Matthew 22:15-32

Matthew 22:15-32

First and foremost, we need to know the Word of God. It is not my responsibility to teach you the Word of God. It is my responsibility to encourage you to pick up God's Word and be responsible to study to show yourself approved.We hoard the things of the world, and we gain significance in the things that we have. We establish status symbol by how much our house cost, by how nice our car is. Isn’t this how people present themselves?… We establish status in this world based on money, based on the things that we have that money can buy, and it’s meaningless. It corrodes, it fades, it falls apart, and it goes away, and it is a hypocrisy for us to believe that those are the standards by which we should live. I’m not going to tell you guys, go out and give away everything you own. I’m not about that, because if I was about that, I’d say, go sell everything you own and then come and give it to me! But, I’m not about that. I know we live in a system where we need clothing, and where we need food, and where we need transportation, and we need a house over our head, but Jesus says in Matthew chapter six, “Guys, don’t worry about it. I take care of the birds of the air, and the flowers are adorned better than a king. I’m going to give you what you need. I’ll give you the roof over your head and the clothes on your back. You don’t have to strive for those things. Give to Me what belongs to Me,” is what He’s saying. Don’t worry about the things of the world. But so often we fail to give to God what belongs to God. My heart belongs to God. All that I am belongs to God. My career belongs to God. The direction of my life belongs to God. I need to be giving those things to God, and not worrying about what Caesar has and how I can hold onto it…

And this is the part I love the most. “Jesus replied, ‘You are in error because you do not know the Scripture or the power of God.'” You know why Christians fail in our society? First, because in our hypocrisy, we’re not giving to God the things that belong to God. Secondly, because we are in error because we do not know the Word. We assume! We assume upon God. We tell God what we want in life, and how He’s supposed to let us live life, rather than going to the standard that He set for us, and studying that standard…

One of the things I have to point out often is we do not set doctrine based on our assumptions, but we establish doctrine based on the text and what the Word says. So often we’re led astray because of our own assumptions about what something says. We’ll read a verse, we may misread a verse, or we’ll have heard it taught many times the same way, and then we assume that that’s the truth of it, but never take the time to dig in ourself and try to find the truth within the Word to make sure that that is accurate… Do not allow for assumption and imagination to direct you where doctrine is concerned, and the things that you are going to believe that lead to eternity…

First and foremost, we need to know the Word of God. It is not my responsibility to teach you the Word of God. It is my responsibility to encourage you to pick up God’s Word and be responsible to study to show yourself approved. To let you know some of what I’m learning. To go through this Word with you once or twice a week, but you know what? There’s more than two days in a week. There’s seven days that we walk with God every week. There are seven days that we need to be encouraged in His Word every week. Twenty-four hours in each of those days that we can be challenged at any moment by circumstances of this life where I’m not going to be there, where my knowledge of God’s Word is not going to be there. Where somebody else’s knowledge of God’s Word is not going to be there. And guess what? You still need that strength and encouragement from God’s Word in those moments. It is your responsibility to study to show yourself approved and to not fall into doctrinal error because you have not taken the time.

And then there’s the power of God. God has displayed His power so many times around us. That’s why we do testimonies… And the way you begin to know the power of God is by knowing His Word, knowing Him in His Word and through His Word, and once again, that is your responsibility…

It is astonishing to know the truth of God. It is astonishing to know the truth about yourself. It astonishes me even still today how little I know about what’s in these pages, and about how little I know about the truth of God and His power. It astonishes me. God still uses me. He’s still teaching me. He’s still growing me, and the more I pursue, the less I struggle in my life. If you find yourself struggling, you find yourself failing, you find yourself hurting, you find yourself trapped oftentimes with questions that cause you to want to flee from the Lord rather than walk to Him, I can tell you why you’re there. Because you’ve not rendered to God the things that belong to God: your heart, your mind, who you are, and the life He wants you to live, and you’re in error because you don’t know the Word of God or the power of God.

Pastor Dave Elkins