Discussion Guide for Matthew 6:13
“And lead us not into temptation.”
“For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.”
“For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.”
“Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us.”
“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
Every human being who has ever lived has had to contend with temptation.
Jesus himself had to be tempted in order that he might prove his victory over sin and authority to be our savior. If sin was a necessary part of Jesus’ life, then it goes without saying that we, too, absolutely will face temptation.
When we see the New Testament spend so much time talking about the law and role that it plays in fighting against a grace-filled life, we need to understand that law and temptation can almost be used interchangeably.
Without the law, we have no concept of sin. But when we have the law, we then understand that there is a right way and a wrong way of living.
Temptation is simply the choice to live the right way (God’s way) or to live the wrong way (our way).
If all men and women are tempted, then the only thing that differs about us is whether we regularly succumb to temptation or we live in victory over it.
Austin demonstrated in his sermon from last week that every person who lives apart from Christ and does not know Him is automatically defeated by temptation every day of his or her life. This is what it means to be spiritually dead. There is no life, no will, and no ability to fight.
The problem with sin-depraved souls is that every time we are given the choice to choose God’s way or our way, we choose our own way. We fall to temptation and death begets more death.
God’s plan for His children — all of those whom He has miraculously raised to spiritual life — is that we are alive to claim victory over sin and temptation. The key verses I have quoted from Romans and Galatians, along with the rest of the testimony of Scripture, tell us that the person who lives a life controlled by the Spirit of God will live every day in victory over temptation. There is no reason that a Christian ever has to sin.
The practical problems we face stem from the fact that children of God have victory over temptation, yet we live too much of our lives as if we do not. We are tempted, we sin, and we fail to live in victory over temptation.
This is why Jesus’ model prayer is so important.
The Greek word for lead (eisphero) has a connotation of being brought as a captive. So the question is not whether or not we will face temptation. The question is whether we will be led as a captive to sin or be led as a captive to God. We cannot be captive to both.
Prayer must focus our hearts on being captivated by the salvation of God so that we are no longer held captive by sin.
“But deliver us from evil.”
Evil is typically understood in one of two ways.
- Evil is the bad stuff that individuals are responsible for that they do in opposition to God.
- Evil is a force in the world, resulting from the presence of opposition to God in the world, that brings bad things to people who may not be personally directly responsible for the evil.
We all understand evil as sin in definition one. The second definition of the word is usually what philosophers refer to as “the problem of evil.” It’s usually what people talk about in the face of tragedy or the sickness and death of an innocent child or loved one.
The really awesome news of the Gospel is that God delivers us from both senses of evil.
The life of Jesus delivers us from our captivity to sin now, and will also deliver us from all of the effects of sin in the future. This is REALLY REALLY REALLY GOOD NEWS!!!!!!!!
When we ask God to deliver us from evil, we are not asking in the sense that we are unsure of whether it will happen. Rather we are praying with confidence that God will deliver what He has already promised. We have already been given victory over sin, and we will more and more be given freedom from every aspect of the curse of sin in eternity.
- How do times of evil (sickness, death, bad circumstances) tempt us to sin?
- How can we remain faithful to God during those times of temptation?
- What area of your life to you need to begin living in the victory that God has already given you over sin?
- What steps do you need to take to live in that victory?
- How will those steps require you to trust God with more of your life?
- How is prayer vitally necessary for you to live in victory over sin?
- How can we pray for each other to have victory over sin?
- Discussion Guide: Deliver Us from Evil
- Sermon: Praying to Properly Condition Our Heart, Part 2
- Matthew 6 at Bible Gateway