Repentance is not deliverance. Let me explain. One of the most common things that people say to me about being delivered from the devil is this: “I’ve repented of my sins, so why do I still need to be delivered from sin?” It’s a fair question that results from a misunderstanding about the two words “repentance” and “deliverance.”
First, when you receive what we call deliverance, you aren’t being delivered from your sin. You are being delivered from the consequences of your sin. Your sins are forgiven by the blood of Jesus. Psalm 103:11 declares, “For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” Repentance is acknowledging your sin and turning away from it. You recognize that your sin has separated you from God and you receive His grace to have real freedom in Christ. Repentance isn’t something you do because you’ve earned God’s favor. Ephesians 2:8-9 puts it this way: “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.” Put simply, repentance is godly sorrow over your sins so that you trust in the salvation of Christ through the Cross.
Deliverance is what you do AFTER you’ve been saved. It is a form of what we call sanctification, the process of growing closer to Christ and being separated unto Him. It involves not only your conversion to Christ but also your moral transformation. If you are on a path of drawing nearer to the Lord, Satan isn’t going to like it. If you have leftover demons as a consequence of your life before the Lord, they are going to kick back. That’s when you need Jesus, not only as your Savior, but also your Deliverer!
Repentance is what you do to become born again. Deliverance is what you do to walk victoriously with Christ, unhindered by curses and tormenting spirits because of your past iniquities, evil indulgences, and unsavory soul ties. As you pursue deliverance to shed any entanglements from your life of sin, or those bloodline curses of your forebears, any demons who are squatters now living where they don’t belong, have to go. They must be renounced and cast out. That requires an exorcism to complete the deliverance process.
So, to be clear, repentance leads you to salvation. Deliverance leads you into greater spiritual liberation and spiritual power. So, which do you want? Being saved but still carrying around spiritual junk in your trunk? Of do you want to repent and be delivered to be all that Christ intends you to be. And remember, you can’t repent until you are sorry for your sin. And you can’t be delivered until you’ve repented. It isn’t either/or. You need both!