Institute in Basic Life Principles

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Do I need to honor and obey my authority if he is unsaved?

Christian children, wives, citizens, and employees are not excused from obedience because their authority figures are not believers. We should do that which our authorities require of us as long as it is within the boundary of God’s Word. If we are asked to do something wrong, we should make an appeal.

Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord” (Colossians 3:20).

“. . . Wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; while they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear” (I Peter 3:1–2).

Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God . . . . Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the forward. For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully” (I Peter 2:13–19).

Learn more about the Biblical principle of authority >>

This material is adapted from the Basic Seminar Textbook, pages 37–40.

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