Redeemer Presbyterian Church Sermons
The Pharisees pose a controversial question to Jesus when they ask him if they should pay taxes. Jesus responds with a revolutionary answer: He refuses political complacency, political simplicity, and political primacy. Jesus then models a revolutionary idea, showing his followers that the way to gain power is to give it away.
God has an infinite willingness to forgive, but forgiveness is not easy and comes at infinite cost. If we resist the work of the Holy Spirit, showing us where we're wrong and leading us to repentance, it is possible for us to deny God and put ourselves outside of his power to forgive. Only through an understanding of the gospel can we come to confession and repentance.
Jesus is the final Word and ultimate truth of God. But if we don't listen to and accept God's final Word, we can't have a personal relationship with him. We have to adjust to God's finalities, just as he adjusted to ours by becoming human and dying for us. This understanding should melt our hearts and change our lives as we become more and more focused on God and the gospel.
The modern critique of religion comes from Freud, Marx, and Nietzsche. Freud claimed that religion is psychological self-justification, that we created God to assuage our guilt and fear. Marx claimed that religion is a sociological self-justification, that we created God to exclude those unlike us. Nietzsche said that religion is nothing but a power trip, an attempt to use God to accrue power over others. However, Jesus himself critiqued religion and turned it on its head.