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The Sixth Petition
“Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil”
The six petition of the Lord’s Prayer is, “lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.” This petition is placed at the end of the We-Petitions. The fifth petition of forgiveness is for past sins, but the petition of lead us not into temptation is to avoid future sins and the petition of deliver us from evil is for deliverance from present sins. Three petitions for us are first, daily bread for our physical need, second, daily forgiveness and third, daily preservation from temptation and evil. Luke omitted “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” He also omitted the second half of the third We-petition “deliver us from evil.” The former emphasizes autonomy and the other emphasizes heteronomy. Sin, temptation and evil are the factors that have to remove a daily. The Westminster Minster Catechism explains what we ask for in the six petition. The six petition is “lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. It means that may God lead us so that we may not fall into temptation and when we face temptation to protect us and deliver us from it.
1) Why the word “and” was used between the fourth and fifth, and the fifth and the sixth petitions?
First, if the fifth petition is autonomy, that is, forgiveness of one’s own sins, the sixth petition is heteronomy, that is, petition of temptation and evil from externally. It is about daily forgiveness and deliverance. The petition of salvation from evil and Satan is continuously related to each regardless autonomy or heteronomy.
Second, if the fifth petition relates to justification, the sixth petition relates to sanctification in the process of salvation. These two cannot be separated from the life of Christians after their salvation. This continues daily and can be documented in the process of salvation.
Third, the fifth petition is to ask forgiveness of inherited sins. The six petition is to ask for deliverance from the temptation and evil that come from the power and influence of sins by the grace, power and authority of God.
2) Why did the Greek use the word “alla” that was translated as “but” in English in the sixth petition of the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew?
The Greek word, “alla” was translated “but” and the Greek word “mh” as “not.” It is demonstrated as “not… but…” in English. The Greek word “alla” means but. It has been used to indicate contrasting meanings or differences between two phrases or words. When it was used between negative sentences and positive sentences, it normally means not only…. but also…. . The first half of the sixth petition was demonstrated passively and the second half actively. So the word “but” could mean only, although, and also. We can translate the sixth petition as “and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.” These passive and active petitions appear to be well balanced. They are our petitions to be delivered from temptation that can be so easy for us to fall into because of our weakness as that we are not strong enough to overcome. Therefore, the conjunction “alla” is an appropriate word to use in this petition. The sixth petition could be called one petition, but it is two separate petitions. At this point, it is possible to agree that the sixth petition is two different petitions because Luke omitted “but deliver us from evil.” However, it is also natural to see the petition as one.
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3) What is the relationship between the sixth petition and James 1:13, “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone.”
As there is no conflict between what James said, ”God cannot be tempted by evil and what Psalm said, “Again and again they put God to the test” (Psalm 78:41), there is no conflict between, “lead us not into temptation” and “nor does he tempt anyone” in James 1:13. If God tempts anyone rather than “nor does he tempt anyone” as state above, God’s holiness and goodness will be destroyed. In the case of the fall of Adam and Eve, God did not tempt them to fall. God does not test people with evil. “He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do (John 6:6)” and “Some time later God tested Abraham (Genesis 22:1).” There is a difference between what God tests and that God does not tempt.
(1) God’s tests come from God himself, it is from outside of the heart and they can have victory in God’s purposes. It is to train use in our faith. “But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold” (Job 23:10). The purpose is to lead us into a better walk that He is testing us temporarily.
(2) God does not tempt and it is not from God it is, from inside of the heart and from Satan. It is from man’s desires (James 1:14), it is easy to fall into and it is temptation. “God does not tempt anyone,” as appears in the phrase “deliver us from evil,” we see that when we sin, God does not cooperate with us. When we commit sins by falling into evil, it is totally our responsibility. Men are intended to shift their responsibilities and deny their corrupted minds (Genesis 3:12, James 1:15) when they sinned like Adam sinned. When they cannot overcome temptations they may even accuse God. However, men cannot always make excuses. James said, “but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed” (James 1:14). We should do our best to pray the sixth petition with a true and faithful heart.
