Although others have explained the three estates (church, family, and state) exclusively, the Word of God teaches these estates theologically and ethically. Each and every person, believer or unbeliever, finds themselves to be a member of each estate. The church was instituted in the Garden of Eden, before Eve was created and before the fall into sin. The family was instituted when God united Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden and before the fall into sin. The state was instituted after the fall into sin, in order to curb sinful outbursts by the threat of punishment.
God has established these estates not as a mean of acquiring salvation, but as both the means God uses to preserve His creation, and as the believer’s means by which living in these estates he gives thanks for God’s creation and salvation