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Scripture Reading: Matthew 22:15-22
Obligations of Citizenship
1. We are free in Christ to use our freedom for good, 1 Cor. 7:20-24.
2. Freedom brings blessings and responsibilities (Matt. 25:15).
3. What are the righteous to do when the foundations crack and crumble? Psa. 11:3 (1-2)
4. What the Bible says about obligations of (U.S.) citizenship and the liberty we enjoy.
I. OUR OBLIGATION IS TO SEEK FIRST THE KINGDOM OF GOD AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, Matt. 6:33; Phil. 3:20.
-Our citizenship is in heaven; Always obey God first, Acts 5:29.
-Cannot escape living in a sin-filled world, 1 Cor. 5:9-10.
-We must be the salt of earth | Light of world and use our opportunities and influence for truth and godliness, Matt. 5:13-14; 1 Pet. 2:11-12.
II. OUR OBLIGATION IS TO RENDER TO CAESAR WHAT BELONGS TO CAESAR, Matt. 22:15-21.
A. Submit to Legal Authority, Rom. 13:1-5.
-From God (1-2); Avoid punishment (3-4); Conscience (5).
B. Pay Taxes and Give Honor, Rom. 13:6-7.
1. Honor the police and obey our laws, Rom. 13:4.
2. Convict and punish law breakers (incl. authorities), Rom. 13:4.
C. Pray that Our Leaders Provide Environs for Righteousness to Prevail, 1 Tim. 2:1-2. (Quiet and peaceful, godliness and reverence)
D. Treat Fellow-Citizens with Justice, Matt. 22:39; Rom. 13:8-10.
E. Use Legal and Moral Means to Advance Liberty and Justice, Acts 25:11; 28:18.
1. The obligation to seek peace, not vengeance, Rom. 12:17-18.
a. cf. When “No justice, no peace” is used to justify mob “justice” and violence, we must seek justice and peace (Matt. 5:7-9).
b. Mob rule is wrong, Acts 19:39-41.
2. The obligation to vote.
a. How do we choose? “All candidates sinners” (always the case).
b. What is the candidate’s plan, purpose, and program?
c. Will the candidate, if elected, help or hinder righteousness?
-Abortion, euthanasia, moral justice
-LGBTQ agenda; Humanist curriculum in public schools
-Redefinition of marriage and the home
-Issues of self-defense (self, family), Lk. 22:36
3. The obligation to love our neighbors, Rom. 13:8.
a. Do good for others, Gal. 6:10; Jas. 1:27.
b. Even when they do not treat us well, Matt. 5:38-42.
1. Exodus 23:1-3: We find application in what God commanded Israel:
a. Do not circulate false reports (1).
b. Do not be an unrighteous witness to help the wicked (2).
c. Do not follow the mob to do evil (2).
d. Do not give your voice to pervert justice (2).
e. Do not show partiality to the poor (3).
2. We cannot practice evil and expect God’s blessing (Heb. 2:1-3).
3. This election season gives Christians opportunities to...
a. Remember our blessings and be thankful for them.
b. Meet our obligations to influence our country and the world for peace, justice, and things honorable in the sight of God and men (2 Cor. 8:21).
By: Joe R. Price
Posted September 17, 2020