LAW 502-002 – Foundations of Law II


Civil Government

Any system of government and authority comes from God.

Principles of a Biblical civil government:

  1. Rule of Law

    Rule of law means a government is ruled by law, including both those governed and those who govern.

    This is a LONANG principle that must be followed by all nations.

    Biblical Examples:
    Prescribed Examples
    • Deuteronomy 17:14–16
      When thou art come unto the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, and shalt possess it, and shalt dwell therein, and shalt say, I will set a king over me, like as all the nations that are about me;
      15 Thou shalt in any wise set him king over thee, whom the Lord thy God shall choose: one from among thy brethren shalt thou set king over thee: thou mayest not set a stranger over thee, which is not thy brother.
      16 But he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he should multiply horses: forasmuch as the Lord hath said unto you, Ye shall henceforth return no more that way.
    • 1 Samuel 10:25
      Then Samuel told the people the manner of the kingdom, and wrote it in a book, and laid it up before the Lord. And Samuel sent all the people away, every man to his house.
    • Romans 13:4a
      For he is the minister of God to thee for good.
    Examples of Principle Being Violated
    • 1 Samuel 13:13
      And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the Lord thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the Lord have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever.
    • Matthew 20:25–26
      But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them.
      26 But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister;
    • Habakkuk 1:6
      For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation, which shall march through the breadth of the land, to possess the dwellingplaces that are not their's.
      7 They are terrible and dreadful: their judgment and their dignity shall proceed of themselves.
    • Judges 21:25
      In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
    • Proverbs 14:12
      There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
    • 1 Samuel 8:11–18
      • God tells Israel how an unlawful king will rule.
    • Daniel 6:8 & Esther 8:8
      • The law of the Medes & Persians could not be changed for any reason.
  2. Rule of Covenant

    A government can only legitimately rule with the consent of the governed.

    Covenant

    A covenant is a promise of a particularly solemn nature, with the force of law, made between a large group of people in such a manner as to communicate its enduring character and the highest commitment that the promise will be fulfilled.

    An infinite God, who has absolute authority to rule man by virtue of Him being the creator, chooses to rule man through covenant.

    Finite man has no inherent authority to rule another man and was not given such authority in the dominion mandate of Genesis 1:26–27.