1. “Lead Us Not Into Temptation”
The sixth petition, We-Petition, in Matthew is “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” which differs from Luke’s “lead us not into temptation.” To understand the first half of the petition, I would like to discuss the meaning of the word, “peirasmos” and “lead us not into temptation.”
1) Why did Jesus use the word, “temptation” in the Lord’s Prayer?
The temptation in the Lord’s Prayer indicates temptations from Satan. The petition, “lead us not into temptation” means protection from temptations from evil and victory against temptations. In the gospels, Jesus used the word, “temptation” in relation to the work of evil that wasagainst his work and tested him, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire” (John 8:44). The word, “temptation” in the Lord’s Prayer means temporary temptations from evil rather than tests to train in faith. We can know this through what Jesus taught at the garden of Gethsemane to his disciples, “pray not to fall into temptation.” When we see the second half of the petition, “but deliver us from evil” and relate the word temptation to “evil” we can realize that the temptation is from evil. Jeremias who emphasizes on the positive meaning on the Lord’s Prayer said, “the Lord’s Prayer is indeed not to preservation from temptation but to preservation in temptation” in his book “the Lord’s Prayer’s of Jesus” page 105. The sixth petition of the Lord’s Prayer is not only for preservation from temptation, but also preservation in the temptation.
2) What does the word, “temptation” mean in the Scripture?
There is a clear difference between these words test and temptation in the Scripture. Both originated from the same word, but their applications are different. Jeremias said that the word “peirazw” appears 38 times in the New Testament and the word “peirasmos” 21 times. The word for temptation has two different meanings. Even though there are some phrases that are herd to distinguish which meanings should apply, it is very important to understand clearly.
The first meaning is to analyze objects’ nature and intensity. It means that tests examine and prove men’s ideas, faith, true faithfulness, and loyalty. The test can come from God directly and from evil with God’s permission. Why does God test his children? There are many reasons.
(1) God tested Abraham’s faithfulness and loyalty, “Some time later God tested Abraham” (Genesis 22:1). In the New Testament, the author of the book of Hebrews said, “By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice” (Hebrews 11:17).
(2) God tests justly his people for good to examine who they are in the present and what they can do in the future. Jesus tested his disciples, “He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do” (John 6:6).
(3) God tests us to teach us that we need to always be alert and pray in the Holy Spirit. “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests” (Ephesians 6:18). When Jesus was on earth, prayer was the only way to overcome temptations. When we pray,God leads us to overcome temptations in many different ways. He teaches us the best way to go and leads us into that way. If you think you are in temptations you should pray right now. If you are facing temptations, you should pray right now. If you face some situations those can lead you into temptations, you should pray right now. God helps those who pray not to fall into temptations. But God does not help those who do not pray. Why did the Lord teach this prayer? Because there is no other way to overcome temptation, but prayer. There is not one life on earth who does not fall into temptation. God knows us very well. He taught us to pray, “lead us not into temptation” before we fall into temptation and also pray “deliver us from evil” after falling into temptation.
(4) God tests us to confirm the importance and value of to be spiritually armed. If we go into the spiritual battlefield without being armed, we will be seriously wounded. The apostle Paul specifically taught us to be armed for spiritual warfare to win, “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes” (Ephesians 6:11).
(5) God tests us to correct our lazy Christian lives. God’s passion wakes us up in the early morning. “Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn” (Psalm 57:8). “For it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: "Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you” (Ephesians 5:14). When we spiritually sleep and falling into laziness, God trains us by giving his permission to evil being or evil persons to do evil works.
(6) God tests us to teach us that he is waiting for his promises to be fulfilled and when we do our duties we can test God. In Malachi 3:10, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.”
(7) God tests us to teach us His wrath when we try to test Him with the intention of committing sin. The Scripture tells what happened to the Israelites as the result of their testing God; “Again and again they put God to the test; they vexed the Holy One of Israel” (Psalm 78:41).
