"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW" Our Duty To God And Country (22:15-22) INTRODUCTION 1. Teaching in the temple, Jesus was approached by the Pharisees and the Herodians... a. They came with the intention of entangling Him in His teaching - Mt 22:15-16 b. They questioned Him whether one should pay taxes to Caesar - Mt 22:17 2. Ever the Master Teacher, Jesus easily dealt with their question... a. Seeing through their hypocrisy, He called for a coin - Mt 22: 18-19 b. He asked whose inscription was on it, and they answered "Caesar's" - Mt 22:20-21 c. His reply cause them to marvel, and to go away - Mt 22:21-22 3. The reply of Jesus: a. "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's" b. "And to God the things that are God's" ...not only silenced His critics, but provided important teaching for His disciples 4. His reply reveals that we have responsibilities to both God and country a. There are things that we must render to Caesar (country) b. There are things that we must render to God [What is our duty to God and country? In this study we shall review what the Scriptures tell us about our responsibilities as citizens and as disciples. We start with...] I. OUR DUTY TO COUNTRY A. PAY TAXES... 1. This was the point of Jesus in our text - Mt 22:17-21 2. Paul also taught us to pay taxes - Ro 13:6-7a B. OBEY LAWS... 1. We are to submit to the ordinances (laws) of the land - Ro 13: 1-5; Tit 3:1 2. This we do for the Lord's sake, that we might silence foolish men - 1Pe 2:13-16 C. FEAR AND HONOR... 1. We are to respect and honor those in positions of authority - Ro 13:7b a. We are to fear the king - cf. Pr 24:21 b. We are not to speak evil of our rulers -
cf. Exo 22:28; Ac 23:5; Tit 3:2; 2Pe 2:10; Jude 8-9 2. Even as we are to honor all and love the brethren - 1Pe 2:17 -- Do you notice that Paul or Peter never had unkind words about Nero? D. DO GOOD... 1. We are to be ready for every good work - Tit 3:1 2. We are to have conduct that is honorable before all - 1Pe 2: 11-12,15-16 E. PRAY... 1. To make supplications, offer prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks - 1Ti 2:1 2. To pray for kings and all who are in authority - 1Ti 2:1-3 [Christians are but sojourners and pilgrims in this world (1Pe 2:11). While our true citizenship is in heaven (Php 3:20), we are to be a blessing to those earthly countries in which we sojourn. Fulfill our God-given obligations, and we will be an asset to any country in which we live! Now let's review...] II. OUR DUTY TO GOD A. LOVE GOD WITH ALL OUR BEING... 1. Jesus considered this the greatest commandment of the Law - Mt 22:34-38 2. Being the greatest command, I would suggest this is our greatest duty! B. OBEY GOD FROM THE HEART... 1. If we love God, we will keep His commandments - 1Jn 5:3 2. Even as Jesus taught that keeping His commandments is evidence of true love - Jn 14:15,21,23 C. MAKE GOD OUR NUMBER ONE PRIORITY... 1. His will, His rule, His righteousness, should be our first priority - Mt 6:33 2. Not only over our personal concerns, but even over our duty to country a. Whenever there is a conflict between duty to God and duty to country, God must come first b. As stated by Peter: "We ought to obey God rather than men" - Ac 5:27-29 3. This helps to answer questions that often arise concerning the Christian's duty to government a. Can a Christian vote? b. Can one serve in political office? 4. If such duties and privileges come at too high a price (i.e., placing country before God), then a Christian must obey God rather than men a. In some countries, the price may be too high, and a Christian could not serve in political office or exercise certain rights as a citizen b. Other countries may allow for God to take precedence in one's conduct, permitting the Christian to participate in such things CONCLUSION 1. Christians ought to be a blessing for any country in which they reside... a. A source of revenue, with respect for laws, and reverence for those in authority b. Contributing to the general welfare, through good deeds and fervent prayers 2. Christians can be such a blessing when... a. They render first to God what is His due, and then what is due the country b. The country respects the priority that must be given God by its citizens While those in authority might not always understand their proper place, and expect more of their citizens than what is right, may we who are disciples of Christ never fail to "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."