Summary: This sermon examines the first part of the sixth petition of our Lord’s Pattern for Prayer, "And don't let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one", seeking to explore our need for God's help in not yielding to temptation.
A PATTERN FOR PRAYER
"The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’ ” “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves. When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.” “Who told you that you were naked?” the Lord God asked. “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?” The man replied, “It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.” Then the Lord God asked the woman, “What have you done?” “The serpent deceived me,” she replied. “That’s why I ate it.”" (Genesis 3:1-13, NLT)
"And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one." (Matthew 6:13, NLT)
A young man went into a chemist to buy 3 boxes of chocolates: one small, one medium, and one large. When the pharmacist asked him about the three boxes, he replied, “Well, I’m going over to a new girlfriend’s house for supper tonight. Then we’re going out. If she only lets me hold her hand, I’ll give her the small box. If she lets me kiss her on the cheek, then I’ll give her the medium box. But if she really lets me kiss her seriously, I’ll give her the big box.” He made his purchase and left.
That evening as he sat down at dinner with his girlfriend’s family, he asked if he could say the prayer before the meal. He began to pray. He prayed an earnest, heartfelt, intense prayer that lasted for almost five minutes. When he finished his girlfriend whispered to him, “You never told me that you were such a spiritual person.” He replied, “And you never told me that your dad was a pharmacist!”
We are living in a world today where it is not difficult to get yourself into trouble. We are continually bombarded with temptations to transgress. There is seemingly no escape for a sincere believer seeking to live a godly life before God. All around us we are assailed by the moral and emotional upheaval of a society in which anything goes! It seems that moral and ethical norms are at an all time low!
Never before so it seems, is the urgency so great for believers to be praying the sixth petition of our Lord’s Pattern for Prayer.
"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." (Matthew 6:13, ESV)
THUS FAR in the Pattern for Prayer...
OUR LORD HAS FOCUSED OUR ATTENTION ON:
Thus far in the Pattern for Prayer … OUR LORD
HAS FOCUSED OUR ATTENTION ON:
• GOD’S PERSON … “May Your name be kept holy”
• GOD’S PURPOSE … “May Your Kingdom come soon”
• GOD’S PROGRAM … “May Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven”
• GOD’S PROVISION … “Give us today the food we need”
• GOD’S PARDON … "… and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us."
OUR FOCUS IS NOW TURNED TO OUR NEED FOR
• GOD’S PROTECTION ... “And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.”
How do we understand this petition of our Lord?
The first thing we should take note of is that the word in Greek ‘peirasmos’ can be translated both as trial/test or temptation and is only distinguished by examining the context.