(8) God tests us to teach us that God’s test is not to lead us into committing sin. God’s test to Abraham was not to lead Abraham to sin, but to test his faith and obedience. Abraham overcame the test and was called as the father of faith. So God’s test leads us to grow in our faith and train us to be suitable for the work of God. “The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold, but the LORD tests the heart” (Proverbs 17:3).
(9) God’s test is to teach us that we are students of the heavenly school on earth before we enter heaven. Schools on earth test students after teaching them to determine if the students are improving and the if the improved students deserve awards. God blesses heavenly students as he tested Abraham and blessed him with the title of the father of faith. As 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, “He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear” God tests us with what we can bear. As we do not give an elementary student high school level examinations, God tests us with what fits our faith and rewards us with appropriate rewards. When we gain good marks from the tests of God who is the owner of heaven and our principal, he will make our faith worthier than gold and we will have the true meaning of faith and true pride of faith. God teaches us the reason that he asked us to pray, “lead us not into temptation.”
(10) Men have to acknowledge God’s universal will through the test that God gives. All creatures were created by God and they have to be under his control. So, in this petition, we have to confess that God controls all tests.
(11) It is to teach us that when we give opportunity to sins because of our sinfulness, though God’s will is good, God objectively permits temptations. We are sinners who cannot say we are righteous. When we say that we are righteous and satisfied with ourselves, we can be in the same situation that Hezekiah was in (2 Chronicles 32:27-31).
(12) God allows’ his children to be tested to prevent them from being proud of themselves. Pride corrupted angels and made Peter say, “Peter replied, ‘Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will’ ” (Matthew 26:33). This is an arrogant act of showings off as if he hadreceived more grace and gifts than the others. The apostle Paul said, “And because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me-- to keep me from exalting myself” (2 Corinthians 12:7). Paul had a temptation to exalt himself when God revealed himself to him. The messenger of Satan then came to him and troubled him. It was some kind of painful tests to make Paul humble. God sometimes allows his children to be tested with pride to make his children His humble tools. A test, which makes me humble, is better than a duty, which makes me proud .
(13) God tests his people to give them opportunities to share their experience with those who are having in the same tests. Paul was a well-trained apostle in a fencing school. So he was able to share with others about Satan’s strategy (2 Corinthians 2:11).
Second, another application of temptation is to tempt men to fall into desires and commit sins. So, it includes tempt at us to do evil and attract evil. According to Jeremias, the word peirasmos was only used in 1 Timothy 6:9 to mean temptation.
The other usage means test and examination. However, the word can be translated in many different ways in the Scripture. It has many different meanings and can be translated in many different ways too. There is no word that could include all the meanings. The phrases in which the word was used in the Scripture can be divided as follow:
(1) In a case that Satan directly or indirectly tempted Jesus, the disciples and the believers (Matt. 4:1, Heb. 2:18).
(2) Pharisees and Sadducees tested Jesus, the apostles and the believers (Matt. 16:1, Mk. 8:11, Acts 20:19).
(3) Men tested God by doubting and denying (Acts 5:9, 1 Cor. 10:9, Heb. 3:8).
(4) Men can be tested by their own desire and lust (1 Cor. 10:13, Gal. 6:1, 1 Pet. 1:6, 2 Pet. 2:9).
We can see the word temptation was translated in many different ways in the New Testament. The word was used to describe the work of Satan, Pharisees, Sadducees and teachers of the law. Satan continues to test God’s children. Satan calls together earthly wicked people and tests through accusation and persecution to distract us from God, and attracts us with the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does (1 John 2:16) to make us fall away from God, leads us into falling in with the spirit of the anti-Christ (1 John 2:22) and encourages our depraved minds and spirits to make us stay in our sin. All these temptations are from Satan to tempt God’s people. The sixth petition is to ask for a victory over these temptations.
3) From where and how does temptation come?
