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August 14, 2020 12:01 am
As we face the devil's onslaughts, we must pray for deliverance not only from Satan's temptations but also his accusations. Today, R.C. Sproul examines the final petition in the Lord's Prayer.
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Dr. RC Sproul on the question – chance have any power chance cannot do anything because chance is not anything. And when you say to me that the universe was created by chance you are saying the universe was created by nothing. It's the rabbit out of the hat without without a rapid without a magician. If this mythology were not taken so seriously today. We could be abused by what's at stake is not just theology, but science itself. Contact us today for copy of the book, not a chance. RC Sproul and Keith Matheson our toll-free number is 1-800-435-4343 that's 1-800-435-4343. What does it mean when Jesus says deliver us from evil.
This part of the Lord's prayer is a petition and a plea to God that we might be protected from the fiery darts of the devil locations to this portion of the Lord's prayer, namely that there is a devil and that he has enough for those are not popular ideas in our modern society, but there's no denying today on Renewing Your Mind as we continue Dr. RC Sproul series on the Lord's prayer will concentrate on what it means to be led into temptation and delivered from evil. It is my earnest hope today to finish our brief study of the Lord's prayer. We've gone through several of the petitions so far and now we move to a section of the prayer that is often seriously misunderstood and we've looked at it in other contexts in our classes.
As an example of a Hebrew form of literature that is very frequent and the Old Testament particular in the poetic books that feature that is called parallelism where two statements are made that sound very similar.
Or they could be set in contrast, there saying the same thing, only with different words and to be able to notice the presence of parallelism in the Bible is very important and helpful to us in learning how to understand the text we read a parallelism in Matthew's gospel chapter 61 were looking at the Lord's prayer with these words in verse 13 and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. You've all heard that phrase in the Lord's prayer.
Lead us not into temptation. You remember the little child who lived in New York and was a little bit confused about the Lord's prayer and home centers.
Parents why can't we go to the railroad terminal in the city is one I was visible in church as they were supposed to pray lead us not into Penn Station. Like a kick out of that. But no, it's not were not concerned about Penn Station concerned about 10 Tatian now the problem that we meet initially with this couplet. This parallelism is the word suggests the possibility that God may in fact be engaged in the role of tempting his people, and yet we remember the teaching of the book of James. When James says let no one say when they are tempted that they are tempted by God.
Nothing is further from possibility than the idea that God would tempt people to sin in the sense of trying to lure them or entice them into performing wickedness.
God never leaves us into temptation. In that sense but were the difficulty comes in understanding this I think is the way in which the Scriptures use the word temptation. Temptation is not only used to describe an inciting to evil. That's the familiar meaning that we have for the word but it also has to do with testing, we think for example of Adam in the garden of Eden when he was put on probation and God put Adam to the test that wasn't God who seduced Adam and Eve and try to encourage them to disobey the word of God by eating the forbidden fruit. It was the serpent who did all that the serpent was functioning as the tempter and when we look at the biblical concept of Satan, we see that one of the chief works of Satan is to tempt people in the sense of inciting them to sin, but what was going on here in the garden of Eden from God's perspective was not that God was trying to incite Adam and Eve to sin, but he was putting them to the test and they failed the test. Now we see this kind of test taking place more than once in the Scriptures.
Obviously the most dramatic example of it in the New Testament is when Jesus is driven into the wilderness where he is exposed to the unbridled assault of Satan for 40 days in this wilderness. Jesus, we are told is tempted, that is, he is placed in a position whereby God is putting Jesus who is the new Adam, the second Adam to the test and that test involves Jesus being exposed with no support systems to the unbridled attack of Satan himself, and I think one of the most dramatic segments of all of New Testament is the record of the Scriptures of Jesus. Perseverance in righteousness in the midst of that test. Where else do we find it we find it in Genesis 22, when God comes to Abraham and says Abraham take now that I son, the one whom thou love us, but only son Isaac and go to the mountain that I will show you and offer him to me. There God puts Abraham to the test and it is an unbelievable crucible that he has to experience before he comes out the other side and we have another book in the Old Testament were the whole book centers around the drama of a test and it is the book of Job. Remember the story of Joe how that it begins with the prologue in heaven, where Satan comes into the presence of God.
After roaming around the earth moving to and fro across the earth, and he comes into heaven to mock God and he's basically saying look at these people down here they're all in my pocket. They all do what I tell them to do.
I'm the prince of the power of the air and these people are, by nature, my disciples, nobody down there is obeying you and God said wait a minute.
