Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Verse 17 (1 Peter 1:17)

And if ye call on the Father - Seeing ye invoke the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and your Father through Christ, and profess to be obedient children, and sojourners here below for a short time only, see that ye maintain a godly reverence for this Father, walking in all his testimonies blameless.

Who without respect of persons - God is said to be no respecter of persons for this reason among many others, that, being infinitely righteous, he must be infinitely impartial. He cannot prefer one to another, because he has nothing to hope or fear from any of his creatures. All partialities among men spring from one or other of these two principles, hope or fear; God can feel neither of them, and therefore God can be no respecter of persons. He approves or disapproves of men according to their moral character. He pities all, and provides salvation for all, but he loves those who resemble him in his holiness; and he loves them in proportion to that resemblance, i.e. the more of his image he sees in any, the more he loves him; and e contra. And every man's work will be the evidence of his conformity or nonconformity to God, and according to this evidence will God judge him. Here, then, is no respect of persons; God's judgment will be according to a man's work, and a man's work or conduct will be according to the moral state of his mind. No favouritism can prevail in the day of judgment; nothing will pass there but holiness of heart and life. A righteousness imputed, and not possessed and practiced, will not avail where God judgeth according to every man's work. It would be well if those sinners and spurious believers who fancy themselves safe and complete in the righteousness of Christ, while impure and unholy in themselves, would think of this testimony of the apostle.

- Adam Clarke's Commentary on the Bible