The author of James said, “but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed” (James 1:14). Where does temptation come from? It comes from many different places. First, external temptation comes from outside. 1 Peter said, “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” indicates Satan’s temptation that comes from the power of Satan, out of our personality. The external temptation can be found in 1 John 2:16, “For everything in the world-- the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does-- comes not from the Father but from the world.” The external temptation comes from the world. Thecurrent world is called 3 S times: sport, speed and sex. This world strongly attracts young people through mass-media through their eyes. Drugs, alcohol, sexual crime, running away from home, divorce, passion for sports, vulgar ads, fast feet to sin, abortion, AIDS, homosexuality, common sex before marriage, pornography, etc are tempting objects from the world. Second, temptation comes from those whom I love. I fall into temptation by losing objective judgment, because of my own deep love.
This can happened between parents and children, spouses, lovers, or friends who have a very good relationship and teachers and their students. This temptation is the most difficult one to fight and win. Third, temptation from those who love me. I fall into temptation while I respond to all the requirements of those who love me. I lose my subjectivity when I respond all to the requirements of them. It is temptation I face whenbreaking the law, participate in illegal sexual relationships and respond to parents’ and relatives’ illegal requirements. Fourth, temptation from inside of me. The external temptation is easier to avoid because it is easy to see. But the inner temptation is not always obvious. I do not know when and how the inner temptation will comes. So I sometimes fall into the temptation unintentionally. The external temptation stimulates men’s natural instincts and attracts us. Major external temptations are sexual desire, material desire, appetite and desire of honor. Some are weak regarding material desire. They would throw away faith and trust for money. Although “for the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10), those who love materials would fall in to temptation, “when I saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylon, two hundred shekels of silver and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them” (Joshua 7:21) and sin. Some are weak regarding appetite. Esau sold his first son ship for food (Gen. 25:34). Those who worry about food for tomorrow, ask for more than their daily bread, and become slaves to food and forget God (Proverbs 30:9). Some are weak regarding at sexual desires. Samson, led by his sexual desires, become a slave of Palestine and died (Judges 16:30). Some sexual desires end up with lustful acts. David took Uriah’s wife. He could not control his lustful desires. He took another’s wife and killed her husband. The temptation from the inner heart through lust leads some to break the law. Fifth, temptation comes into the inner parts of men, whether they are strong or weak. Men’s vulnerable points are targets for the attack. Some have jealous hearts as their weak point. The jealous heart results unhappiness and pain that is like cutting one’s own bones. Some are weak regarding laziness. They do not know how to get out of the habit of laziness. Laziness is Satan’s strategy to cause destruction. “Lazy hands make a man poor” (Proverbs 10:4), “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest” (Proverbs 6:10), these verses well explain Satan’s strategy. Some are weak regarding mood. Particularly, some women are weak in this area. They have to be careful. Some are weak regarding greed. Greed is a friend of evil desires, all injustice, deception, drunkenness, lust, idolatry (Col. 3:5, Mk. 7:22, Rom. 1:29, Eph. 5:3). Some are weak at love of honor. Ananias and his wife, Sapphira were led by their greed. So, they deceived the Holy Spirit and were punished right away and died (Acts 5:1-11). Likewise, men have weak points. Weak points often compared with the Achilles tendon. Satan always knows my weak points and attacks me through these points. Sometimes, while I strengthen my weak points, he attacks my strong points. So, my strong points often become my weak points. Therefore, we have to manage wisely both our weak points and our strong points. We do not give any opportunity to Satan because we do not have to give Satan any opportunity to tempt us (Eph. 4:7). We also fall into temptation because we trust ourselves too much (1 Cor. 10:12).
2. “But deliver Us From Evil”
Introduction: the second half of the sixth petition of the Lord’s prayer is “but deliver us from evil.” Some say that this petition should be treated as a separate one from the sixth. Augustine separated this into two different petitions. The sixth petition, “lead us not into temptation” is a petition of future sins, the seventh petition, “deliver us from evil” is a petition of past sins. However, John Calvin viewed the sixth petition as one petition. Many scholars, today, agree with him. Metzger viewed the sixth petition as a category of protection. Augustine viewed Matthew 6:13 petition as two different ones, the first half is about the future and the second half is about the past. It is also natural to see the sixth petition, both the first half and the second half, about the future. We need not only forgiveness of our past sins, but future sins apart from our daily bread. A. W. Pink viewed the Lord’s Prayer verse 13 as the Grace of God that is given daily. He also applied this grace to the sixth petition and he said the first half is preventing grace and the second half is preserving grace. It is God’s grace that we are protected from evil and this gracious work can be included in this petition. The Korean translation of the word “but” shows a balance between the passive petition (lead us not into temptation), and the active petition (deliver us from evil). Therefore, the Matthew 6:13 petition is to pray for protection from falling into temptation and when we fall into temptation that is hard for us to overcome, we pray to be delivered.
