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Monday, June 23, 2008

Always at Home!

I learned yesterday that a professor at a Christian college argues that demons may invade and possess a Christian. He compares this situation to that of a homeowner who leaves his house unattended while he goes on vacation. In his absence, intruders break into the house and vandalize it. The vacationer still owns the house, but the vandals have taken over.

The professor’s illustration is interesting but completely out of sync with my understanding of pneumatology (the doctrine of the Holy Spirit). I believe we should not build our beliefs on illustrations but on the Bible. The Bible should be our sole authority for faith and practice, and I do not find one iota of Scripture that suggests a Christian can become demon possessed.

Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to His followers, and assured the disciples the Holy Spirit would be with them and in them forever (John 14:16, 17). Unlike the homeowner in the professor’s illustration, the Holy Spirit never leaves the property. In addition, the Christian does not hold the title deed to his or her body; God does (1 Cor. 6:19). He purchased you and me at the cost of His Son’s blood (v. 20; 1 Pet. 1:18, 19). The Holy Spirit resides in us and secures us on a permanent basis—“until the redemption of the purchased possession” (Eph. 1:13, 14).

Demons may assault us and even oppress us, but they cannot possess us. Let’s be aware of their limitations and avail ourselves of the resources God has given us to resist and repel them (Eph. 6:10–18).

“He that is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).

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