God has established three jurisdictions or spheres of authority on earth.

Understanding jurisdictions is essential for establishing a biblical worldview.

Biblical jurisdictions are created, defined and upheld by the Law-Word of God found in the Scripture.

Three Jurisdictions Chart





Purpose / Mission

Be fruitful and multiply / take dominion of the earth (Genesis 1:26-28)

Families produce human life.

Go make disciples of all nations...teaching them to observe all things (Matt. 28:19-20)

Churches produce spiritual life.

Sent for the punishment of evildoers and praise of those who do good. (1 Peter 2:14)

State protects life.

Appointed Authority

(Ephesians 5:23; 6:4)

Elders (Titus 1)
Spiritual Leaders (Hebrews 13:17)

Civil magistrates (Romans 13:1-7)

Required Response

Honor Fathers / Parents
(Ephesians 6:2)

Honor Elders
(1 Timothy 5:17)

Honor Rulers
(Romans 13:7)


Given the powers of the rod, rebuke, education, and instruction (Pr. 29:15).

Summarized: ROD

Given the power of the keys (church discipline), rebuke and instruction (Matthew 18).

Summarized: KEYS

Praise those who do good, power of the sword to kill, tax, and apply justice (Romans 13:1-7).

Summarized: SWORD

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