1) What does evil mean in the Lord’s Prayer?
The Greek word for evil is “ponhrou.” The second half of Matthew 6:13 is not in Luke. The problem is the word, ‘evil.’ The question is what the word “evil” that appears in the second half of the last petition means? Is it an imaginary evil, or a personal one?
The article before the word, ponero causes the problem because its meaning can be different according to its gender, either masculine or neuter. It is not easy to decide which gender is right. If we see the article as masculine, it means the evil one, Satan. If we see it as a neuter, it means power. Tertullian, who wrote the first commentary of the Lord’s Prayer, and many church fathers viewed it as masculine, Satan. However, the western church father, St. Ambrose and Augustine viewed it as neuter, sin or power. John Calvin stated that both are possible and did not make any decision. Because of these facts, theologians today don’t have a harmony on this matter in their writings. English versions used to use evil, now it is the evil one. Chinese and Japanese versions use the evil one, and recent translations also use evil. Korean versions use evil. It is hard to decide what translation is appropriate. However, the word ho poneros in other passages such as John 17:15, and 1 John 5:18 was translated as the evil one. In Matthew 13:19, the word clearly indicates Satan. The parallel verse Mark 4:15 indicates Satan, and Luke 8:12 the Evil one. Most current New Testament scholars translate the word as the evil one. Metzger indicated that the petition does not mean being saved from evil places, but from the evil one. These two views are linguistically different, but the concepts are the same. Because the subject who does evil and makes one do evil is the evil one. It is natural to decide that the evil one is Satan because of the word “temptation” in the previous verse and the usage of the word in the New Testament. So, the evil one is not indicating an imaginary one but a real one, the evil one who is the foundation of all sins and evil. The petition, “deliver us from evil means both deliver us from Satan and sinful acts. John Calvin said that, “there is no difference understanding the word evil either Satan or sin. Satan is an enemy who seeks our life (1 Peter 5:8) and who is armed with sins to destroy us. So, we plea to God to be saved from all evil power that attacks us to destroy us.
2) What does “but deliver us from evil” mean?
We have already discussed that the word, evil means Evil and it can be applied both to evil ones and evil things. So, Thomas Scott said, “We need to pray to be saved from all kinds, all justice, all evil, power, darkness, evil power and cunning, this evil world, all its temptations, traps, anger, pride and to overcome all these, finally dismiss all these, from our evil heart, evil of suffering. How then can we apply the petition, ‘deliver us from evil?’
(1) When we pray “deliver us from evil,” we should pray to be delivered from the evil of sin. Sin is a vital evil from which we pray to be protected. How evil sin is! First, Sin is evil from its origin. Its family tree is in hell. It is from Satan and called as the father of Satan. Second, sin is evil from its nature. The Scripture mentions its evilness. Sin is evil from its nature. For it is against God. Sin is illegal (1 John 3:4). Sin is an act against God’s grace. It satisfies Satan and gives a feast to Satan. Sin is like a polluting object that pollutes all things (2 Cor. 7:1). Sin dishonors our children and us (Ps. 49:70). Sin makes people Satan’s slaves. When people sin, they become Satan’s slave and do evil things that Satan asks for. Sin is suffering that costs you a lot to achieve their evil plans (Jer. 9:5). Sin makes everything dirty and confuses people. So, there is no peace for evil people (Isa. 57:21). Third, sin is an evil in the sight of godly people. It then appears the most evil thing. Moses chose to suffer with God’s people rather enjoy sinful days, (Heb. 11:25). Fourth, sin is the most vital evil when making a decision by comparison. Let’s compare the most vital evil to death which is the price of sin (Rom. 6:23) and the judgment of hell after death. Look at sin and its miserable results. It appears disgusting and is unthinkable evil. It can be known when we look at the second death (Rev. 21:8).
