Pastor and theologian John Piper recently gave a video message in which he discussed the Scripture passage in which Jesus says to “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.”
Caesar’s scope of influence is limited by God, Piper stated, citing Pontius Pilate’s words to Jesus: “‘Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?’ Jesus said, "’You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above.’"
"There is a limitation put on human authority and state authority because if any human authority tells us to do anything that contradicts what God tells us to do, we say no," Piper explained, citing Acts 5:29, which states, "We must obey God rather than men."
Nevertheless, says Piper, Christians are also called to submit to the authorities God has put in place, as Romans 13 instructs.
We do not submit to human authorities because they hold a claim to us, Piper continues."They don't. We do it for the Lord's sake. … Paradoxically, our submission to Caesar is seditious as soon as Caesar claims to be God. We don't ever go beyond the rightful claims of Caesar under God. … We always do it for Christ's sake, which turns our obedience to human authorities into worship to God."
Photo courtesy: Wikipedia
Publication date: December 21, 2015