Render to God the Things that are God’s

Roman Coin

Matthew recorded an encounter between Jesus and the Pharisees in which they came to test Jesus (Matthew 22:15-22). They were trying to “trap Him in what He said” (Matthew 22:15). So they sent some of their disciples with some of the Herodians to question Him. They prefaced their question with flattery. “Teacher, we know that You are truthful and teach the way of God in truth, and defer to no one; for You are not partial to any” (Matthew 22:16). Though they had evil motives (Matthew 22:18), their statement about Christ was true. He taught the truth regardless of how some might react to it. We should emulate our Lord’s attitude.

Their question designed to trap Jesus was this: “Is it lawful to give a poll-tax to Caesar, or not?” (Matthew 22:17). They probably figured any truthful answer might be able to be used to accuse Jesus. They knew Jesus would give a truthful answer and not sidestep the issue like others might. But Jesus knew their evil hearts (Matthew 22:18) and gave them a truthful answer they could not use against Him. He asked for a coin that would be used for the tax. Upon receiving the coin, He asked, “Whose likeness [image, KJV] and inscription is this?” (Matthew 22:20). They answered, “Caesar’s” (Matthew 22:21).
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A Brief Review of Calvinism

We are not to believe everything we hear. John warned, “Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). We test the spirits (teachers and their teaching) by the inspired, infallible word of God (2 Timothy 3:16; John 17:17; Psalm 119:160).

Some of the most common doctrines in the denominational world fall under the heading of Calvinism. Calvinism simply refers to the doctrines and teachings of John Calvin and his followers. Calvin was a theologian from the 1500′s who greatly influenced the Reformation movement. He was a brilliant man, but brilliance does not always translate into faithfulness to God or one accurately handling His word (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:26-27). These doctrines are accepted by many, but are not taught in the word of God.
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