24 Nov 2019

Render To Caesar The Things That Are Caesar’s [Matthew 22:15-22]


Politics is a hot topic today. Hot because many people talk about it frequently. And hot because it can make people very worked up. But how should Christians look at politics? Jesus gave a very simple principle- render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s. This means that we are to fulfil our obligations to our government. And that means 3 things: We are to Pay them, we are to obey them, we are to pray for them. Find out from this sermon what this all means. And let’s not forget to give to God that which is God’s!


Sermon Transcript

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We have come to Matthew chapter 22, we're going to look at verses 15 onwards. And this is launching us into a new mini-series on “Inspection”. You say, “What is inspection?” Well, this part of the Bible deals with the last few days of the life of Jesus before He goes to the cross. And He's going to go to the cross on Saturday as a sacrifice. He's likened to be a lamb, a special Passover lamb that the people of Israel are familiar with. He will be that sacrifice so that men and women who believe in Jesus can be saved from their sins and spared the wrath of God.

But that Passover lamb, as in tradition, must be a lamb without blemish. It must be perfect. It must be flawless. So there is a series of tests within that four days that they will check that lamb for, if there be any flaw. Jesus, likewise, like that Passover lamb, will be inspected and checked, and indeed found to be flawless.

So in this inspection process, there will be various religious leaders who will come with very testing questions, to sort of trap Jesus, to find fault with Him. But of course, as you have already known, He will be faultless, blameless, absolutely immaculate, and thereby proving himself to be the worthy Lamb of God, sacrificed to save us from our sins.

Today, we look at a question that one of the religious leaders, a group of religious leaders, would pose to Jesus. And it introduces us to a hot topic today. What's a “hot” topic? A “hot” topic is a topic that everybody is talking about. And a “hot” topic is perhaps also a topic that gets people very hot, gets people very upset and emotionally worked up. And I think there are few topics today that can do so like politics.

Today, we're going to talk about politics. We're going to talk about governments. We're going to talk about people who rule over us. And I think in our day and age, it is a hot topic. When you meet with friends, when you meet your classmates, you can talk about the weather, talk about soccer, and very soon you’ll talk about politics.

You talk about politics far away, like that in US. You talk about Donald Trump. You talk about the trade war. You talk about the way things are being done in that country. Maybe you say, “That's too far away!” So you may be more concerned about countries nearer to home. So you may be already talking a lot, and being very concerned, about the politics taking place now in Hong Kong; about the unrest, about that political turmoil in this country. You are particularly concerned because you wanted to go on holiday and now Hong Kong is struck off your list of possible places to go. Can't eat your beef noodles and dim sum and so on.

But maybe you're not so concerned about Hong Kong; it may be somewhere, it may be a place nearer to our country, and maybe you are from this nation of Malaysia. And Malaysian politics is also in a very interesting phase of their history, isn't it? For the first time BN (acronym for Barisan Nasional, a Malaysian political coalition) is not ruling, and so now there are by-elections that seemed to swing things back to BN. And then who knows, what's going to happen in the next elections?

And for many of us who are Singaporeans, you will be concerned about politics in Singapore. And yup, like our PM has said, this might be a very significant, and it probably will be a very significant election, a watershed election for the future. And so there are people I'm sure, who will be very, very, very concerned about politics. And politics today is very different from politics in the past, with the rise of social media, with avenues for people to share their content, to vent their frustrations. Wow! It's really a difficult time.

And, therefore, Christians, we live in this world that seems to be very absorbed with how things should be done. And inevitably, a lot of Christians get very riled up, very emotionally involved, and engaged as well. And so - how should you and I, as Christians, respond to this political situation in the world today, in our country today? How should we be engaged? How should we be responding? How should we be communicating?

Well, this is what we're going to deal with and look at in the story right before us. Jesus will be tested with a political question. And the reason why He is going to be asked a political question is not because they were interested in politics, but because they wanted to find some kind of fault with His answer, if He should answer inappropriately. But thankfully, as a result of this question, we get to learn principles on politics.

So, let's get right in to this story, shall we? “Then the Pharisees” - a group of religious leaders who absolutely hated Jesus – they “plotted how to entangle him in his words.” [Matthew 22:15] Now Jesus, as you know, had been to the temple and threw out those money changers. He had wrecked the business, the money-making business, of these Pharisees. And no doubt that has made them furious.

