Can a believer be possessed by a demon? Can demons attack us?

Can a believer be possessed by a demon? Can demons attack us?
Possessed?  No.
Attacked? Yes.

Demons may enter the body of an unbeliever and take control of his thoughts and emotions but the Chrisitian is protected from Satan and his angels for the following reasons:

#1 Christians are indwelled by the Holy Spirit

1 John 4:4 says

 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

"He that is in you" refers to God, and more specifically, the Holy Spirit who indwells the believer since the moment of believing in Christ through the gospel.

Ephesians 1:13-14  In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit,  (14)  who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

#2 Christians are no longer under the power of Satan

Colossians 1:13-14  He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son,  (14)  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

But what about demon-possessed people in the Bible?

There are a number of examples of people who were possessed by a demon, but none of them were believers.  The demoniacs of Gadara (Matthew 8:28; Mark 5:2) are them most startling examples of demon possession.  These show us the extreme change that came upon them once Christ had driven the demons from them.  These were not mere problems such as "demons of depression" or "demons of mental illness" or "demons of alcoholism", but true possession of a demonic spirit.

Were Ananias and Sapphira possessed by Satan?

Were Ananias and Sapphira believers?  Yes.   They were true followers of Christ, who possessed eternal life and are now in heaven.  They were in the "congregation of those who believed" (Acts 4:32) and were involved with the Holy Spirit (v. 3), but remained hypocrites. They sinned under the influence of Satan.  Satan did not indwell or possess them, but he rather slyly suggested this sin of hypocrisy in their mind or heart.

What does delivered unto Satan mean?

1 Corinthians 5:4-5  In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,  (5)  To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.

This discipline of sin the Church is further explained at the end of the passage.

1 Corinthians 5:12-13  For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?  (13)  But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

Delivering one to Satan is therefore to put someone out of the communion, the protection and godly influence of the church and to let the believer live in the world, outside of the fellowship of the church.  He is once again in Satan's realm.

A believer can be attacked by Satan, as seen in the story of Job in Job 1:1-20.  He suffered the loss of home, business, health and family as a direct result of Satan's work.  Ananias and Sapphira were the victims of his mental attacks.  Believers must guard against his spiritual attacks (Ephesians 6:11-18) which are best combated by learning and holding to good doctrines.

Shad David Sluiter