(2) When you pray, “deliver us from evil” you ask to be saved from the evil of your heart and an evil heart. When we pray to be delivered from evil, we pray that the evil cannot make us sin. The human heart is the ultimate tempter. So James said, “ but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed,” (James 1:14). “See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God,” (Hebrews 3:12). It is not right for us to accuse Satan when we allow our hearts to do evil. We need to be delivered from all temptations to remove of evil from our hearts.
(3) When we pray “deliver us from evil,” we should pray to be saved from the evil of Satan, that is the evil one. Why is Satan evil? He is the first one who found evil and the first one who stood against God (Jn. 8:44). Satan’s character is only going toward evil (Eph. 6:12). Satan is a very powerful enemy and he is armed with supernatural power. He uses his power for evil. He is too strong for us to fight against him. So we need to pray “deliver us from evil” to seek the power to fight against Satan.
(4) When we pray, “deliver us from evil,” we should pray to be delivered from the evil of the world. We need to pray to be saved from the evil world (Gal. 1:4). Our gracious life that does not get spoiled by the world is accomplished by our prayer. There is a trinitarian trap in this world. They include physical desires, lustful eyes, and earthly pride. Earthly prosperity, luxurious living, utmost honor, and temptation for pleasure of the world are evils that take us away from God. Therefore, we need to pray this prayer that can reduce all these desires toward these earthly desires.
(5) When we pray “deliver us from evil,” we should pray to be saved from the temporal evil. The apostle Paul confessed that the temporal evil cannot cut us away from the love of Christ (Rom. 8:35). This means that the grace of God leads us into salvation in the love of Christ. We can absolutely pray to be saved from the evil of sin, but we can only pray according to the will of God and in accordance of the glory of God to be saved from the temporal evil.
(6) When we pray “deliver us from evil,” we should pray to be saved from all evil works. We face too many evil works in our daily lives. We should notice that those who do these things according to their earthly desires could not inherit the kingdom of God (Gal. 5:19-21). We should pray not to fall into these evil works. When we fall into these evil works because of our weaknesses we also immediately pray to be saved from them.
(7) When we pray “deliver us from evil,” we should pray to be saved from those who do evil things. Those who do evil things can be the ones who do evil things as Satan requests. For example, Pharaoh was an evil one for the Israelites in Egypt. Those who disrespect human life and destroy its value, and those who destroy the sacred human right, which was given by God, are all evil regardless whether they are businessmen, scientists, politicians, cultured men, industrialists or economists. So, we need to pray what Paul prayed (2 Thesa. 3:2) in the petition.
3. Attitudes toward our practice of responsibility to and spirit of “deliver us from evil” and “lead us not into temptation.”
1) Our personality and deeds can be modified by the holy word of God. When we have the word of the Lord, we can defeat any kind of temptations. In general, when the word of God does not control my heart, my physical desires and evil control it. The word is alive. It has power to defeat evil (Heb. 4:12). The word of God specifically teaches us of our practice, responsibility and spirit about the petition (Ps. 66:18). It teaches us about the type of evil: “Avoid every kind of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22). “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (1 Peter 5:8). “Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming” (Colossians 3:5). “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” ( 1 Timothy 6:10). “In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one” (Ephesians 6:16). It is needed to fully depend on the word of God to defeat the temptation of evil ones and to seek the hand of deliverance. A deep meditation of the word of God, “Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long (Psalm 119:97),” “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you (Psalm 119:11)” means meditate and memorize the word. Jesus who taught the Lord’s Prayer showed a good example by defeating evil temptations with the Word. When Satan tempted him he defeated Satan saying, “it is written” that indicated the Word, which was in his heart. He did not say, “the bible says.” The Scripture says that “write them on the tablet of your heart (Proverbs 3:3).” We have to be filled with the Word to use anytime and anywhere. We have to always read the Word to write it in our heart and keep it (Rev. 1:3). The true blessing of believers is not only material ones, but also defeating spiritual and mindful evil and beingsaved from temptations.
