Perkins: Believers And Unbelievers Both Need Civil Government

Objection II. Believers are governed by God’s Spirit, and therefore outward government by magistrates is needless. Answer. In the visible church, hypocrites are mingled with true believers, and they are not governed by God’s Spirit, but by the spirit of the devil. And therefore in respect of them, civil authority is requisite. Again, true believers are but in part governed by the Spirit for the time of this life. And for this cause, civil government is requisite for the ordering of the outward man and for the protection of the church.

William Perkins | The Works of William Perkins, ed. Paul M. Smalley, Joel R. Beeke, and Derek W. H. Thomas, vol. 2 (Grand Rapids, MI: Reformation Heritage Books, 2015), 237.


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  • Tony Phelps
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    Tony grew up in Rhode Island. He was educated at BA (University of Rhode Island) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He worked in the insurance industry for ten years. He planted a PCA church in Wakefield, RI where he served for eleven years. In 2015–18 he pastored Covenant Reformed Church (URCNA) in Colorado Springs. He is currently pastor of Living Hope (OPC). Tony is married to Donna and together they have three children.

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