Today's Little Lift
by Jim Bullington
“Partiality is not so bad as long as I am on the positive end of it.” All too often this is our sentiment. However, when the shoe’s on the other foot, we have absolutely no respect for partiality. What we are really talking about here is fairness. In today’s focus text, Paul talks about eternal rewards and the fact that they will be administered with no hint of partiality.
“Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.” (Colossians 3.22-25).
As indicated previously, the real issue here is fairness. We all know that life is not fair, but who said it would be? Not only is life not fair, neither are we, those of us who live life. We may try to be, but our human frailty forbids it. Even if we could be absolutely fair-minded (which we can’t), our ability to know and process facts results in flawed outcomes. Even as carefully safeguarded as our legal system is, it certainly results in egregious errors from time to time. For instance, last December James Bain was released from prison after serving 35 years for a crime which DNA evidence proved he did not commit. I don’t know what part partiality had in any of this, but I do know it points out the fallibility of any human system of justice.
To the contrary, God’s system of eternal justice is flawless. In order to live up to this claim, it must be administered without partiality. Only Deity can make such a claim and have any chance at all of performing up to that standard. Peter affirmed impartiality as one of God’s attributes after he had been directed to the household of Cornelius, the first Gentile convert to Christianity. Hear Peter’s words: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him.” (Acts 10.34-35). Peter’s statement affirms that God is impartial in accepting those who fear Him; Paul’s affirmation to the servants in Colossae was that God is impartial in punishing those who do wrong. He made this same bold statement to the brethren in Rome saying, “For there is no partiality with God.” (Romans 2.11). These statements affirm God’s impartial character.
Once again quoting from Peter: “And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.” (1 Peter 1. 17-19).
It is a simple matter to see that God’s grace extends to the redeemed (and only the redeemed) and that without partiality. No one is the better off because he is kin to the boss just as no one is worse off because he is not kin to the boss. These are biases of humanity, but not of God. Justice will be served once and for all at the impartial hands of an ever loving God.
1. How does partiality manifest itself in the affairs of men?
2. In Acts 10, what milestone event spurred Peter to make his statement about God’s impartiality?
3. According to Peter in his first general epistle, what things will be taken into account when we stand before God in judgment?
4. Why will it be important for God to be unbiased in rendering His final verdict for each human being?
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