Q: I was always taught that Christ and demons cannot live together in the heart once you are born again. How can you explain your teaching that a demon and Christ can live in the same heart?
A: My answer is that in this life in which we live, we must always hold a proper balance between our “position in Christ”, and the outworking of that same position in Christ. Positionally, we are seated with Christ right now in heavenly places (Ephesians 2:6). We rule and reign with Christ. But in terms of the outworking of that position, we don’t always see that authority realized (there are many cases of people who have fallen into sin who have “lost” their authority before God, yet as Christians, they are still “seated with Christ in heavenly places”). So we see this struggle between our “position” in Christ, and the outworking of that position. That is what is meant when Paul talks about the need to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling”, as he writes in Philippians 2:12. It is not that we are not saved, but it is that the sanctification process has yet to be completed in each and every one of us (until we reach heaven, and that goes for all of us!). From a practical standpoint, then, we must confess, “we are not as perfect as our position in Christ indicates we are.” We are seated with Christ in heavenly places, and yet inwardly, we “groan” (Romans 8:23, 2 Corinthians 5:2). As such, we are open to demonic attack. (And as such, in heaven, we will be free from demonic attack.)
Another example between our “position” in Christ and the outworking of that position is found in 2 Corinthians 6:14, where we read, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” In this case, Paul is saying, “Don’t do it. Don’t get married to an unbeliever.” That is, he knows that, positionally, as Christians, we are seated with Christ in heavenly places. If that is the case, then we should not also be married to a person who does not believe in Christ, for that would be contradictory — it would cause unnecessary problems in our relationship. Paul is writing from the standpoint of our position in Christ. As disciples of Christ, it is foolish to marry a non-believer. However, does that mean it’s impossible to do so? No, it is obviously quite possible to marry an unbeliever. Christians (unfortunately), do it all the time. In the same way, a believer’s heart should be pure, and holy, and blameless. That is our “position in Christ.” But in terms of the outworking of our salvation (see Philippians 2:12 quoted above), “Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?” (Proverbs 20:9) If then, we are not entirely pure, if we sin, if we stumble, can we then not be affected by a demon?