Summary: God is not the author of evil. God does not induce anyone to participate in that which is sinful and destructive. When God places some burden upon us, he does so to bring out the good rather than the bad. When Satan places some burden on us or some obs
Let us Not into Temptation
To even begin to understand this particular petition the Lord included in the model prayer, we must recognize that there is a difference between the temptation that is initiated by Satan and the test to which God puts us.
God is not the author of evil. God does not induce anyone to participate in that which is sinful and destructive. When God places some burden upon us, he does so to bring out the good rather than the bad. When Satan places some burden on us or some obstacle before us, he is seeking to bring out the bad and lead us into something harmful.
The text has presented a problem to many people. C.C. Torrey translates it, “And let us not yield to temptation.” A.T. Robertson renders it, “Do not allow us to be led into temptation.” Phillips translates it, “Keep us clear of temptation.” The ancient theologians interpreted it to mean, “Do not suffer us to be led into temptation.”
By this petition our Lord, recognizing a problem that will be with us continually, encourages us to trust in God implicitly.
I. The Christian has to struggle daily to be victorious over temptation
a. It is not easy to be genuinely Christian.
i. It is no easy accomplishment to live a life that is blameless and without spot in a corrupt world.
b. Forgiveness does not assure the conquest of evil.
i. One cannot relax in the confidence tha the is immune to evil.
ii. The gift of eternal life does not eliminate our lower nature.
iii. The miracle of new life that comes in conversion imparts a hunger after righteousness.
c. Temptation will be a part of our experience as long as life lasts.
i. It is one of the conditions of our existence.
ii. Even Christ was tempted in the wilderness to do wrong.
iii. He was tempted to shrink back from his duty.
1. Temptation can come from the circumstances about us.
2. Temptation can come to us through those who love us.
3. Temptation can come from evil desires within us.
4. Temptation to do evil also comes from the Devil.
5. Tests, trials, even troubles may come in the providence of God, but they come to develop and perfect us and not to degrade and destroy us. (James 1:12-14)
II. Jesus encourages us to love righteousness and to hate sin.
a. To sincerely offer this petition is to experience a fear of sin.
i. Only a fool will treat sin mildly or lightly.
ii. It is never wise to be courageous against a temptation to do wrong.
iii. It is never smart to be overly confident in the face of temptation, “let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.” (1 Cor. 10:12)
b. A genuine desire for inward righteousness will lead one to offer this petition continuously.
i. A mortal hatred of sin and an intensive hunger after righteousness are basic essentials for becoming a genuine Christian.
III. A consciousness of personal weakness will cause us to offer this petition.
a. Peter was overconfident concerning his love for and his loyalty to the Lord (Matt. 26:33-35)
i. Consequently, he neglected to respond to the invitation to prayer and fell asleep.
ii. It was not normal that he should follow afar off, and at the moment of testing, he denied any knowledge of or relation to the Lord Jesus.
iii. There might have been a different story to tell if he had not been so overconfident.
b. The apostle Paul had a great fear of failure that produced a spirit of humble trust and rigid discipline.
i. 1 Cor. 9:27
“But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection, lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”
IV. We are taught to pray for divine help when temptation comes
a. God is our greatest defense in the time of temptation.
i. We must rely on him for power to overcome.
b. Personal defenses can be utilized for victory
i. Self-respect should challenge us to over temptation.
ii. Christian training and tradition can strengthen us.
iii. Concern for those whom we love and those who love us can challenge us not to yield to temptation.
iv. Scripture verses that have been memorized can provide us with inward strength.
v. The desire for divine approval can help us.
The presence of Jesus Christ assures us of victory if we will cooperate with Him.