"Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."

 

Take a look at a penny, nickel, dime, quarter or half dollar. They all declare, “In God we trust.” Look at a one, five, ten or 20-dollar bill. They all declare, “In God we trust.” All of our money makes the same declaration. Recite the pledge of allegiance and you will hear the words, “One nation, under God.” But are we? Do we submit ourselves to God or to Caesar? Do we trust in God or Caesar? When I say Caesar I am talking of the rulers and political systems of this world. They pose as givers of all good gifts but in fact only give what they first took from someone. What kind of benefactor takes forcibly from one person what is rightfully theirs to give to another? And believe me, the governments of this world always have the power of the gun, that is force, to back up their requests for fees and taxes. Just try withholding your required contribution and see how long it takes for some armed authority to arrive to collect their, Just due.” Am I against government? No, I most certainly am not. But too much government is bad just as too little government is bad.  Anarchy and dictatorship both lead down the path to despotism! What then is the answer to this dilemma? The answer is given by Jesus in three of the four gospels.

*   (Mat 22:15-21 NIV)  Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. {16} They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. "Teacher," they said, "we know you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are. {17} Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?" {18} But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, "You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? {19} Show me the coin used for paying the tax." They brought him a denarius, {20} and he asked them, "Whose portrait is this? And whose inscription?" {21} "Caesar's," they replied. Then he said to them, "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."

Anything else is stealing! Who then is the one that deserves the following?

*   Faith

*   Trust

*   Hope

*   Optimism

*   Responsibility

*   Stewardship

*   (Exo 20:3 NIV)  "You shall have no other gods before me.

*   (Exo 20:7 NIV)  "You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

*   (Exo 20:8-10 NIV)  "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. {9} Six days you shall labor and do all your work, {10} but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates.

*   (Exo 20:13 NIV)  "You shall not murder.

*   (Exo 20:15 NIV)  "You shall not steal.

There are sins of Commission. Breaking commandments. Doing what should not be done.

There are sins of Omission. Being silent when you should speak.  Not doing what should be done.

 

Priorities

*   (Acts 4:18-19 NIV)  Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus. {19} But Peter and John replied, "Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God's sight to obey you rather than God.

*   (Acts 5:28-29 NIV)  "We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name," he said. "Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man's blood." {29} Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than men!

*   (Luke 11:27-28 NIV)  As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, "Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you." {28} He replied, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it."

 

A big problem with our country today is that Christians are committing both types of sins, sins of omission and sins of commission. The government makes promise and breaks promises.

God makes promises and keeps them. God never intended for government to take the place of brothers helping brothers or for government to do for us what we should be doing for ourselves. Government is not a substitute for individual effort. The government gives and the government takes away. God never intended we give absolute loyalty to anyone or anything other than Him. Again let’s be clear. There is a proper place for government. Our job is to keep government in its place!

 

*   So remember what Jesus said so wisely when asked to define that relationship. "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's."

 

Make sure you know which is which.