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Summary: When you and I pray: "deliver us from the evil one" we are admitting that thkis life is a struggle with an evil spiritual enemy who opposes us and the work of Christ in our midst. May God grant us faith and spiritual gifts for the ongoing spiritual warfa

In Jesus Holy Name May 27, 2007

Text: Matthew 6:13 Easter VII - Redeemer

“Deliver Us from the Evil One”

6th in the Series: “Prayer: Connecting to Our Father”

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The words in Matthew that we just shared are a correct translation of the Greek text. When you and I pray: “deliver us from the evil one”, we are admitting that this life is a struggle with an evil spiritual enemy who opposes us and the work of Christ in our midst.

The Lord’s Prayer recognizes evil as a deadly fact. Josh McDowell in his book “Understanding the Occult” writes: According two the bible there is a supernatural warfare going on. ‘For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of darkness…against the spiritual forces of wickedness… (Eph. 6:12) This ongoing battle is between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of Satan. The apostle John gives one of the reasons for Jesus coming to earth: “The son of God appeared to destroy the works of the devil.” (I John 3:8) (read) (Also read Mark 1:21ff)

Unfortunately many Christians do not stop to consider that we are engaged in spiritual warfare. Part of the problem is that we live in a culture that seeks to fictionalize the existence of the “Evil One.”

According to the Barna Research Group 60% of Americans do not believe Satan to be a living being…. The modern world view has made it socially dangerous to admit belief in demonic spiritual powers, but Jesus had no problem talking & confronting Satan’s activity in the world. Our culture resolutely refuses to believe in the real existence of evil while our newspapers are filled with a flood of immorality, violence, drug abuse, slavery, and behaviors that destroy human life.

As eastern and New Age religions take a firmer hold on the American soul there is a growing body of people who believe in demonic powers…and so we see the rise of the Church of Satan. The U.S. Army even has a chaplain for the Church of Satan. Muslins and Hindus have no problem believing in the reality of an evil spiritual force. Anglican Michael Green observes. “It would be broadly true to say that disbelief in the devil is a characteristic only of materialistic Western Christendom.”

The bible tells us that there “was a war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon … and the great dragon was hurled down to earth, that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan who leads the world astray.” (Rev. 12:9)

The purpose of the devil is to make us scorn and despise both the Word and works of God. His desire is to tear us away from the worship and love of God and draw us to unbelief, drive us to despair, atheism and other sins.

In the beginning, mankind was originally given authority over the Creation. God said: “let us make mankind in our image, after our likeness and let him have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle and over all the earth.” God’s grant of authority and dominion over the earth to mankind was a bona fide gift. His world is ruled by law and the laws of nature.

When Adam and Eve “fumbled the gift” and lost it by giving in to Satan’s temptation, they lost their legal rights and Satan now holds people in his grip of the fear of death.

The arrival of Jesus, the visible presence of the invisible God is how God the Father chose to reverse the curse of sin and death. Jesus was an authentic member of the human race, born of a virgin, conceived by the Holy Spirit, he lived a perfectly moral life and never sinned. (Col. 1:15 & Heb. 4:14,15)

Satan’s plan and strategy was to persuade or compel Jesus to disobey God the Father and Creator. The destiny of the world hung in the balance.

From Bethlehem to Calvary the spiritual war raged. Satan sought the death of Jesus, as an infant in Bethlehem, using Herod the Great to carry out his plan. In the wilderness Satan tempted Jesus three times, the third temptation was a blatant offer of power. (read Matthew 4:8-11)

Jesus was keenly aware of the spiritual battle that He was engaged in on earth as he accomplished the will of the Father. Satan was offering Jesus a short cut to glory. Jesus overcame the temptation with the “word of God.”

Through the influence of Satan the Pharisees and Scribes constantly challenged Jesus’ authority. Matthew chapter 12 records this event. “the people brought to Jesus a demon possessed man who was both blind and mute and Jesus healed him. (read the text – Matthew 12:25-29)

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