Of the Civil Magistrate.
Chapter 24, Paragraph 3.
“Civil Magistrates being set up by God, for the ends aforesaid; subjection in all lawful things commanded by them, ought to be yielded by us, in the Lord; not only for wrath but for Conscience sake;…”
1 Peter 2:17
Do you obey the laws created by the government? Why? Is it because you’ve always done so? Because you were taught it was what a good citizen does? Perhaps you obey because you fear the consequences. If those in authority over you did not have the power to punish you, would you still obey their laws?
The government of your land has been ordained by God. This does not mean that whoever rules over you may decree whatever he wishes, and you are to blindly obey. It does mean that whatever law in enacted, you are to be subject to it as long as it is lawful. The law of the land is not the final authority: God’s law is. Where do we find God’s law? His moral law is found in Scripture. To the extent that a law of a country aligns with the moral law, it is to be obeyed without grumbling or complaining. As Christians, our primary motivation for obeying the government is not that those in power might favor us, or to keep them from persecuting us. Our allegiance is with God, and we obey our leaders because we desire to obey Him.
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. -Colossians 3:23,24
Questions to Consider
- What is your motivation for obeying the laws of your land?