"RENDER UNTO CAESAR"
Mt. 22:15-22; Deut. 17:14,15.
1. As we look about us, we recognize that the governments of the world expect their subjects to bestow upon them riches and honor.
2. And certainly this is required of the Lord that we bestow such honor and dues upon such dignitaries.
3. But only the honor and dues that belong to such governments.
4. For Jesus did not only say, "render unto Caesar that which belongs to Caesar." But He also said, "render unto God that which belongs to God."
5. So, with this in mind, we must determine what belongs to Caesar and what belongs to God.
6. Of course, we recognize, or should recognize, that in the fullest sense of the word; all things belong to God. Psa. 24:1.
7. In God's law concerning the division of the land of Canaan, among the tribes of Israel, He drew certain boundaries for the habitation and inheritance of certain tribes.
8. In so doing, no civil or arbitrary government had the right to remove the tribes or families of such tribes from their appointed inheritance.
9. But we find Jezebel, with the authority of the office of king Ahab, doing just that in the case of Naboth and his vineyard. 1 Kgs. 21:1-26.
10. But in doing so, she was punished severely.
11. Therefore, in this case, we learn that some things belong to God and are not to be rendered unto Caesar.
I. THINGS THAT BELONG TO CAESAR:
A. We must obey the laws of the land. Rom. 13:1-7.
1. If such laws do not violate the laws of God. Acts 5:29.
B. We must pay taxes. Rom. 13:6; Mt. 17:24-27.
C. We must honor the offices and dignitaries of the government under which we live. Rom. 13:7; 1 Pet. 2:17.
D. We must pray for rulers and all of those in authority. 1 Tim. 2:1,2.
1. The civil governments of the world, whether they be kingdoms, democracies, dictatorships, etc. are established and ruled over by God of heaven. Rom. 13:1-7; Dan. 2:21; 4:17,25; 5:18,19; Jer. 27:5-12.
a. He sets men into authority over these different governments as He sees fit, not as we see fit.
b. We are told that sometimes these are the basest of men. Am I to question God on His choice?
2. Rom. 13:1-7 and Jno. 18:36, definitely show that there is a difference and distinction to be shown between the kingdom of God, (the church of the Lord, Christians) and the kingdoms of men, unbelievers, infidels, etc. Eph. 6:12.
a. Many times, these governments might oppose Christianity and might put forth efforts to destroy Christians but, as is indicated by Paul, Peter, and Jesus, we must still give them the honor and respect that the office deserves.
3. My personal feeling is that a Christian, a citizen of God's kingdom, is to be obedient to the powers that be as long as those powers do not violate laws and requirements laid down for me by God. Acts 5:29.
a. A Christian should be the very finest citizen any form of government can find, obeying the laws and respecting, and praying for the powers that be.
1) But, I personally do not feel that a Christian should try to be a part of the ruling process of the powers that be. He is already a part of a kingdom that belongs to God and cannot be ruled by men.
2) But let me hasten to say that this is an individual matter and each Christian will have to study for himself and live by his own conscience and knowledge. We cannot and do not try to legislate for others.
II. THINGS THAT BELONG TO GOD:
A. The church belongs to God. Acts 20:28; Mt. 16:18.
1. People talk about, "my church", "his church", "their church", "your church", "our church". Such is the language of Ashdod.
2. The New Testament church belongs to the Lord because He purchased it with His own blood. Acts 20:28.
a. Because He built it. Mt. 16:18. No, brethren, I know that it is not a building made of brick, mortar, and other materials.
1) It is made up of people and as each person is converted to Christ, he becomes a living stone in the house of God, the church of God.
2) This is the kingdom of God upon the earth, it is ruled by King Jesus, but it is an entity, a kingship, over which Christ is King. Without this kingdom, this entity of rule, of what then would Christ be King?
b. Because He is the head of it. Eph. 1:22,23.
c. Because He is its foundation. 1 Cor. 3:11.
B. The title "Reverend" belongs to God. Psa. 111:9.
1. There is no man ever referred to as "reverend" in the Bible.
2. Job said, "Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man. For I know not to give flattering titles; in so doing my maker would soon take me away." Job 32:21,22.
a. It would seem to me that men who take to themselves titles that belong only to God should be shaking in their boots, looking for God, the rightful owner of such names, to strike them down with lightning, etc.
C. The title "Father" in a religious sense, belongs only to God. Mt. 23:9
D. Secret things belong to God. Deut. 29:29.
E. Honor and glory belong to God. Acts 12:20-24; Num. 20:10-13.
1. Too many people want too much glory for themselves for what they do, instead of giving God the glory. Mt. 6:1-6.
2. Christians are to give glory to God in the church, as members of the church, of the Lord. Eph. 3:20,21.
a. One cannot glorify God outside of His church.
3. As a Christian goes about doing good in his daily life, he can bring glory to God. Mt. 5:13-16.
4. I hear folks say, "We ought to let the church get the glory". But I cannot read a word in the New Testament about the church getting the glory. Can you? We are told to glorify God in the church or as part of the church.
F. The Lord's supper belongs to the Lord.
1. It is His because He instituted it while He was upon this earth. Mt. 26:26-28.
2. It is to be observed in His memory to remember His death and suffering until He come again. 1 Cor. 11: 23-30.
3. Since the Lord's supper belongs to the Lord, we should partake of it as we are directed.
a. This means that we must eat what He told us to eat, in the manner He told us to eat it, on the day that He told us to eat it. Mt. 26:26-30; 1 Cor. 11:23-30; Acts 20:7.
G. The Lord's day belongs to the Lord. Rev. 1:10. It is the first day of the week, Sunday, when we are called upon to worship and serve God in a special way. Acts 2:42.
H. Vengeance belongs to the Lord. Rom. 12:19, 20.
1. Did you ever find yourself saying: "I'll get even with him, if it is the last thing I do?"
2. If you have, you are taking that which belongs to the Lord.
I. Salvation belongs to the Lord. Psa. 3:8
1. No man or group of men can decide what the plan of salvation is, for it belongs to the Lord, and He has already decided the plan and laid down the laws of pardon. Mt. 15:7-9; Psa. 119:89
2. There can be no substitutions or revisions, or additions, or subtractions involved in this plan. Lev. 10:1,2; Rev. 22:18-20.
3. The plan is simple and involves:
a. Hearing the gospel to receive the necessary faith, Rom. 10:17.
b. Believing the gospel in order to please God. Heb. 11:6.
c. Repenting of sins. Lk. 13:3,5; Acts 17:30.
d. Confessing that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. Mt. 10:32,33.
e. Being baptized in water for the remission of sins. Acts 2:38; 22:16; 8:35-39.
f. Living soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world. Titus 2:11-14.
1. Many other things could be mentioned with reference to belonging to Caesar or to God.
2. No doubt, many of us have given unto Satan that which belongs to God.
3. The things mentioned above should suffice to show us that there is a difference and that we are to show that difference as Christians in the use of our time, talents, and means.
4. Why not start to render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's even today?
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