committed to historic Baptist & Reformed beliefs







The Philadelphia Confession, 1742


Chapter 25

Of the Civil Magistrate

  1. God, the supreme Lord, and King of all the world, hath ordained civil magistrates to be under Him over the people, for His own glory, and the public good; and to this end hath armed them with the power of the sword, for defence and encouragement of them that do good, and for the punishment of evil doers.1

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

  3. Civil magistrates being set up by God, for the ends aforesaid, subjection in all lawful things commanded by them, ought to be yielded by us in the Lord, not only for wrath but for conscience' sake;4 and we ought to make supplications and prayers for kings, and all that are in authority, that under them we may live a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness and honesty.5


1. Ro 13:1-4.
2. 2Sa 23:3; Ps 82:3-4.
3. Lk 3:14.
4. Ro 13:5-7; 1Pe 2:17.
5. 1Ti 2:1-2.

The Reformed Reader Home Page 

Copyright 1999, The Reformed Reader, All Rights Reserved