Give Everything to God
February 21, 2021
 The scribes and the chief priests sought to lay hands on him at that very hour, for they perceived that he had told this parable against them, but they feared the people.  So they watched him and sent spies, who pretended to be sincere, that they might catch him in something he said, so as to deliver him up to the authority and jurisdiction of the governor.  So they asked him, “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach rightly, and show no partiality, but truly teach the way of God.  Is it lawful for us to give tribute to Caesar, or not?”  But he perceived their craftiness, and said to them,  “Show me a denarius. Whose likeness and inscription does it have?” They said, “Caesar’s.”  He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”  And they were not able in the presence of the people to catch him in what he said, but marveling at his answer they became silent. (ESV)
1.God is our ultimate and supreme authority; He owns it all
New City Catechism Q.2 -“God is the Creator and Sustainer of everyone and everything”
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me.” — Matthew 28:18
“You are good and you do good; teach me your statutes.” — Psalm 119:68
2.God has instituted all governing authority; civil authority is God’s chosen means to govern the world
“He removes kings and sets up kings.” — Daniel 2:21
“You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above.” — John 19:11
“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.” — Romans 13:1
“The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; He turns it wherever He will.” — Prov. 21:1
“For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good.” — Romans 13:3-4
3.Be subject, for the Lord’s sake, to the governing authorities; but recognize that their authority is limited
“Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme or to governors as sent by Him” — 1 Peter 2:13
“Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed” – Romans 13:2
“We must obey God rather than men.” – Acts 5:29
“The state must be respected and its directions complied with in the sphere that God allots it. It follows that the state rightly collects taxes to discharge its functions…Those who benefit from the state are under an obligation to pay their dues to the state… [and] as we render to Caesar what is Caesar’s due, we must always bear in mind that Caesar’s rights are limited. Caesar has no rights in God’s domain. The Christian’s first and overriding loyalty is to God. This does not justify him in renouncing his loyalty to Caesar, but it does mean that the most significant area of his life does not belong to Caesar. If Caesar strays into that area he can command no loyalty.” — Leon Morris
I have a vision of the church as a people who are sojourners, strangers, exiles, refugees in this world. A happy, peaceful, loving people who will swear allegiance to a foreign king, Jesus Christ, and no other. A people who reside in every nation but whose all-determining citizenship is in heaven, from which we await our King and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. I have a vision of the church as the freest of all peoples in the world. Free from fear and greed because the kingdom to which we belong cannot be shaken (Heb. 12:28), and because our true fatherland is heaven (Heb. 11:16), and the city of our destiny has God for its builder and maker (Heb.11:10). I see the church as a free people because our minds are not conformed to this age but are transformed by the mercies of God, so that we are not enslaved by fashion or fad or any other form of covetousness. I have a vision of the church with strong desires not shaped by the persuaders of this world but shaped by the messages coming from the fatherland. O for a church with a single and radical allegiance to the king who said, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). — John Piper
Questions For Discussion/Application:
- Re-read the text, Luke 20:19-26. What initial observations and insights do you have from reading this text?
- Along with our text, read 1 Peter 2:13 and Romans 13:1-3 What is the general mindset and attitude these passages together exhort us to adopt with respect to the governing authorities?
- Re-read the Leon Morris quote above (under point 3). What does proper respect for the state look like meanwhile recognizing that our ultimate authority and allegiance is to God?
- Read 1 Tim 2:1-3. Consider taking time to pray for our governing authorities and that God would give us wisdom to relate to the governing authorities at all times in ways that most honor and glorify Him.
Questions For Discussion/Application (parents with younger children):
- Re-read the text, Luke 20:19-26.
- Summarize the story,
- What can we learn from this story? Read John Piper quotes below:
We Christians should be a humble, submissive people. We should keep the speed limit. If we are children, we should obey our parents. If we are church members, we should submit to our leaders. If we are wives, we should submit to our husbands. If we are employees, we should get in on time, and leave on time, and not fudge on what the employer expects of us. We are a people who submit.
But we do not submit because any human authority claims us. They don’t. We do it for the Lord’s sake.
- Why do we submit to authority ? For the Lord’s sake.
Christians are law-abiding people. We pay our taxes. We drive the speed limit. (Do we?) We keep our grass cut. If I get a ticket from Hennepin County, and they say, “You have too much debris in your backyard,” I don’t say, “Who are you to tell me how much debris I can have?” No, I just go and clean it up. That is what I do, and I should have done it sooner. My disposition is to comply.
But we never render to any authority under God absolute allegiance. We never give unlimited, unconditional obedience. We never say, “I submit to you because you are my final authority.” We always do it for Christ’s sake, which turns our obedience to human authorities into worship to God. – John Piper
- Print out this coloring sheet and crossword puzzle for your children and have them take time to do it.
- Read 1 Tim 2:1-3. Consider taking time to pray for our governing authorities.