Biblical Hierarchy of Authority

A lot of people struggle, because they are ignorant of what the Bible teaches about authority. There is a hierarchy of authority.


Biblical Hierarchcy of Authority

The Bible says that blessing comes from obedience to God, and everyone must obey authority. Lawless people and anarchists will receive God's judgment one day. However, God gave us brains to think too, so He doesn't want us to blindly obey authority figures either. A lot of people struggle, because they are ignorant of what the Bible teaches about authority. There is a hierarchy of authority:

  1. God the Father, and His commandments
  2. King Jesus, the Son of God, and His commandments
  3. Kings and all who are in authority and their commandments
    We should submit to them, pray for them and thank God for them, but not trust in them. (See Proverbs 24:21,22; Psalm 75:6,7; Matthew 22:21, 23:2,3; Romans 13:1-7; Titus 3:1,2, 1 Timothy 2:1-4; 1 Peter 2:13-17; Psalm 146:3; Acts 5:29)
  4. Written laws of kings and all who are in authority

From this we can see that we should always obey God the Father and God the Son. There is never any contradiction in this. In most cases, we should also obey the governing authorities. The only exception is when the governing authorities tell us to do something that God the Father or Son says not to do. It is sometimes a matter of jurisdiction. Authorities have jurisdiction over people to limited extent. They can require taxes and compliance with traffic laws, but they have no jurisdiction over our bodies and thoughts.


Jesus Christ said in Matthew 22:21, "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s!" (SCS)

The Apostle Paul wrote to followers of Jesus Christ in Romans 12:1, "Now then, brothers, I exhort you, in view of God’s compassions, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, satisfying to God—your intelligent duty." (SCS)

And in 1 Corinthians 3:16,17, he wrote to followers of Jesus Christ, "Do you not know that you are a temple of God and the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him; because God’s temple, which you are, is holy." (SCS)

Therefore, we should submit to Caesar when it comes to paying taxes and following traffic laws, laws about public assembly and laws about wearing masks, but our bodies are out of Caesar's jurisdiction.