[Biblemat] S:> Rendering to Caesar and God
Ethan R. Longhenry
disciple_of_iesus at hotmail.com
Thu Nov 6 22:02:11 CST 2008
Rendering to Caesar and God
Base Text: Matthew 22:15-22
A. We live as citizens of two authorities: the USA and the
Kingdom of God
B. There are many times when these responsibilities may come
together, and there are times when they are in tension
C. Yet, as in all things, we must make our priority choice and go
D. Matthew 6:33: God says to put the Kingdom first
E. Therefore, what does God have to say about our responsibilities
toward God and toward America?
II. Matthew 22:15-22
A. Jesus Himself is confronted with a similar question about the
B. A dicey question in first century Judea
1. The Jews despised Roman rule and constantly sought to
2. Many felt that their religion was compromised by Caesar's
3. Yet political insurrection would raise the ire of the Roman
4. A perfect trap for Jesus-- which way would He go?
5. He would either irritate the people or get the Romans after
C. So how does He handle the question?
D. He advocates a form of separation!
1. Caesar should get what belongs to him
2. God should get what belongs to Him
E. Well, what does this mean?
F. What are we to render to Caesar? What are we to render to God?
G. Let us consider the Scriptures
III. Rendering to Caesar
A. The coin Jesus was holding (Matthew 22:15-22)
1. In a very concrete way, Jesus expects Caesar to get back his
coinage in the form of taxes
2. Romans 13:7
3. Taxes are to be paid regardless of the government and the
way it will use the money
4. After all, Paul is telling Christians to pay taxes to the
very authority who will use them to persecute Christians!
B. Respect, Honor, and Obedience
1. Romans 13:1-7, 1 Peter 2:13-17
2. God has established the existence of earthly authorities for
the benefit of mankind
3. Yes, they often abuse their power, but we are better off with
them than without
4. Christians are enjoined to render Caesar with their
obedience-- violating the law is rarely justifiable!
5. We put the foolish talk of unbelievers to shame when we obey
6. Likewise, Christians are to show proper respect to the
authorities of the land
7. Acts 23:1-5: Paul recognized his error when it was revealed
8. We may not agree with the authority on many matters, yet we
must still respect them
9. If first century Christians were to respect Nero, then we
can certainly respect our rulers!
C. Prayers and Supplications
1. 1 Timothy 2:1-2
2. Paul enjoins Christians to pray for all leaders so that we
can lead tranquil and peaceful lives, to remain godly and
3. Much can be accomplished by the prayers of the righteous
D. Such is all that God expects from Christians to the government
E. What does God expect out of His servants for Him?
IV. Rendering to God
A. Making God the First Priority
1. Matthew 6:33
2. Everything we are and do should be based in our faith in God
3. cf. Ephesians 5:22-6:9
4. We are servants of God and citizens of His Kingdom first
B. Complete Loyalty and Devotion
1. Matthew 10:37-39, Galatians 2:20, Romans 12:1-2
2. We are to put nothing between us and God in terms of
3. We must deny ourselves, take up our crosses, and follow Him!
4. We must die to sin, be crucified with Christ, if we want to
5. We must offer our lives as a sacrifice to God, being willing
to be transformed by the renewing of our mind in His image
C. All of our resources for His purposes
1. Romans 12:1-8, 2 Corinthians 8-9, 1 Timothy 6:17-19
2. Everything we enjoy is a gift from God, and we must be
willing to use what is given for His purposes
3. We are to spend our money in ways that honor Him, accomplish
4. Build up the church, help the needy, provide for families
5. Our time and talents also should be used for His service
D. See things His way
1. 1 Corinthians 2
2. Part of repentance is changing our minds so that we think
like God thinks, and not the way the world thinks
3. We must develop spiritual mindsets that consider the Kingdom
before any worldly cause
E. If a conflict exists between God and Caesar, we go with God
1. Acts 5:29
2. The only time when civil disobedience is justified!
3. It must involve a clear violation-- the authorities are asking
us to do something that is against what God has told us to do
4. Such rarely happens in America, but we must be prepared to do
so and accept the consequences if it has to happen!
F. Do not Fear
1. Matthew 10:28
2. Even though it is easy for us to worry about earthly things
(cf. Matthew 6:25-34), God tells us to not fear
3. If we have complete trust in Him, nothing that happens on
this earth should disturb us
G. There are many other details that go into serving God, but
these are the major aspects of that service
A. Indeed, we are to render to Caesar what is Caesar's and to
God what is God's
B. We are to pay our taxes, obey the earthly government, respect
the rulers, and pray for them
C. Nevertheless, our primary loyalty must be to God and His
Kingdom, and we must put God's will first in our lives in
D. Let us fully serve God and be good ambassadors of God's
Ethan R. Longhenry / disciple_of_iesus at hotmail.com
Evangelist, church of Christ in Norwalk, Ohio [norwalkchurch.org]
AIM: Deus Vitae / ICQ: 28317056
Y! IM: discipuliiesus
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