Possessed

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of his glory. (Ephesians 1:13-14, NIV)

Don’t for a moment think that Jesus never had a bad day. Only moments before the religious leaders accused Jesus of being demonically possessed (Mark 3:22), his family told him that he was nuts. (3:21)

After a few opening thoughts and observations, Mark gets right into the “ministry portion” of Jesus’ life, including numerous references to the casting out of demons in the first 3 chapters, alone. One thing we know for certain: “spirit activity” was kicked into overdrive when Jesus arrived on the scene. It must have been incredible to watch.

That the religious leaders foolishly claimed Jesus was possessed brings up a question I’ve been asked numerous times over the years: “Can a Christian be demonically possessed?” The unequivocal, biblical answer is “No.” And here’s why: a Christian is already “possessed” – by the Holy Spirit of Almighty God.

Paul wrote, “Do you not know that your body is the temple (the very sanctuary) of the Holy Spirit, Who lives within you, Whom you have received [as a Gift] from God? You are not your own.” (1 Corinthians 6:19, Amplified)

Make no mistake – Satan can oppress our minds and spirits by planting seeds of anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, depression, lust, etc. As God’s children, we’re not immune to allowing Satan to lead us astray. Think: Adam & Eve, Moses, & David. Moreover, Jesus actually addressed Simon Peter as “Satan” when Peter, albeit ignorant of Jesus’ mission, tried to talk Christ out of the cross. Mark records that exchange a few chapters later in 8:33.

It’s critical that, as believers, we understand that, once we’ve professed our faith in Jesus Christ – from that moment on – we can only be “possessed” by one spirit – the Holy Spirit.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick

Angels Would Give Anything to Have This

Because you kept on believing, you’ll get what you’re looking forward to: total salvation….Do you realize how fortunate you are? Angels would have given anything to be in on this! (1 Peter 1:9-12, The Message)

Intimacy with God through Christ. We have it. Angels don’t. They’d give anything, Peter wrote, to experience it.

Why do angels so long for this level of relationship with God? Could it be that they better understand just how much it cost God to offer it to us?

Pastor/author, Rick Warren, wrote, “When [Christ] paid for our sins on the cross, He became the door through which we can enter God’s presence at any time (Jn. 10:9). We now have a standing, open invitation to come into God’s presence and spend as much time with Him as we want. Now we can rejoice in our wonderful new relationship with God – all because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done for us in making us friends of God.” (Romans 5:11, NLT) “Because of Jesus our friendship with God has been restored.”

Friendship….intimacy with God. We have it. Angels don’t. They’d give anything to experience it.

May we live a life of gratitude, never taking God’s “friendship” for granted.

Soli Deo Gloria, Nick