“God Is No Respecter of Persons”

The Life and Teachings of Jesus and his Apostles, Instructor’s Guide (Rel 211–12), (2000), 67–68


Theme

Membership in God’s kingdom is offered to all men everywhere, for the Lord is no respecter of persons.

Theme Analysis

  • A.

    The apostles were commissioned to teach the gospel “unto the uttermost part of the earth.”

    1. 1.

      The extent of the apostolic commission from Jesus was universal, though the apostles did not fully understand this at first.

    2. 2.

      The spread of the gospel message was made possible in very special ways.

  • B.

    Through revelation, the Lord made it clear to Peter that the gentiles were also to receive the gospel.

  • C.

    God loves all his children and extends his blessings to them freely as they follow the example of his Son.

Study Sources

New Testament Reading Assignment

Acts 10-12

Course Manual

Chapter 30, “God Is No Respecter of Persons”

Standard Works

D&C 18:10-16. How precious to God is each person?

2 Nephi 26:33. Does God deny anyone from partaking of his goodness?

Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 3:25. What doctrine was emphasized consistently by Paul?

Romans 2:6-13. Who may receive glory and honor from God?

1 Nephi 17:35. Though the Lord esteemeth all flesh in one, why are some favored of God?

Matthew 21:33-45. Of what was this a prophecy?

Abraham 2:6-11; Galatians 3; D&C 110:12. “Chosen” people are simply God’s servants, called to take the gospel to “all families of the earth.”

Jacob 5, 6. How would the gentile converts bless the church?

Basic Library

Teachings, pp. 199, 265. Did Cornelius receive the gift of the Holy Ghost before he was baptized?

Gos. Doc, pp. 59-61. What is the difference between the Holy Ghost and the gift of the Holy Ghost as referred to in Acts 10:44-48?

A of F, p. 57. How will God’s justice prevail at the final judgment?

DS, 2:129-32. In what ways does God show his love to all of his children?

DS, 1:42. Can the Holy Ghost bear witness to nonmembers of the Church?

Delbert L. Stapley in CR, Apr. 1970, p. 73. Who may receive revelation from the Lord?

Additional Sources

J. Reuben Clark, Jr., in CR, Oct. 1947, p. 160. Is there an aristocracy of birth in this Church?

Gordon B. Hinckley in CR, Apr. 1962, p. 71. Are there examples today which show that God is no respecter of persons?

Charles Dicker, “What Should Be the Place of National Feelings Among Church Members?” Ensign, June 1976, p. 62.

George P. Lee in CR, Apr. 1976, pp. 147-49. What feelings should exist between members of the Church of different nationalities or race?

Spencer W. Kimball in CR, Apr. 1954, pp. 103-4. How did Christ exemplify to whom the gospel should go?

Media Suggestions

Filmstrip (The Life of Paul, 2), The Winds of Persecution (12:25)

Some Suggestions for Presentation

(Ideas Other Teachers Have Used)

God Directs Missionary Labor Through His Prophets (Discussion and Chalkboard)

The teacher may wish to discuss with the students the messages they have learned from Acts 10-12. These could be listed on the board. One lesson that could be explored is how the Lord directed Peter, the president of the church, to unlock the door of the gospel to the gentiles. The following diagram could be used:

The Spreading of the Gospel

before and after Peter's vision

How Does God Judge His Children? (A Discussion)

A discussion of Peter’s statement in Acts 10:34, 35 could be held as a lesson to us as to how we are to regard our fellowman. One of the great challenges to sharing the gospel with others is that of judging from outward appearance those who are prepared to receive the gospel.

Perhaps the teacher knows of an instance where someone who was judged as “a hopeless case” came into the Church.

How does God judge his children? (See course manual chapter 30, under Points to Ponder, for a discussion of the word persons as used in Acts 10:34.)

Is there a temptation to judge people by their race, occupation, or family? What are some common sayings that show this prejudice? (“Oh, he’s a member of the _________________________ Church; he’ll never accept the gospel!” “She breaks the Word of Wisdom, so she’ll never listen to the missionaries!”)

How, then, should we judge others? By what they are or by what they may become? In what ways should we judge? How did Christ give us the example in the case of the Samaritan woman? the centurion’s servant that was healed?

Magazine Article

The teacher may refer to the article entitled “The Expanding Church,” in the Dec. 1976 Ensign, p. 7. It has some excellent material relative to this lesson.