In addition to the church and state, the Bible includes a third sphere of authority: the family. Each of these three play a vital role in the structuring of the Christian’s life. To ignore that reality is to ignore God’s design. To twist that reality is to abuse God’s design. As Creator, God has every right and authority to delegate how He pleases. Notice that God has delegated authority to the family, church, and state. There are other authorities, like employers, professionals, and clubs; yet none of them derive their authority directly from God. Moreover, these spheres of authority are not independent, isolated entities but assignments given by God and bounded by His rules, that may, at times, intersect in practice.
If we want to have a biblical worldview of government, we need to have a biblical understanding of authority. Do you see another word within “authority?” Authority grammatically and logically implies an author. To gauge the knowledge of doctoral candidates, many are required to author a dissertation, thereby showing their authority in the subject matter. This world has an Author and as such, He has ultimate authority over it. God literally authored the cosmos into existence when He said “let there be light.” More than that, He “upholds all things by the word of His power.” (Heb. 1:3)
The Westminster Confession of Faith, taking cues from Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion, sees two distinct yet related spheres of authority over mankind. One is the ecclesiastical sphere and the other magisterial. Developed using in-depth and faithful exegesis, this doctrine shows there are certain legislative and judicial powers granted to the church and to the state.