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

4. It is the duty of people to pray for magistrates,1 to honor their persons,2 to pay them tribute or other dues,3 to obey their lawful commands, and to be subject to their authority, for conscience' sake.4 Infidelity, or difference in religion, doth not make void the magistrates' just and legal authority, nor free the people from their due obedience to them:5 from which ecclesiastical persons are not exempted,6 much less hath the pope any power and jurisdiction over them in their dominions, or over any of their people; and, least of all, to deprive them of their dominions, or lives, if he shall judge them to be heretics, or upon any other pretense whatsoever.7

  1. 1 Timothy 2:1-2

    2:1 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. (ESV)

  2. 1 Peter 2:17

    Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. (ESV)

  3. Romans 13:6-7

    For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed. (ESV)

  4. Romans 13:5

    Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience.

    Titus 3:1

    3:1 Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, (ESV)

  5. 1 Peter 2:13-14

    Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good.

    1 Peter 2:16

    Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. (ESV)

  6. Romans 13:1

    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.

    1 Kings 2:35

    The king put Benaiah the son of Jehoiada over the army in place of Joab, and the king put Zadok the priest in the place of Abiathar.

    Acts 25:9-11

    But Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, said to Paul, “Do you wish to go up to Jerusalem and there be tried on these charges before me?” But Paul said, “I am standing before Caesar's tribunal, where I ought to be tried. To the Jews I have done no wrong, as you yourself know very well. If then I am a wrongdoer and have committed anything for which I deserve to die, I do not seek to escape death. But if there is nothing to their charges against me, no one can give me up to them. I appeal to Caesar.”

    2 Peter 2:1

    2:1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction.

    2 Peter 2:10-11

    and especially those who indulge in the lust of defiling passion and despise authority.

    Bold and willful, they do not tremble as they blaspheme the glorious ones, whereas angels, though greater in might and power, do not pronounce a blasphemous judgment against them before the Lord.

    Jude 1:8-11

    Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones. But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, was disputing about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you.” But these people blaspheme all that they do not understand, and they are destroyed by all that they, like unreasoning animals, understand instinctively. Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam's error and perished in Korah's rebellion. (ESV)

  7. 2 Thessalonians 2:4

    who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.

    Revelation 13:15-17

    And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain. Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. (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.