And the Pharisees probably are also envious of Jesus, because many people followed Jesus, and they feel threatened. So they are looking for an opportunity to eliminate their nearest competitor, Jesus Christ, who did not come from the rabbinical school. So before they are going to entangle Him with His words, they were very clever to try to lower the guard of Jesus by flattering Him and buttering Him up.

So “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.” [Matthew 22:16] So some nice sounding flattery first. “Oh, we know You're special. We know You're from God.” But actually, their hearts are with a dagger.

So they ganged up, these Pharisees ganged up, with a group of people called the Herodians. Actually, a very strange ally, because Pharisees hate the Roman government, but Herodians are a pro-Roman political group. But, for the common enemy, Jesus, they came together and set this trap.

“So what's the trap?”, you say. They asked, “Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” [Matthew 22:17] Many of you would know, that at that point of time, Israel did not rule themselves; they were a vassal state. That is to say, they were under the rule of the Roman Empire. Caesar is their king. So they are supposed to pay taxes to Caesar. They asked this question to Jesus, because it's not an easy question to answer.

Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar? If you say, “No. We don't have to pay taxes to Caesar”, then the Roman Empire will come after you, because you are guilty of treason. How dare you not pay taxes to your king! But if He says, “We are to pay taxes to Caesar”, then the Jewish people will come after Jesus and say, “How can you pay taxes to Caesar?”

Now you say, “What's wrong with paying taxes to Caesar?” Let me try to explain this to you. In the Roman Empire, generally they are four taxes. Now, do you know what taxes we have to pay here in Singapore? GST - very good. Income tax. What else? Property tax. Road tax. So we are a country that has many kinds of taxation.

But in Rome, in those days, they have 4 basic taxations. One is what they call the Ground (or the Property) Tax, by which they tax you based on the produce of the ground. So if you have oil from these plants or you have vine, you have grapes, you have wheat, they will tax you based on your produce. So how much? However much you get to sell, you have to pay some taxes to the Roman Empire.

A second tax is that of Income Tax. This is, I think, familiar to Singaporeans. But in those days, their income tax rate is very, very attractive. The tax is only 1%. Solid ah? (Colloquial expression for when something is impressive.) So if you earn $100 in a year, you just need to give income tax of $1. That's it! Many of you would love to be in that country.

The third tax would be that of Business Tax. So this is for transport of goods as you pass through tolls, and you pay the tax collectors sitting by the booth. That is the business tax you will have to incur.

And then a fourth tax is what they call the Poll Tax. This is a tax given to every citizen. If you are a male, from the age of 14 to 65, you pay this tax. If you are a lady, from the age of 12 to 65, you pay this tax. Even if you're not working, you have to pay this tax as a citizen of Rome.

So this Poll Tax is the tax that is referred to here by the Pharisees and the Herodians. It's a known thing because Jesus later on said, “Show me the coin for the tax.” [Matthew 22:19] You say, “What's ‘the tax’?” The tax that requires a denarius.

Do you remember the worth of a denarius? We spoke about this a few weeks ago. A denarius is worth how much? The average salary of an average worker for one day, alright. So this is the tax you have to give as a Poll Tax. However much you earn, whatever you have, every single one gives one denarius to the Roman Empire a year.

Now, this is particularly upsetting to the Jew because of the denarius itself. You say, “What's so special about the denarius?” Well, it is a coin that looks like this. You could see an image engraved on this coin. It's quite a common practice actually, because in our own bills and coins, you see images, symbols, buildings, presidents, right? So this is the image of Caesar, engraved on the coin and then there are some letters of the alphabet there, inscribed.

Then you turn the coin to the other side, and you will have another picture of a man sitting on a chair. And again, you have some letters inscribed. (Ti Caesar Divi Avg F Avgvstvs) So what are these words? Well, none of us, or probably very few of us, will be able to read this. But in essence it is saying, “Son of the Divine Augustus. Caesar, son of the Divine Augustus.” And then on the other side, you have these two words, “Pontiff Maxim”. A bit simpler for us - the Catholic Church, the pope is called the pontiff. And maxim - highest or greatest. So this is really - highest priest.

So with this denarius, the people of Rome are declaring that their emperor, Caesar is the Son of the Divine Augustus; he is the highest priest. Now in Rome, the Caesar’s role is greater than just a king. He's a divine person. He's the highest priest.

