November 1: The Christian and the State (Matthew 22:15-22)
This Sunday Josh C. will continue the Christians and Culture series at 9:00am in the youth room. Ray Rutledge will be in the Adult 1 classroom continuing through The Gospel Project.
New Song - Romans 11 (Doxology)
We will be singing a new song together this Sunday called Romans 11 (Doxology) by Andrew Peterson.
Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to entangle him in his words. And they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are true and teach the way of God truthfully, and you do not care about anyone's opinion, for you are not swayed by appearances. Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” They said, “Caesar's.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.” When they heard it, they marveled. And they left him and went away. (ESV)
While growing up, I was always told that I should avoid speaking about religion and politics in mixed company. I must leave this well-worn path. My desire is to speak to this with charity and clarity. Saying this, I do not want to speak about politics in the context of presidential debates or even next year’s election but from a broader perspective on the relationship between the Christian and the State. What is the balance between being a citizen of our country while being a citizen of heaven at the same time? How do we deal well with "politics"? Jesus teaches a right and appropriate balance on this topic saying, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; render to God the things that are God's." In this passage we will see what it looks like to be a good citizen and a good Christian.
Review and Apply
1. In spite of their animosity, how did Jesus' enemies characterize him? What is the view of others outside the faith toward you?
2. What has been the attitude of your heart to the government?
3. How do the following passages inform our view of governments, even ones that we do not agree with: 1 Peter 2:13-17; Romans 13:1-7?
4. List some aspects of a being good citizen. Which do you see in your life? In what areas do you need to confess?
5. List some aspects of being a faithful Christian in this world?
6. In what area(s) do you struggle in rendering to God the things that are God's?
7. How does the wisdom of Jesus seen in this debate encourage trust in all his words? (cf. Matthew 7:24-27)