Deliver Us from Evil (John 17:6-19)
Our message series this month is called “Praying with Jesus.” In this series, we are studying the Lord’s prayer. Last week, we talked about the petition, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. Asking God for forgiveness for our sins is an essential part of a believer’s life. However, contrary to popular opinion, being forgiven does not erase the consequences of our sin in this life. You still reap what you sow when you sin. Satan tempts you to sin, because he wants to destroy your life when you give in to sin.
1 Peter 5:8 (NIV) Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
Satan gets his teeth into you when you yield to temptation and give in to sin. So, it’s much, much better to not sin in the first place, then to sin and be forgiven.
Today, my message is entitled “Deliver Us from Evil.” We’re going to talk about how to be protected from evil and giving in to temptation. In fact, when you pray and ask for forgiveness from a particular sin, your next breath in your prayer should be devoted to asking for God’s help to resist that temptation the next time. That’s what repentance is all about. Asking for forgiveness and then making a decision that with God’s help, you won’t fall into that sin again. Those who habitually sin, ask for forgiveness and go right back and sin again haven’t really repented. So, the next part of the Lord’s prayer following the request for forgiveness is
Matthew 6:13 (NIV) And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.
This petition has two parts, which are tied together. First of all, we are asking God to keep us from yielding to temptation. Everyone is tempted, even Jesus Christ was tempted by Satan. So, this request is not asking God to never allow us to be tempted. It is requesting that God would protect us from giving in to temptation. The second part of the request is the opposite of giving in to temptation. It a request to be delivered from the evil one or Satan. For giving in to temptation is being taken captive or being devoured by the devil. God has a wonderful promise for us concerning temptation in
1 Corinthians 10:13 (NIV) No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.
God promises that he will provide a way out, an escape hatch, for every temptation. So no one can say, I couldn’t help myself. There was a way out, you just didn’t choose it. In the Lord’s prayer, we are instructed to ask God to help us find that escape route, so that we are delivered from the evil one. God wants to forgive you of any secret sin and set you free to serve Him. This morning, we’re going to look at another teaching of Jesus to learn how to be delivered from evil. In fact, we’re going to be looking at a prayer that Jesus prayed for His disciples and for all who would believe in Him in the future.