:15] – although salvation is of the Jews [Jn 4:22], it is to be preached to Gentiles and Jews alike [Matt 28:19-20] – everywhere Paul preached, he preached to the Jews first and then he preached to the Gentiles [Rom 1:16; Acts 28:23-29].
You may be Jewish and of the opinion that the New Testament gospel is not for you – you are not correct – with the gospel there is no respect of persons – you may be of some religion where your “salvation” is tied to your good works or your religious doctrine or your religious sacraments – if you have not obeyed the truth and have not received the Lord Jesus Christ by faith you are lost and you are on your way to hell [Acts 16:31; Rom 10:13; Rev 20:15] – there is no respect of persons concerning the preaching of the gospel.
No respect of persons in salvation – Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me,” [Jn 14:6] – look what Paul said in Acts 4:12 – salvation is exclusively by Jesus Christ – so, when you have someone who is living his life seeking glory and honour and immortality [Rom 2:7] the Lord, having no respect of persons, makes sure that he hears the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ so that he can be saved – the perfect examples of this truth are the Ethiopian eunuch [Acts 8:26-40] and Cornelius and his kinsmen and friends [Acts 10:24-48, look at verses 34-35] – so, these folks aren’t saved by their good works, they are saved by believing on the Lord Jesus Christ – by the way they are living God ensures that they hear the gospel so that they can believe and be saved – no matter where in the world there is someone like the eunuch or Cornelius, God will get the gospel to him so that he may receive the Lord Jesus and have eternal life.
Conclusion: Eternal life is in Jesus Christ [1 Jn 5:10-13] – any man who believes on him will be saved regardless of who he is – even someone like the thief on the cross can be saved [Lk 23:39-43] – those who obey not the truth receive indignation and wrath regardless of any other good thing that may be true about them – those who seek glory, honour and immortality will find them in Jesus Christ through whom they have eternal life.