Exorcism is common in the New Testament, by both Jesus and the disciples.

But the main theme in the Old and New Testaments is to repent and change your ways; then God will heal you and bless you. And when Jesus kicked the demon out He said: Sin no more, so it won't get worse. So you can see that sin is in the picture here, and Jesus did teach the Jews to repent.

But I don't see anyone repenting before the exorcism; there is just a question of faith. Maybe one will see this answer if you study the Law or see the red line from the first book of the Bible until the last. But from just looking at the New Testament, I find it hard to understand.

Do you need to repent to get the demon out, or not?

  • 1
    Welcome to Christianity.SE. For a quick overview, please take the Site Tour. Thanks for asking a question here. However, as it is now, it's too broad and opinion-based for this site. For it to work here, you'd need to specify the Christian denomination whose answer you want. See: What topics can I ask about here? and: How we are different than other sites. – Lee Woofenden Mar 5 '16 at 13:38
  • There are different views on this, meaning that the answer you get will vary greatly based on whom you ask. If you can clarify which perspective you're seeking, it may be possible to re-open this question and get a good answer. – Flimzy Mar 6 '16 at 20:38

The short answer is yes. But it is not as simple as that either. From a Catholic view point I am going to let Fr. Gabriele Amorth,the head exorcist for the Diocese of Rome answer your question. Other denominations will see things somewhat differently.

Fr. Gabriele Amorth in his in his book An Exorcist Tells His Story (1999) gives a Catholic viewpoint of how Christians can fall victims to the powers of evil (pages 56-60).

  • With God's Permission.
  • When we are subject to an evil spell.
  • A grave and hardened state of sin.
  • Association with evil people and places.

"It is almost redundant to say that in all these stages, the way to healing can begin only with a sincere conversion (page 59)." - Fr. Amorth.

"At the root, the true cause is always a lack of faith." (page 58).

In his second book An Exorcist More Stories (2002), chapter 10 (Questions and Answers), page 195, Fr. Gabriele Amorth writes from the viewpoint of the sacrament of confession as being helpful in liberation from evil:

My pastor claims that the best exorcism is confession?

"He is right. It is the most direct means to fight Satan, because it is the sacrament that tears souls from the demon's grasp, strengthens against sin, unites us more closely to God, and helps to conform our souls increasingly to the divine will. I advise frequent confession, possibly weekly, to all victims of evil activities"

Once again this is only a Catholic perspective, as other denomination view this subject differently.

| improve this answer | |
  • Anecdotally, I have support for this position. I witnessed an exorcism. It consisted of a Christian merely sharing the gospel with the (obviously) possessed. When the possessed accepted Jesus, the demon left. We could see the demon's face slightly pressed out of the possessed's face, getting weaker and weaker until the possessed's face remained. – Steve Mar 6 '16 at 14:26

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.