2) We should confess and acknowledge our total inability as it is.
(1) Sometimes, when we face temptations we do not know if they are from God or Satan because of our inability. Eve experienced this as Peterdid too. We do not know if it is temptation or not because of Satan’s cunning. It is our weak point, inability and problems.
(2) Sometimes, we fall into temptation without turning away from it while we notice that it is from Satan. It shows how weak we are. James said, “but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed” (James 1:14). We fall into it while we know that it is our desire. When our greed occupies us, we follow our desires. We follow our desires until we bear evil fruits while we recognize that it is evil. We should not stay near things that can tempt us because we are weak. We should not ask for them either. For example, it is like walking into the furnace fire and praying, ‘please do not let feel the fire.’ We should remember our weaknesses.
3) We should live our lives filled with the Holy Spirit according to the will of the Holy Spirit. The apostle Paul emphasized living according to the will of the Holy Spirit, “For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature” (Galatians 5:17). A life, which is according to the sinful nature, is a life, which is controlled, by evil. However, a life according to the Spirit is a life defeating evil temptations. In the Old Testament, when Samson and Saul offered themselves (filled with the Spirit), God used them. However, when the Spirit left them, they were handed over to evil ones and went on the way of death by evil spirit. The Spirit helped Jesus with his work and sent the Holy Spirit as promised. Jesus said to his disciples, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you” (Acts 1:8). Disciples who were filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, cast out demons and healed those who were disturbed by the evil ones. The Spirit is holy, true and contrary the sinful nature. However, the evil one is a filthy, lying sprit, tempting us to live an evil life according to the sinful nature and makes us fall into evil ways. The reason we should not fellow the filthy evil one is because after we have received Jesus Christ as our Lord and God, the Holy Spirit lives in us (1 Cor. 3:16). When we live our lives according to the Holy Spirit and nail our sinful nature and desires to the cross, Calvin said, that “when we fight against Satan, we need to put away our weak body and fight with the power of the Holy Spirit we can defeat Satan.”
4) We should look forward to rewards that will be given to those who defeat the temptations of Satan. James 1:12 promises to each of us rewards, “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” Let’s have a look at the rewards that were promised to the seven churches in Revelation. First, Ephesus was given words, “To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God” (Revelation 2:7). It is a promise that the life, which was lost in the Garden of Eden, will be restored in the new heaven and the earth and the church will eat from the tree of life. It means eternal life for those who repent of their sins and overcome evil and be saved from the evil one. It is glory and the reward of Grace. Second, Smyrna received words, “He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death” (Revelation 2:11). The first death is physical, and the second one is spiritual. It is the judgment that will take place after the resurrection after death. It will separate us from God (Rev. 20:6, 21:8). The first resurrection is to eternal life. According to the Lord’s Prayer, those who overcome evil will be saved from the judgment seat that leads to eternal death.
Third, Pergamum was given the following words, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it” (Revelation 2:17). It means that which is to be received is the sacred manna through Jesus who is the bread of life. In ancient Greece, the white stone was used to write the winner’s name on. It could be understood as a reward in heaven for those who overcome the temptations of Satan. Fourth, Thyatira received words, “To him who overcomes and does my will to the end, I will give authority over the nations-- 'He will rule them with an iron scepter; he will dash them to pieces like pottery'--just as I have received authority from my Father” (Revelation 2:26-27). Dashing pottery into pieces with an iron scepter indicates conquering and victory. Jesus Christ conquers all nations and destroys sinful natures that destroy us. We can defeat the world by praying to be saved from the earthly temptations by the power of Jesus. Fifth, Sardis was given words, “He who overcomes will, like them, be dressed in white. I will never blot out his name from the book of life, but will acknowledge his name before my Father and his angels” (Revelation 3:5). The white cloth was from Jesus and was washed by the blood of Jesus. In the New Testament, the white cloth always indicates purity and victory. The glory, which the saved will receive, is that their names will be written in the book of life and the wicked will be in the book of judgment. Sixth, Philadelphia received, “Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name” (Revelation 3:12). A pillar keeps the importance and stability of a building. The place of the winner in the kingdom of God is eternal and stable. As in writing names on the pillar, the new name of Jerusalem, Jesus and God will be written on the winner’s forehead. This is how winners become God’s. Seventh, Laodicea was given words, “To him who overcomes, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I overcame and sat down with my Father on his throne” (Revelation 3:21). This is the climax of the rewards for the winners of the seven churches. The reason Messiah is seatedon the glorious throne is because he died on the cross and destroyed the power of the death by his resurrection. Winners will sit on the glorious throne and praise the Father, Holy Spirit, and the Son. We have to have hope for the rewards for the winners.
