Civil Government: Chapter 5 – What God Ordained with Respect to Civil Government (Excerpt)

Civil Government - coverSo, what function does God have in mind for today’s civil authorities? The New Testament answers this question. It sets forth the divinely approved model of civil government. The purpose of government — as stated by the apostles (Romans 13:3, 4; 1 Peter 2:14) — is to punish evildoers and approve those who do what is right. It is a government that is “not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil.” It praises those who “do what is good” (Romans 13:3). Peter wrote, “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well” (1 Peter 2:13-14, KJV).

God tells us to pray for civil authorities that we may lead “a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (1 Timothy 2:2, KJV). The word translated “quiet” is a word that emphasizes tranquility arising from the absence of outward disturbance. The word translated “peaceable” emphasizes a tranquility arising from within. While this is primarily a prayer passage, we learn from it an important function of civil rulers: they are to provide peaceful and secure conditions in which citizens are free to live lives according to divinely revealed principles of conduct and behavior.

The God-ordained model of government is one that:

  • Provides for the safety and security of its citizens (1 Timothy 2:2).
  • Provides an atmosphere in which its citizens may live peacefully, mind their own affairs, and work with their own hands, doing what is right for themselves, their families and their neighbors (1 Thessalonians 4:11; 1 Timothy 5:8; Romans 13:1-10).
  • Punishes those whose actions are harmful and detrimental to the divinely ordained function of society.

Any government that fails or refuses to follow this model cannot be classified as a God-ordained government.

You can read more about what God ordained with respect to civil government in Civil Government: What the Bible Says About Its Origin, History, Nature, and Role. Follow the link to learn more about the book and purchase your copy today!

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