Now you can now understand why this particular denarius is very upsetting to a Jew. A Jew believes that there is only one God, Jehovah. And if I have to convert, change my Jewish money into a Roman denarius, and then give it to Caesar, almost acknowledging him to be who he is, that is very unsettling for me. In fact, it is said precisely because of this tax problem, that the Jews staged a revolt in AD 66 that ultimately resulted in their destruction in AD 70.

So this is a big problem, and this is the problem that they wanted to pose to Jesus. “Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” [Matthew 22:17] If Jesus said, “No! Don't pay taxes to Caesar”, the Roman Empire will come after Him. But if Jesus says, “Yes! Pay taxes to Caesar”, the Jewish people will come after Him, because He seems to be promoting blasphemy and idolatry.

So this is a devil and the deep blue sea situation. They came with a clear goal of trapping Jesus and eliminating Him. So how do you respond to this question? Well, if I'm the one who is posed this question, I'll be in deep trouble. I'll be – “(Gasp) … I'm going to die today, they've got me!”

But not Christ. Look at His brilliant response. First of all, He counter attacks. He says, “The problem is not me. The problem is, is with you guys. You!” “Jesus, aware of their malice, said, ‘Why put me to the test, you hypocrites?’” [Matthew 22:18] You pretend to want to know God's Word. But no; you came with malice in your heart. Then He said, “Now bring Me the coin, bring Me the denarius.” And so they brought to Him that coin, that denarius. And He asked them this question, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” [Matthew 22:20] The answer – “Caesar’s.” [Matthew 22:21]

And then Jesus gave this statement, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.” [Matthew 22:21] I find it interesting, many times, Jesus doesn't answer - yes or no. They love to get a yes or no from Him, but many times He doesn't, right? He gives a balanced response.

So He gives this response, where He says, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's.” [Matthew 22:21] He asks, “Who is this coin about?” Caesar. Then give to him what this refers to; render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's. In other words, in a very simple way, He's giving this principle - that as God's people, we are to fulfil our obligations to our own government. This is Caesar’s, render to him the things that are Caesar's.

So the fundamental principle has to be observed. Even though we, as Christians, we, as God's people, belong to the Kingdom of God supremely, nevertheless, we are not to ignore the necessary obligations that come along with being in this world. If we're in this country, we owe this country our obligations; we are to fulfil it.

And in a simple way, I just want to say there are three things; three things any single one of us will have to do for the government that we have been called under. Would you want to tell me what the three things are, the three responsibilities you have to the government?

1] Pay!

The first thing we have to do in order to fulfil our obligations to the government is to pay. I know this is not a word we like. We don't like to pay; we like to receive. But it is biblical to render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's. It is biblical to pay. Not just here, but in Romans 13: “Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed”. [Romans 13:7]

So we are to pay our taxes. It's painful, I know, but you are to do it. It's biblical to do it. In fact, it is unbiblical, it is wrong for you to cheat on your taxes. Benjamin Franklin said two things are certain in life - death and taxes. So you are not to “siam” [colloquial for escape] your taxes, you are to pay your taxes.

I want to remind you - what are the taxes you have to pay? So number one, you have your income tax. So I want to tell you what’s the kind of tax - you look at your income bracket and you know how much you have to pay lah, ah? Filing time is what, in three, four months’ time? So this is to prep you, just prepare for you to pay taxes. And when you key in the computer, you say, “Thank God, I can pay my income tax. It's biblical to pay my income tax.”

Alright, what other taxes do we have? We have road tax. That's right! You pay your road tax. Now of course today, I think they don't give this disc anymore. It's electronic right, if I'm not wrong.

And then, you have something that every one of you have to pay. Some of you don't drive, some of you don't work, so you don't pay this tax, but you'll have to pay this one - GST, alright. Goods and Services Tax. You eat in any restaurant today, you buy stuff, often you have to pay GST. And just to stun you with the number of taxes we have, alright. Personal Taxes, you have all these taxes.

So you render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's. It is biblical! There's nothing wrong with paying taxes to the government. Don't give yourself the excuse, “I'm a Christian, I pay taxes in church already.” By the way, your offerings are not taxes, it's free will. And that does not abdicate you from your necessary tax duties in the country. Pay to all what is owed to them.

