I Renounce, the World, the Flesh, and the Devil

Our modern world has an odd obsession with the spiritual realm. We are fascinated by dark spiritual themes, everything from the more fantastical zombies and vampires to the practice of exorcism, demon possession, and things that go bump in the night.

It’s a pretty strange thing if you think about it, but interestingly enough the Christian church has a pretty solid response to this sort of spiritual evil.

Actually in every Lord’s Prayer, we pray “deliver us from evil.” And it may surprise many Christians to remember that in Jesus’ prayer in the gospel of John we find these words from chapter 17, verse 15:

My prayer is not that you take them out of this world but that you protect them from the evil one

Christianity doesn’t ignore manifestations of evil in the spiritual realm, but neither does Christianity give them an unhealthy focus.

Russian Orthodoxy teaches that a Christian who regularly repents, takes communion, and is in regular fellowship will never be harmed by evil spiritual manifestations.

Christians often recite “I renounce the world, the flesh, and the devil” during baptism and at times membership confirmation.

Christians don’t shy away from the inescapable spiritual dimensions of life but we focus on the primary things: repentance to Christ, communion with Christ, and fellowship with the bride of Christ (term used for members of the church).

How does this teaching help you think about the spiritual realm? Why do you think repentance is so key to the Christian life? How can you enter into fellowship with another Christian today?

May The Lord bless you and protect you in each and every way,

Alexei

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