Article 23 – Civil Government

Articles of Faith

23-1. God ordained and instituted civil government1 for the welfare of society, to promote and to protect the good and restrain and punish the evil.2 It is the duty of Christians to pray3 for those in authority, to render due loyalty,4 respect, and obedience5 to them, and to pay taxes and customs demanded of them. Where demands of civil law militate against the supreme and higher law of God, Christians should obey God rather than man.6 

1 The decision is announced by messengers, the holy ones declare the verdict, so that the living may know that the Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes and sets over them the lowliest of men. (Dan.4:17). 

2 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you (Rom.13:1-3). 

3 I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone–for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness (1 Tim.2:1,2). 

4 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right (1 Peter 2:13,14).

5 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good (Titus 3:1). 

6 But Peter and John replied, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to obey you rather than God (Acts 4:19).” Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than men!” (Acts 5:29).

Leave us a Comment.

Leave a Comment