Read the Westminster Standards in a year.
Confession of Faith
Chapter 23: Of the Civil Magistrate

2. It is lawful for Christians to accept and execute the office of a magistrate, when called thereunto:1 in the managing whereof, as they ought especially to maintain piety, justice, and peace, according to the wholesome laws of each commonwealth;2 so, for that end, they may lawfully, now under the new testament, wage war, upon just and necessary occasion.3

  1. Proverbs 8:15-16

    By me kings reign,
    and rulers decree what is just;
    by me princes rule,
    and nobles, all who govern justly.

    Romans 13:1-2

    13:1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.

    Romans 13:4

    for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. (ESV)

  2. Psalm 2:10

    Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
    be warned, O rulers of the earth.

    Psalm 2:12

    Kiss the Son,
    lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,
    for his wrath is quickly kindled.
    Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

    1 Timothy 2:2

    for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.

    Psalm 82:3-4

    Give justice to the weak and the fatherless;
    maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute.
    Rescue the weak and the needy;
    deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

    2 Samuel 23:3

    The God of Israel has spoken;
    the Rock of Israel has said to me:
    When one rules justly over men,
    ruling in the fear of God,

    1 Peter 2:13

    Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, (ESV)

  3. Luke 3:14

    Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”

    Romans 13:4

    for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer.

    Matthew 8:9-10

    For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.” When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith.

    Acts 10:1-2

    10:1 At Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was known as the Italian Cohort, a devout man who feared God with all his household, gave alms generously to the people, and prayed continually to God.

    Revelation 17:14

    They will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.”

    Revelation 17:16

    And the ten horns that you saw, they and the beast will hate the prostitute. They will make her desolate and naked, and devour her flesh and burn her up with fire, (ESV)


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Based on Calendar of Readings in the Westminster Standards by Dr. Joey Pipa. Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.