Why do you need to pay taxes to the government? Who built the roads for you? Who gave the street lamps? Who provides the security? Who gives you the police force? Well, you pay your taxes. Who gives you the national library, the national parks? It's all part of why we need to pay our taxes.

Recently, there was a bomb discovered, right, in River Valley? Imagine you don't pay tax, no government agency, you drive by every time you “kia” [colloiquial for afraid] it explodes. You should be thankful God has given us the government to give us security and lights and roads and library and NParks and everything. We enjoy these things, we benefit from these things. And so, “Pay to all what is owed to them”. [Romans 13:7]

Alright? That's Christian, that's Biblical, that's God's will. So don't cheat on your taxes. Someone asked “Eh, I’m a doctor ah, can I file creatively so that I pay less tax and so on?” Okay, this type of question you ask the tax experts. I just tell you the principle - pay what you owe the government, alright.

2] Obey

Besides paying, what's the second thing you need to do, as a citizen of any nation? You need to pay, and number two, you need to obey the law. Alright, I like that! Seems to be from a young voice, correct? Okay, number two, you need to obey, alright. Very simple - you need to obey.

I just find it real interesting; people really find ways not to obey. I was talking about the PMDs. Cannot ride on the road, ride on grass patch. Cannot ride on the grass patch, ride on the drain grills. Cannot ride on the drain grills, they ride, ride on the shelter, the walkway shelter. Super creative! But then, the Bible tells us, “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities.” [Romans 13:1]

In other words, you have to submit to the government. You are to obey the government; obey the laws of the government. The, the word, “subject” here is the word “hupotasso”, which is the same word used with regards to a wife submitting herself to her own husband. So we have to submit ourselves to the government.

Now, immediately there are people who say, “How can we submit ourselves to a bad government? Our government is terrible, it's not worthy of my submission.” Well, God does not say, “Let every person be subject to the ‘perfect’ governing authority.” Just – “submit yourself to your governing authority.” That's it!

There are people today who think that submission to authority is conditioned upon the performance. No! Nowhere in the Bible do you see that teaching. A wife is to submit herself to her own husband, not because her husband is great, not because her own husband meets her expectation, not because her husband is perfect. There is none like that!

We live in a sinful world, we are a fallen people, and there'll be no one who is good enough for you, except Jesus Christ. But the Christian ethos is to understand God's order. God's will is that the wife is to submit herself to her own husband. A man is to submit himself to the governing authorities.

Imagine your son comes to you and says, “Dad, I will obey you only if you prove yourself worthy.” Piak! (Colloquial expression for slapping someone across the face.) Who teach you to say that? You submit to your father and your mother because it is biblical, it is right! Now we all understand that for our children, right? I mean, you wouldn't tolerate that conditional obedience. So why is it that we allow that for our relationship between a husband and a wife, and between the government and a citizen?

A husband is called to love his wife unconditionally, regardless of her performance. And the wife is to submit herself to her own husband, unconditionally because of God. And the rationale, this principle holds true, for Romans 13 verse 1. We submit to our government not because of their performance, or because of their perfection, but because of their position.

“For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” [Romans 13:1] The logic here is that God is the One who placed them over you. Now, they are not going to be perfect. They're not going to meet up to your expectation, but that's not the point. God put them over you, so you submit. Simple as that!

Now, there are those who say, “What if the government tells me to do wrong things?” Ah, then you don't submit. If the government tells you to murder, you say, “No. We are to obey God rather than men.” There are clear scriptural principles that we do not contravene. So, if the government tells you to perform sin, you don't do that, of course. But otherwise, you are to submit.

So, Xavier, if the government says, “Do National Service.” You cannot say, “I submit to God rather than men.” No, no, no. National Service - not sin! Go do NS, that's the law of the land. The government says, “No PMD.” No PMD. That's not sin, not to ride PMD. Cannot means cannot. So we obey the laws, because God placed the authority over us.

Some of you are still very upset, “Wah, but my government really cannot make it, know. Maybe God is saying “submit”, but in those days, the government better than our day.” Now, I can tell you that's not the case. Just read any history books about Rome in those years, and you will realize it's an absolutely corrupt system.

The Caesar himself - terrible man. They are blasphemous. They are idolatrous. They call themselves divine gods. They are immoral people. They have sexual orgies. They are fornicators. Caesars are people who hate Christians. And in those days, they would kill Christians by tying them onto stakes and burning them like torches in the garden. They would skin animals and sew the skin of animals to Christians, so that other animals would come and maul the Christian to death.

