Temptation Explained

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. -Matthew 6:13 (KJV)

I was watching an older broadcast of Robert Morris teaching on the subject of temptation last night and thought I’d devote a post to the topic. He cleared up a little confusion I have had as to why the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6:13 says “lead us not into temptation…” Clearly in James 1:13 we are taught that God does not tempt us, so why would we ask God not to do something He wouldn’t do, anyway? See the confusion? Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: -James 1:13 (KJV)

We are dealing with translations. Thank God we have many really good ones to choose from and compare. One of my favorite sources as a study tool is the NET Bible (lumina.bible.org). Sure enough, there is a note attached to the word “temptation” in that verse that suggests it may mean lead us not “into a time of testing.”

We all know that tests are not generally comfortable, but there are necessary and have great potential to bring us into a closer walk with the Lord as our faith increases. The rewards are well-known to men and women of faith who endure trials and temptations. So what do we do when we are tempted? Where do we find the strength and willingness to resist? I suggest turning to our Lord Jesus. He can and will help us. He was tempted and endured. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted. -Hebrews 2:18 (NIV)

In a following post, I’ll address the topic of how our Lord was able to resist the evil one.

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