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Matthew 6:9-13 “Deliver Us From Temptation”

Author: Dr. George M. Flattery

“Deliver Us From Temptation”

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NAU  Matthew 6:9 “Pray, then, in this way: ‘Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven. 11 ‘Give us this day our daily bread. 12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 13 ‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen .’”

More Thoughts from The Lord’s Prayer, Matthew 6:9-13. 

In the third petition of the second set, Jesus exhorts us to pray “And do not lead us into temptation.”  The Greek word translated as “temptation” can mean either “test” or “temptation.”  Briefly, we will consider testing or tempting in general, then discuss what Jesus means in this prayer.

In general, we know these truths about testing: (1) God does test us (Heb. 11:17), (2) God does not tempt us to sin (James 1:13), (3) God does allow us to be tested (James 1:2-4, 1 Peter. 4:12-13), (4) God provides a way of escape (1 Cor. 10:13).

When God tests us it is for our good.  Moreover, many tests He allows develop us in the Lord.  That is, they do provide we react properly to them.  If we react in rebellious ways, this leads to sin.  However, this does not mean that God has enticed us to sin.  We sin because we refuse to accept His discipline.

As used by Jesus in The Lord’s Prayer, the word “temptation” refers to temptation to sin.  This raises the question as to what Jesus means by “do not lead us.”  Most scholars hold that Jesus does not mean “do not lead us” in the sense of actively putting us into tempting situations.  Rather, as one Greek scholar puts it, the verb “lead” is a “permissive imperative.”  In other words, Jesus says, “Do not allow us to be led into temptation.”  We will discuss this further in our next “thoughts.”

More Thoughts from The Lord’s Prayer, Matthew 6:9-13.  

Last time, we discussed the petition “do not lead us into temptation.  Mainly, Jesus has in mind the temptation to sin, but there are many kinds of tests.  Now, He exhorts us to pray “but deliver us from evil.”  Although there are many kinds of tests, the main emphasis here is on moral evil.

Another reading is “deliver us from the evil one.”  The evil one, of course, is behind the evil.  It is always in order to pray to be delivered from the evil one and all that he may do.  When the evil one tempts us or tries to motivate us to do wrong, we pray for the Lord to deliver us.

There are many kinds of distress that may trouble us.  The devil is behind some of these troubles.  Other troubles are just a part of nature, life, and environmental conditions.  Some of these troubles are of our own making.  We can pray that God will enable us to overcome these difficulties as well.  Sometimes God allows us to walk through times of difficulty.  If He does, it is because He has a purpose in mind for us.

As we all know, there are many believers that suffer great persecution.  All too many are put to death by evil persecutors.  These people die without being delivered from evil in this life.  In a sense, they are delivered from this life and are placed into the presence of Almighty God.  No doubt God showers upon them the blessings of eternal life in a way that cannot be fully known in this life.  As for our prayers, we must continue to pray for the deliverance of those who are persecuted by the evil one and his followers.

George M. Flattery, Ph.D., is the founder of Global University and Network211.

Excerpts transferred from a series originally posted on Dr. George's Facebook.

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