Caesar is the one, Rome is the one who will crucify your Savior, Jesus Christ. Are they a perfect government? Far from it. But Jesus still said, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's.” Pay your taxes, obey them, who are set as authorities over you. It's hard to find a worse king than Caesar, but still, you submit.

I think the principle is crystal clear. Not just from Jesus, from Paul, but also from Peter. “Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution”. [1 Peter 2:13-15] Why do I submit? For the Lord's sake. Not because he's good, not because my government is perfect, because God wants me to do so. I do it for the Lord’s sake - “whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good.”

Thank God for kings. Thank God for governments that provide some structure of law and order. “For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.” [1 Peter 2:13-15] “Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.” [1 Peter 2:17] Now, the emperor is not a good guy. He's not a moral guy, not a Christian guy, not a God-fearing guy. But still, honor the emperor because God has placed him as authority over you.

I think therefore it is sad when Christians are involved in revolts and rebellions. I'm not saying that Christians cannot have a mind of his own, cannot have opinions, cannot have viewpoints, cannot give constructive criticism and helpful suggestions for the government. No! We are allowed to do that. But this is dealing with the spirit.

I think Christians should not be involved in revolts and rebellions. That's not the right thing to do. And therefore, I do not know what is right or wrong in Hong Kong. What is the best thing? What is the right thing? I am no politician. But when I hear that churches are involved in protests, I think that's quite unbiblical.

Now, is Singapore always going to have good governments and so on? No, we may not have that. And in your opinion, you may think we don't already have that, I'm not sure. But regardless, it will never be right for us, I think, to stage a revolt.

We trust God. He's sovereign, He placed these institutions over us. And faith believes, that the right response is the biblical response. We honor the emperor, we submit ourselves to them; just like a child submits to a father, just like a wife submits to the husband, just like a church member submits to the church leadership. This is the principle of life. This is the Christian ethos.

We have seen people today who have a hard time submitting to the government. And I've seen them have a hard time submitting to their husband or to their bosses. It's just a disease if you're not careful about it.

3] Pray

So number one - we are to pay. Number two - we are to obey. Number three? Vote - haha, I like that one! But you know, we are talking about universal principles that apply to every governmental system. It's only in democracy you get to vote. There are some forms of government you don't get to vote, so that's, that's not the part. Now, now, it's right to vote, nothing wrong to vote in a democracy, alright? But there's one more thing.

So you pay, you obey - Very good! You pray. I'm trying to - and you’re right, alright, it's to pray. See, so few recognize that! Because you're familiar with complain. You're familiar with protests. You're familiar with, with making noise. But actually, the Bible says, “Be quiet lah. But pray.” Don't complain, pray. This is biblical.

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings” - pray for kings; pray for “all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior”. [1 Tim 2:1-3]

So Christians instead of complaining and being negative about things, and moaning and griping, we should convert all those energies to pray. Do you know your Pastor watches you on Facebook? I may not enter into every conversation you have with your friends, with your colleagues, with church members, I'm not there all the time. But I monitor you over my crystal ball called Facebook. And I watch the kind of complaints and, if I may say, mean spirited comments.

Now, please understand, I am not saying we are pro any particular political party. No, not at all; I don't think we need to do that. However, once election is over, the government is installed at least for the next five years, it is the Christian’s responsibility to now pay, obey, and to pray for that elected government.

Doesn't matter what political party - good, bad, in your opinion, that's not the point. God has installed them after the elections, you do the P.O.P. Not “passing out parade” or “pop” but pray, obey and pay. You do that! That's all. It's very simple. How complicated is Christianity? But we have made it very complicated.
We say, “Oh, this government, not up to my standard. They do this, do that.” And we feel justified in moaning and griping. That's not biblical. We are to lead dignified holy lives and it involves the way we relate to the authorities, to the relationships all around us.

How do people know you're Christian? When everybody is complaining, you're praying. You say, “I submit to the government.” “But the government do this…” I know, but I'm still called by God, to submit to the government because He has placed them over us.

