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                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                 Our Duty To God And Country (12:13-17)

INTRODUCTION

1. Teaching in the temple on Tuesday of the Last Week, weíve seen...
   a. The authority of Jesus questioned by religious leaders - Mk
      11:20-33
   b. The parable of the wicked vinedressers, directed toward the
      religious leaders - Mk 12:1-12

2. Jesus is then approached by Pharisees and Herodians...
   a. Intending to get Him in trouble with the authorities - Mk 12:13;
      Lk 20:20
   b. Who question Him whether one should pay taxes to Caesar - Mk
      12:14-15

3. Ever the Master Teacher, Jesus easily dealt with their question...
   a. Seeing through their hypocrisy, He called for a coin - Mk 12:15
   b. He asked whose inscription was on it, and they answered "Caesarís"
      - Mk 12:16
   c. His reply cause them to marvel - Mk 12:17

4. The reply of Jesus reveals that we have responsibilities to both God
   and country...
   a. There are things that we must render to Caesar (country)
   b. There are things that we must render to God

[What is our duty to God and country?  In this study we shall review
what the Scriptures tell us about our responsibilities as citizens and
as disciples.  We start with...]

I. OUR DUTY TO COUNTRY

   A. PAY TAXES...
      1. This was the point of Jesus in our text - Mk 12:14-17
      2. Paul also taught us to pay taxes - Ro 13:6-7

   B. OBEY LAWS...
      1. We are to submit to the ordinances (laws) of the land - Ro
         13:1-5; Tit 3:1
      2. This we do for the Lordís sake, that we might silence foolish
         men - 1Pe 2:13-16

   C. FEAR AND HONOR...
      1. We are to respect and honor those in positions of authority
         - Ro 13:7
         a. To fear (respect) the king - cf. Pro 24:21
         b. Not to speak evil of our rulers - cf. Exo 22:28; Ac 23:5;
            Tit 3:2; 2Pe 2:10; Jude 8-9
      2. Even as we are to honor all and love the brethren - 1Pe 2:17
      -- Have you noticed that Paul or Peter never had unkind words
         about Nero?

   D. DO GOOD...
      1. We are to be ready for every good work - Tit 3:1
      2. We are to have conduct that is honorable before all - 1Pe
         2:11-12,15-16

   E. PRAY...
      1. To make supplications, offer prayers, intercessions, and giving
         of thanks - 1Ti 2:1
      2. To pray for kings and all who are in authority - 1Ti 2:1-3

[Christians are but sojourners and pilgrims in this world (1Pe 2:11).
While our true citizenship is in heaven (Ph 3:20), we are to be a
blessing to those earthly countries in which we sojourn.  Fulfill our
God-given obligations, and we will be an asset to any country in which
we live!  Now letís review...]

II. OUR DUTY TO GOD

   A. LOVE GOD WITH ALL OUR BEING...
      1. Jesus considered this the greatest commandment of the Law - Mt
         22:34-38
      2. Being the greatest command, I would suggest this is our
         greatest duty!

   B. OBEY GOD FROM THE HEART...
      1. If we love God, we will keep His commandments - 1Jn 5:3
      2. Jesus taught that keeping His commandments is evidence of true
         love - Jn 14:15,21,23

   C. MAKE GOD OUR PRIORITY...
      1. His will, His rule, His righteousness, should be our first
         priority - Mt 6:33
      2. Not only over our personal concerns, but even over our duty to
         country
         a. When there is a conflict between duty to God and country,
            God must come first
         b. As stated by Peter:  "We ought to obey God rather than men"
            - Ac 5:27-29
      3. This helps to answer questions that often arise regarding the
         Christianís duty to government
         a. Can a Christian vote?
         b. Can one serve in political office?
         c. Can one serve in the military or other civic duty?
      4. If such duties come at too high a price (i.e., placing country
         before God), a Christian must obey God rather than men
         a. In some countries, the price may be too high, and Christians
            could not serve in political office or exercise certain
            rights as citizens
         b. Other countries may allow for God to take precedence in
            oneís conduct, permitting Christians to participate in such
            things

CONCLUSION

1. Christians ought to be a blessing for any country in which they
   reside...
   a. A source of revenue, with respect for laws, and reverence for
      those in authority
   b. Contributing to the general welfare, through good deeds and
      fervent prayers

2. Christians can be a blessing to their country......
   a. When Christians render first to God what is His due, and then what
      is due the country
   b. When the country respects the priority that must be given God by
      its citizens

While those in authority might not always understand their proper place,
and expect more of their citizens than what is right, may we who are
disciples of Christ never fail to:

   "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesarís,
   and to God the things that are Godís."
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