God Has Ordained Four Basic Structures of Authority

Romans 13:1-2 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

1. The Family

The family was the very first authority structure that God ever established, and it is foundational to all other structures of authority. Strong families will produce strong churches and nations. Weak families will produce weak churches and weak nations. Scripture makes it very clear that the husband is under the direct authority of God…The wife is under the authority of the husband…And the children are under the authority of their parents. This is the chain-of-command which God has established within the family. If this chain is broken or perverted in any way, if the husband resigns the spiritual leadership of the family to his wife, if the children are undisciplined and allowed to do whatever they want, then there will be serious consequences in the lives of that family.

2. The Government

Submission to the entire structure of government from the leader of our country, all the way down to the local police officers is commanded in Scripture. 1 Peter 2:13-14 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.

3. The Church

God has provided the leadership within a properly functioning local church to be responsible for the spiritual care and welfare of each member. Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

4. Our Employers

Paul, in Ephesians 6:5, writes, “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ.”

Is there ever a situation when we should disobey those in authority over us? Acts 4:19-20 infers that if we are confronted with a situation and are asked by our authorities to violate a Biblical command or principle, then we must obey God rather than man.