We discussed the last petition of We-Petition of the Lord’s Prayer. The first half of the Lord’s Prayer, which is Thou-Petition, is not separated from the second half of the Lord’s Prayer, which is We-Petition. Because providing all our needs enough is the will of God in heaven and the coming kingdom on earth means that our needs are fully provided. To receive our needs in full, God asked us to pray with the promise of victory by saving us from temptations and delivering us from evil that can be a doubly secure system. All persecutions that the New Testament churches and apostles experienced are from the work of Satan who is the enemy of Jesus Christ and God. So the last petition must be a petition of faith and assurance that God will save us. In Didache, the early church people prayed the Lord’s Prayer three times per day and did not avoid temptations they faced, but faced them straight on and defeated them, and they sang victorious song like Jesus. In the sixth petition, there is a heart looking for the Kingdom and confession of which will follow God unto death. We cannot have our lives without temptations on this earth, because there is no one who is fully pure and holy that cannot be tempted. Temptations are hard but when we overcome them, they bring us good benefits. People can be humble and their hearts can be cleaned. Some face temptations at the beginning of their Christian life and others face them all the time. Some face temptations that are short and light. God tests his people according to their abilities and allows situations to save them. He also gives tests that we can handle. So we have to pray for his help. Under any temptations, we should pray in humility for God’s help as He is the almighty. We have to pray the sixth petition while we recognize our weakness honestly rather than dully. God saves those who spiritually humble and exalts them. Sometimes, even though your walk in spiritual purity and humility, if you see the temptation with a humble heart and pray in faith for God’s help, you will overcome the temptations by the grace of God. Augustine prayed, “Lord save me from myself.” It is a prayer that fully depends on the power of God. The survey I did for my theses, I asked for the participants of the survey, “when you pray the sixth petition, with what attitudes and understanding do you pray?” 80% of the participants answered positively that they ‘pray to defeat temptations and evil desires.’ This was the highest positive answer among all survey questions that I received from the participants. As I have mentioned in my introduction, it shows that we face the tests from God and the temptations from Satan all the time in our lives. So we need to pray for our daily protection by God. We should be in a place where we practice this prayer even before we emphasize the importance of the prayer. I would like to conclude this with Thomas Manton’s comment on it. He said that we should pray this petition in accordance with the almighty power of God. “You have to sincerely pray and do every good deed you can to get out of temptations. However, take and obey all tests from God with a joyful heart. If God continues to test you and does not bless you with things that you need, do not complain but lie at his feet for God is the Lord of his own grace.”
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The sixth petition
1. Why are the fifth and sixth petitions connected with “and”?
2. Why does the sixth petition start with “but”?
3. What is the relationship between the sixth petition and James 1:13?
4. What is the difference between tests God for forms and those God does not?
5. What does it mean when Jesus used the word, “test”?
6. How is the word, “test” used in the Scripture and what does it mean?
7. From here and how do temptations come?
8. What is the meaning of temptation in the New Testament?
9. What is the case of the test/temptation that comes through both humans’ good and bad points?
10. What is the meaning of “but deliver us from evil”?
11. What is our duty, practice and responsibility of the petition, “lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”?
12. What are God’s gracious rewards for those who overcome the temptations of Satan?
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