SPF 176: Government Part 1: Biblical Spheres of Authority

There’s been a lot more government involvement these days. What is the biblical role of government? Does government have to submit to God? In order to understand government better and answer questions we may have, we must know more about authority and the biblical spheres of authority. This is part 1 in a series.


There’s been a lot more government involvement these days. What is the biblical role of government? Does government have to submit to God? In order to understand government better and answer questions we may have, we must know more about authority and the biblical spheres of authority.

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God is the author of all things.

He created the world we know and live in by speaking it into existence.

And right now, by his power, he is holding everything together.

God made. God decided. God ordered. God rules.

There is a source of authority and it is God because He is the ultimate authority.

This is why it is appropriate to describe all human authority as ministerial – it is a ministry on behalf of the God who authorized it. This doesn’t mean the all human authority is under the church, but if it is true authority, it is derived from God.
— Pastor Toby Sumpter

God delegates particular authority to particular people in order to minister His grace and truth in this world, even through the “ministries” of police officers, judges, and city council members. In the biblical understanding, legitimate authority is a gift from God Himself for the good of the world.
— Pastor Toby Sumpter

The Three (public) Spheres

A quick note, one of them is self-government – our own responsibility to be self-controlled. Because of the fall, all man-kind is under the curse of sin and self-government is very difficult without a regenerated heart which is then empowered by the Holy Spirit to walk upright self controlled and godly lives in this present age.

Sphere No. 1 Family

Husband is the head of household and has authority and responsibility.

  • love and cherish wife, teach and admonish children

  • provides and protects

  • wife partners with husband as helper and completer

  • Ephesians 5,6, 1 Timothy 5:8

Sphere No. 2 Church

Pastors/elders are heads of the local church

  • Shepherd God’s flock well (protect, feed lead)

  • preach and teach Scripture

  • refute/expose false teachers

  • administer the sacraments

  • practice church discipline

  • 1 Peter 5, Titus 1, 1 Timothy

Sphere No. 3

Civil Magistrates

  • Punish the bad

  • Praise the Good

  • collect taxes for these works

  • judges judge without partiality

  • Romans 13, 1 Peters 5

So how do civil magistrates know what is bad and what is good?

They need the Word of God. That is the only source of truth that will teach what is truly good and truly bad. Otherwise who is to say what is good or bad? Who has the authority on morals? Our government this year certainly has taken it upon themselves to tell people what’s good and bad according to who knows what. I’m not sure, but with abortion and riots and overreach with church closures among other things, but it certainly looks like good is bad and bad is good just like we learn what happens under judgement in Isaiah.

Our government needs Jesus. They need to know their authority comes from God to do HIS good works. And these works are defined in Scripture.


All authority is from God for God’s purposes.

There are biblical spheres of authority with specific duties.

These duties are limited.

Everyone has a Lord and it’s Jesus whether they submit to his authority or not.

They will all be held accountable to His standards at judgment.


Pray for you leaders.

Pray for your husbands.

Pray for your pastors.


SPF 046: The Myth of Neutrality: http://www.sheprovesfaithful.com/podcast/episode46

Crosspolitic Blog Post: Primer on God’s Ordained Spheres of Authority https://crosspolitic.com/a-brief-primer-on-gods-ordained-spheres-of-authority/

Christ in Culture: Resist Like a Christian talk at New City Church: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqTcSdgkn0c

Fight Laugh Feast Conference: https://flfnetwork.com/rally/

Crosspoliltic Show: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4uUKeRmjQQbtgXYeZYmofg

Gab Interview on Crosspolitic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tibZCyLPHO8

God and the State: Sword and Trowel Podcast (have not listened to this one yet but on my playlist): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8adQZJgwQc

Blog and Mablog – one of my favorite blogs in discerning the times: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsagG7NrNpY&list=PLaUso8l3U_ddPMKd0suZBVwYcPz5FU1F8


Slaying Leviathan – Glenn S. Sunshine

The Doctrine of Lesser Magistrates – Matthew Truhella

The Law – Fredrick Bastiat

(amazon links are affiliate links)

The Law

By Bastiat, Frederic


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