So, not difficult, but it really, I hope helps you understand the fundamental principle Jesus is teaching in that phrase, “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's” and fulfil your obligations to your government. [Matthew 22:21]

I could end here, and I think many sermons would end here, but I feel that still misses the point, because the balance has to be struck when we realize the second half of what Jesus says, “and to God the things that are God's.” [Matthew 22:21]

See, the whole debate is this - When we render to Caesar the coin, does it mean that he is our God? No! When I render the coin to Caesar, I'm acknowledging that through Caesar's work, and his government's work, we have roads, we have security, we have peace, we have protection, we have these things, and it is right for me to pay my tax. But he is not God and I do not render to Caesar, my worship. I render to God the things that are God's, namely worship.

In other words, a Christian strikes the balance where we give our government respect and obedience and subjection, but our highest worship is to God alone. You see, Caesar gave me roads. Caesar gave protection. Caesar gave me an army. But Caesar did not save me from my sin, and could never save me from my sin. Caesar did not give His life on the cross. Caesar did not give his son as a ransom for me on the cross.

But God gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross, that I who am sinful may be saved from my sins, and therefore, I give to God my highest worship. Therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, present yourselves a living sacrifice. To who? To God. And therefore, I say as followers of Jesus Christ, this is our supreme and highest loyalty.

I'm not saying that you cannot be involved in politics. I'm not saying you cannot be a politician. But even if you should pursue such a route in your life, remember you're not first a politician, you're first a Christian. And we must understand, all of us must understand, we are first Christians, then citizens. Be the best citizens we can be in our country, that's how the light of the Gospel shines. But above that, let us realize we are Christians.

It is therefore sad when I read and when I hear of how Christians, we talk about a hot topic like politics and we allow politics to split us. I've seen people in this church become enemies with a brother in Christ or sister in Christ because they have a different political persuasion. “I this party.” “I that party”. “Your party lousy. My party better.” And they argue and it's, the next thing you know, they're out of the WhatsApp chat group. “I don't friend you already, unfriend. I exit! And from now on, I'm not going to talk to you.” Why? Different political affiliations.

Let me ask you: Is it worth it? Is politics above the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Did any one of the politicians die for your sins? Is anyone your father? No! Politics can divide, but let's remember the Gospel unites.

The Gospel breaks down the barriers between Jews and Gentiles, free and enslaved, male and female. The Gospel is to bring all of us in this sweet unity and as followers of Jesus Christ. Let us then endeavor to preserve the unity in the Spirit. That is what worship looks like. So let us remember the Gospel. Let us remember God and His love. Let us give God that which is His - our life, our worship, our obedience.

Let's bow for word of prayer together. This is not a difficult sermon at all. But maybe it is a sermon that may have ruffled your feathers, because you might be convicted about some of the things you have been doing or saying or writing. The goal here today is not just to make you feel bad, of course not, but that we should come to a humble repentance of our ways, that we might do right by God.

Today, we can come to God for His sweet forgiveness, and then endeavor by His help, by the Spirit's enabling, to be the best citizens that is worthy of His Name. Let us subject ourselves for the Lord's sake. Let us as Gospeliters live the best kind of citizenry for His honor and fame.

Don't cheat on your taxes. Obey the laws. Submit to your government. Pray for your leaders. That's what is pleasing to your God. Remember the Gospel unites. Remember it is of supreme importance to your Father that His children should dwell together in unity. We call Him “Abba Father”, we therefore know one another as brothers and sisters. Let not political affiliations divide the Church of Jesus Christ. We are first Christians, then citizens.

If you're here today and you do not know Jesus, let me tell you the greatest act of love in this world, in all of human history. God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to be that Passover Lamb, that sacrificial lamb, who will die on the cross to pay for your sins. He did that while you were yet sinners. He did that when we are absolutely incapable of doing anything good, or of worth before God. But He freely gave His Son because His love is so amazing and so unconditional.

The message of the Bible is therefore - God has provided a Savior for sinners like you me. The command in the Bible is: Repent of your sin, believe in Jesus Christ. This morning, it is the same message I want to send to you. Come. Come to Jesus Christ, turn from your sin. Believe in Him, and you may be saved. Render to God the things that are God's. May this church live sacrificial lives, because God is worthy.

Father, thank You for this time we can hear Your Words and ask You for grace to obey You. I pray souls will be saved this morning. I pray Christians will be encouraged, and that we would endeavor to live worshipful lives, not just to sing on Sunday morning, but every day making choices to die to our selfish desires, and to live in obedience to bring You glory. Bless each one. We thank You in Jesus’ Name. Amen!

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