1       Introduction


·           Jer 9:23-24  “… I am the Lord which exercises loving kindness, judgement and righteousness in the earth for in these things I delight.”

·           Delight (2654 Strongs) = to desire, have pleasure in, like.

·           God delights to show loving kindness to people regardless of whether they deserve it.

·           God also delights in judgement and righteousness (justice, what is right).

·           Judgement (4941 Strongs) = a verdict, a sentence, penalty for doing wrong.

·           God we serve sets standards and ensures there are consequences.


2       One Role of Authorities is to Set Standards


·           Gen 2:16-17  “… but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil – shall not eat.”

·           God – the source of all authority set a standard for Adam.

·           Setting standards is an important part of character training.

·           Standard = a rule, a law to be kept, a criterion or a measure.

·           A standard is a measure that lays out what is expected.

·           When standards/laws are not set each person becomes own authority – law to self.

·           Eg, Governments/Employers/Parents must set and enforce standards.

·           Setting the standards is the responsibility of the person in authority.

·           Note:  There can be no personal accountability without existence of standards.

·           Rom 4:15  “… for where there is no law (standard) there is no transgression.”

·           Rom 5:13  “… sin is not imputed when there is no law.”

·           Imputed = to charge to ones account.

·           God holds people accountable for those laws that He has set.


Example:  God explained to Adam clearly what was expected of him.

·           God’s instructions were simple, clear and understood by Adam.

·           This is how God exercises His authority!

·           God offers a choice with consequences.

·           God does not control (person becomes a puppet), He exercises authority.


Example:  Parents must set standards.

·           To train children, a parent must set out standards – what expected.

·           Since parents authority is delegated by God – standards should agree with the Word.

·           Instructions should be kept simple and clearly explained.

·           Parents should make sure the child understands, eg repeat it back.

·           Setting standards normally requires explaining penalty for disobedience.

·           What areas?

       (1) Obedience        (2)  Honour – respect parents              (3)  Trustworthy in word/action

       (4) Self control       (5)  Acceptable behaviour – manners   (6)  Family rules


3       Another Role of Authority is to Require Consequences


·           Ecc 8:11  “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.”

·           When there are no consequences evil becomes unrestrained.

·           When God sets standards He makes the consequences of disobedience clear.


ExampleGen 2:17

·           “… of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil – not eat.”  (Standard)

·           “for in the day you eat you shall surely die.”  (Penalty)

·           Justice requires that there be a warning of the penalty as well as set standard.


ExampleJohn 3:36

·           “He that believes on the Son has everlasting life.”  (Standard)

·           “He that believes not the Son of God shall not see life but the wrath of God abides upon Him.”  (Penalty).

·           God clearly sets out the standard for salvation and the consequences.

·           God requires the church to proclaim the Gospel of Salvation.

·           People have no excuse because there is a witness about God:

(a)      In creation  (Rom 1:20)

(b)      In their own conscience  (Rom 2:15)


How does God ensure that broken standards have consequences?

(i)      The law of sowing and reaping (Gal 6:7-8)

(ii)     The activity of demonic spirits (Eph 4:27; John 10:10)

(iii)    A day of judgement when all give account (Rom 14:10-12)


Delegated authorities must set standards and require consequences

Rom 13:4  “For he is the minister of God … revenger to execute judgement upon him that does evil.”

·           One responsibility of delegated authorities is to administer punishment.

·           Minister of God = a person serving the purpose of God in place of authority.

·           Revenger (1558 Strongs) = to carry out justice.

·           Wrath (3709 Strongs) = punishment, penalty for breaking the law.

·           Does (4238 Strongs) = to practise, perform repeatedly – not single act.

·           Evil (2556 Strongs) = what is wrong, bad, harmful according to some standard.

·           If a person is practising wrong doing – eventually they will be caught.

·           This is why justice can be administered firmly – they probably got away before.


How is the penalty determined?

·           Lev 24:17-22

·           God intends for wrong to be paid for by a proper penalty.

·           This also applies to accidental wrong or damage  (Exod 22:5,6,12)


·           The standard = what is right

·           The breaking of standard = what is wrong

·           The penalty = The right amount of payment to correct the wrong



·           Protection of property (standard) ̃ Damage ̃ Complete restitution including inconvenience.

·           No harm to human life (standard) ̃ Kill ̃ Capital punishment



Training of children

(i)         Respect for property (standard) ̃ damage ̃ restitution/clean up mess.

(ii)        Manners – behaviour to others (standard) ̃ rude ̃ apology/separation.

(iii)       Physical harm (standard) ̃ hurt ̃ pain.

(iv)      Self control (standard) ̃ laziness ̃ additional responsibility/loss privilege.


·           Rom 5:8-10 ̃ God’s loving kindness and judgement and righteousness.