There is a spiritual battle going on. The Evil One tries to attack believers and pull them away from the Lord. We need God’s protection and power to survive this!
LD 52 q&a 127.
What is the sixth petition?
“And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.”
That is: In ourselves we are so weak
that we cannot stand even for a moment.
Moreover, our sworn enemies—
the devil, the world, and our own flesh—
do not cease to attack us.
Will you, therefore,
uphold and strengthen us
by the power of your Holy Spirit,
so that in this spiritual war
we may not go down to defeat,
but always firmly resist our enemies,
until we finally obtain
the complete victory.
A “temptation” or “trial” is when you must make a difficult choice in life, where it becomes very clear if you are committed to the Lord or not. When making the right choice involves giving up much, or making yourself unpopular with others, or real self-control. In such temptations, “the Evil One”, that is, the devil, hopes to score a victory.
Read James 1:2-5 and :12-15.
(i) What is the good result of dealing with temptations/trials? (v. 3-4)
(ii) Where does temptation really come from? (v. 13-15)
(iii) What should you do if your faith is too weak to stand up to temptation? (v. 5)
The Bible makes very clear that there is a “spiritual battle” going on. As human beings, we are not strong enough to win this battle.
Read Ephesians 6:10-13.
(i) How does Paul describe our enemy here?
(ii) What should we do to be victorious?
How does the catechism (q&a 127) summarize the enemies we face? Give a concrete, practical example of how each of the three attacks us.
When we pray, we show that we understand that our faith and strength is not enough. We need the help of the Lord. We need the power of the Holy Spirit. That is why this prayer is so important.
“Until we finally obtain the complete victory,” says the catechism. When will that be? What does that victory look like?
All: Memorize q&a 127.