Jesus came to set us free from the power of sin and deliver us from the kingdom of darkness. The following is an excerpt from Chapter One of Setting Captives Free that outlines the freedom we are promised in Christ and how deliverance from evil spirits factors in.
We are promised great freedom in the Gospel of Jesus. The nature of our salvation is multi-faceted and the blood of Jesus is more powerful than we know. Consider Colossians 1:13-14: “He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” Redemption, forgiveness, and deliverance from the kingdom of darkness. Look also at how Jesus described how the Gentiles would receive salvation through Paul’s apostolic ministry: “…to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me” (Acts 26:18). Notice that while the verses above include forgiveness of sin, they don’t stop there. As amazing as forgiveness is, our salvation contains so much more.
Through the finished work of Christ on the cross, believers are promised freedom from:
The above is not an exhaustive list, but gives an idea of the freedom we are meant to have in Christ. And this does not even begin to mention what we are saved into. In Christ, we are a new creation, saved into a relationship with God, a divine purpose, and so much more.
While we are promised great freedom in Christ, the reality is that many believers are not seeing this in their actual experience. In other words, what they have legally they do not have experientially. So, we often reduce the Gospel message to only include forgiveness, and assume that we will live the rest of our lives in some type of bondage or oppression. We believe the lie that we can’t really expect to be free on this side of eternity. Instead of seeing freedom as the norm, we lower the bar and expect people to live in captivity, even using religious language to enable it: That’s just your cross to bear. It must be your thorn in the flesh. You can’t expect to really be free; we’re all sinners after all.
Do you really believe that Jesus died on the cross so that we could obtain relief from guilt but continue to be enslaved by sin and bound by oppression and torment? This is certainly not God’s plan. While we will not be perfect and we will certainly experience trials and difficulties, we are clearly called to walk in liberty. No matter what chains may be keeping you in captivity, this is not how you have to remain. Do not settle for anything less than freedom!
If freedom is the biblical norm and Jesus paid the price for it on the cross, why are so many Christians not experiencing the reality of this freedom? One of the simple reasons for this dissonance is that many believers are under demonic influence and in need of deliverance. Throughout this book, we will consider how casting out demons is a powerful way to set captives free and break chains that enslave. Without the ministry of deliverance, many people will not experience the full freedom that God intends for them to walk in. However, I certainly don’t want to give the impression that deliverance from evil spirits is the only aspect of getting free from bondage, oppression, torment, or affliction. On the contrary, there are various factors that can be involved and everyone’s journey is unique. We should be careful not to have a formulaic approach or assume everyone’s experience of salvation and freedom will look just like our own.
Like my own testimony, many people have experienced breakthrough and liberty from sin through encounters with God and deep works of repentance. Some emphasize the need for renewing our minds, being rooted in our identity in Christ, and believing and standing in the truth. Others highlight inner healing and restoring the broken places in our soul. Some have found that after a powerful baptism of the Holy Spirit, they were delivered from oppression and bondage that formerly enslaved them. Some are set free through a process of time as they immerse themselves in the Word of God and embrace the reality of the cross. Some have a deep revelation of the grace of God and experience the tangible love of the Father, and find that chains that used to bind them are no longer there, and they are free from torment and fear.
Everything in the above paragraph is valid, and we should be careful not to diminish one emphasis in order to validate another. An emphasis on deliverance does not invalidate the need to be rooted in love and established in our identity. Repentance and renewing the mind does not negate the need for inner healing or deliverance. Perhaps you were set free through the breaking of a generational curse, but that doesn’t mean that this will be the key for everybody else’s freedom. We must embrace all of these valid forms of ministry, and in fact they are all meant to work together. Let’s be grounded in the Word and led by the Holy Spirit, and let’s leave room for God to work in a variety of ways. While the main emphasis of this book is deliverance from evil spirits, be aware that everyone’s journey is unique and there are various ways that God brings freedom, healing, and restoration to people.
Setting Captives Free is filled with biblical teaching on the topic of demons and deliverance, powerful testimonies of those who have been set free, and practical prayers that you can use for yourself or others in need of deliverance. Make sure to get your copy!