Text: Ephesians 2:14-22
13 You, my brothers, and sisters were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14 For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”15 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. (Galatians 5:13-14) This is the problem.
We thought that a little seed of prejudice, hatred, or dislike is okay since it does not hurt others or yourself. But come to think that any seed has the potential to grow bigger and affect the things surrounding it.
James 1, “14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fully grown, brings forth death.” Like King David, when he saw Bathsheba, he lusted her. Then, committed adultery. After, planned for the death of Uriah which is the same as murdering him.
I. God’s Impartiality
When it comes to partiality, God’s nature and response are non-conflicting. God both in the Old Testament and New Testament reveals that He has no partiality, meaning no favoritism. In Deut. 10:17-19, reading only verse 17; it states, “For the Lord your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, mighty, and awe-inspiring God, showing no partiality and taking no bribe.”
Paralleling this in Eph. 2:14-17, “For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility… God through the cross… he put to death their hostility.” All have equal access to the Father by one Spirit.
God’s impartiality is both revealed in His nature and work. Remember, Christ deeply exemplified this when He called a Tax Collector to be his disciples, forgiven an adulterer, ate with a liar, healed those who were lepers, a widow, the thief on the cross, and sinners like you and me. Do not be discouraged that God does not show favor in you. We all have the same privilege when it comes to Christ. He shows no partiality. He had broken the wall of hostility that was dividing our world.
II. Church’s Impartiality
Speaking about impartiality, since God reveals Himself as someone who shows no partiality, it is only right that the church would represent Christ in this world when it comes to that. In James 2:1-9, read 1 above then, “But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers” (v. 9).
The church first and for all must manifest this truth. We must champion this reality that there shall be no favoritism nor partiality when it comes to the body of Christ.
After Christ, our very priority, the next most important thing is the unity of this church. Always remind yourself, I am part of this church. We are the church. No partiality, no favoritism, no this and that. Everything should be in one accord.
Ten Remedies for Partiality from Thomas Brooks’ thought:
- Dwell more upon one another’s graces than upon one another’s weaknesses and infirmities.
- Dwell upon those commands of God that do require you to love one another.
- Dwell upon those things that you agree with than those you differ—especially Christ is our common ground.
- Dwell upon our union as the body of Christ (Eph. 5:30); fellow soldiers, fellow-sufferers, fellow travelers, fellow-inheritors of the same crown and riches in Christ.
- Dwell upon the miseries of discord; disunity is corrupting; dissolutions is the daughter of dissension. It extends to stumbling other people especially the unbelievers.
- Dwell upon the priority of reconciliation over discord. (Ps 34:14; Rm. 14:19)
- Dwell upon the things that we can work together for Christ, ie. Missions and evangelism, discipleship, and outreach ministries.
- Dwell upon your self-shortcomings over others’ weaknesses. (Luke 18:9-14; 1 Cor. 11:31)
- Dwell upon laboring to be clothed in humility (1 Pet. 5:5; Jn 13:5).
- Dwell in prayer: pray for them, pray with them, and pray like them.
John Paul Arceno
UCBC New Jersey
November 14, 2021
This section is an excerpt only; download the full manuscript here.