Q: #251. Can a Christian be demon possessed?
By: Steve Shirley
A: It is clear in the Bible that people can be demon possessed (See: Q: #250). However, there is NOWHERE in the Bible that shows a Christian was EVER demon possessed. Let me make a clear distinction between those who are possessed and those who are oppressed. Christians can certainly be oppressed, and be influenced by Satan and his demons working outside of us, but not from inside of us. In other words, in a Christian, demons attack from the outside, but cannot get in. However, in a non-Christian, demons attack and CAN get inside of a person and work their evil through them. Christians can be demon oppressed but not possessed, non-Christians can be demon possessed.
Let me share with you some other Biblical reasons why a Christian cannot be demon possessed.
Our bodies are the temple of God (1 Cor 3:16-17)(1 Cor 6:19-20). When a Christian is born again, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of him. To say that Satan or demons can possess us is to say that they are dwelling in the temple of God. The Bible shows us this is impossible in three ways.
Light and darkness cannot exist in the same place.
(1 Cor 6:14-15) ....: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (15) And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
(1 Th 5:5) Ye are all the children of the light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
(1 Pet 2:9) Be ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of the darkness into his marvellous light:
(Acts 26:18) To open their eyes, and to turn them from the darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
A house divided against itself cannot stand and our house is occupied with Jesus.
(Mk 3:25) And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.
(Lk 11:17) But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth. (Also see: Mk 12:25)
We are God's house and occupied by God (Heb 3:6)(2 Cor 5:1-2).
Here are some other things to consider as well:
We belong to Christ and the Father and NO ONE can snatch us out of their hands (Jn 10:28-29).
In (John 8:48-49) the Jews were accusing Jesus of having a demon in Him. Jesus replied that He did not because He honored the Father.
(1 Jn 4:4) ... greater is he that is in you, than he that in in the world. If Christ is in you, can Satan be in you as well and be in control?
I have seen Christian brothers and sisters tormented over this because they have been told by others when they are struggling with sin or infirmity that they are inhabited by demons that have to be cast out. This is just Biblically untrue... Yes, a Christian can be oppressed by demons, and can sometimes open doors to this oppression by making unwise choices. Yes, a Christian can struggle with certain sins. In fact, I believe all Christians have at least one "besetting" sin that they will struggle with over and over, and the demons know our weakness in this area and will continually attack us in it. However, this is NOT the result of a demon inside of us that needs to be cast out, but rather, it is the result of a constant war with our flesh (inherent sinful desires)(See: Rom 8:1-13).
In the Bible, even Paul struggled with the "flesh" (See: Romans 7) and has this to say about the war: if we walk in the spirit, we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh (Gal 5:16), and, those in Christ "have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts" (Gal 5:24). (Gal 5:25) continues saying, "If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit." "Walking in the Spirit" helps us to stop doing that which we do not wish to do in our "new man" or our renewed, but still sinful, heart.
This is one of several things that the Bible teaches about spiritual warfare, and how to overcome sin and the powers of darkness that oppress the Christian. Again, however, we are NEVER told that the cause of our war is demon possession. Christian friend, if you struggle with sin, use the "tools of warfare" that the Bible talks about, confess your sins, and repent. Then, rest in Jesus. You are not carrying demons inside of you!