Have you considered my servant Job how to say in response to that in scope he doesn't count Satan sister got decent sure does Job serve you for not. Why shouldn't he serve you. You give them every blessing possible and you've built hedge around him. You've protected him from any possible danger or pain or loss or illness and you take away that hitch and let me add him and will see how long it is before he starts to curse you, and so the whole book of Job focuses on what transpires after this challenge in heaven where God then does remove the protection from Job, and he does allow Job to be exposed and naked before the attack of Satan. Now there's enough of those incidents in Scripture for us to understand how Jewish people would react to this statement Jesus is saying here when you pray, pray like this lead us not into temptation that is don't put us in the place of tempting, don't put us to the test. Don't expose us to the darts of the enemy below God put a hedge around us, protect us, be our shield and our buckler. That's what we are asking for in the Lord's prayer when we say lead us not into temptation, Jesus is teaching us the saying to his disciples. I had to go through the gauntlet. I had to go to the test, but I want you to pray that the father not ever have to make those tests on you and so you should ask God to protect us from that testing, but I said at the beginning that this was a parallelism in order to understand the parallelism you have to look at both segments of it because they amplify each other. The second part of this parallelism lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. Now, again, there's a lot of misunderstanding on that part of the text of the Lord's prayer because what does it mean when he said deliver us from evil in the Scriptures in the New Testament Greek the word for evil is pony wrong and you look the last two letters the ON indicates something particular in the language in the Greek language as in many languages, nouns, are formed. That can be either masculine, feminine or neuter, and he, she or it is the way it goes. Just like we use the word she and he retired what ships and call them by the feminine pronouns and so on. While it's important that the word that occurs here in the Lord's prayer is not the work upon a wrong upon a wrong means evil in the abstract, the ON ending is the neuter and usually when we find the word evil. We find it spelled out in the neuter form on Iran, but here in the Lord's prayer. The Greek word is not pony wrong, but it's pony Ross and the OS ending in the Greek indicates a masculine form of the noun rather than the neuter form amount.
So when Jesus is using this Greek New Testament is communicating this in a literary form. The students of Greek will recognize immediately that this is better translated as some more recent translations and… Not so much. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil, but the fact the degree correspondent Ross should be translated, but deliver us from the evil one evil in general was abstract.
That's the neuter gender. But when the term pony Ross is used in the New Testament. It is used as a title specifically for Satan. So that's the thrust of what Jesus is saying don't expose us to the place of temptation where we are going to be assaulted by the power of Satan. This part of the Lord's prayer is a petition and a plea to God that we might be protected from the fiery darts of the devil and every day we should pray for deliverance, not in the sense of demon exorcism, or that kind of deliverance, but in the sense of protection from the assaults of Satan. We talked yesterday about the petition in the Lord's prayer with respect to the forgiveness of sins, and I mentioned on that occasion about this survey among Christian college students were so many of the students seem to have this enormous burden of unresolved guilt and as we think about that and think about that we should have a particular sensitivity to righteousness, and so on than this. Not all that unhealthy to have a guilty conscience from time to time. The problem is having our guilt feelings match up with true guilt. There is a difference between guilt and guilt feelings that we need to understand if you go into a courtroom where there's a murder trial in progress and the judge says to the accused are you guilty or not guilty how deeply nieces I plead not guilty and then you asked for the defense and he said I can't be guilty because I don't feel guilty. What kind of a defense is that we know that it's possible to sear the conscience. We know that there are psychopathic murderers. We know that there are people who are sociopaths who don't feel any particular burden or remorse for the evil that they perform, and the fact that that feeling is not present doesn't alter the reality of the actions at all and the purpose of majority is not to determine whether the person feels guilty but the purpose of the jury must determine whether the person is guilty.
We need to understand that the guilt is an objective reality guilt feelings are the subjective side of guilt. Sometimes we don't feel guilty when we should feel guilty and their other times we feel guilty when we shouldn't feel guilty because we haven't done anything wrong. Well, where do Satan fit into this were familiar with the role of Satan as the tempter is the seducer, and he does that. That's his stock in trade, but if anything is his trademark in terms of his work that he does in the life of the Christian. It's not so much the work of temptation as it is the work of accusation where Satan is the accuser where he will come to the Christian and do everything he can to paralyze that believer with un-resolved guilt and in that sense he standing in direct opposition to the truth of God.
This is his parole from the beginning he contradicts what God says to the Christian who was confess their sin was acknowledge their sin and repented of their sin and come before God and asked for forgiveness. God has promised that he would forgive them. And God says you are forgiven. But as soon as God says we are forgiven. Satan shows up and says what. Oh no, you're not, you are still guilty and when we listen to him. Then we become burdened and weighed down with this terrible load of guilt that paralyzes us know it's in this context of Paul says almost triumphantly, who shall lay any charge to God's elect is God who justifies a Christ who is been raised from the dead. He is our righteousness and we are supposed to say, as we have thrown ourselves upon the mercy of God's court and have appealed to the righteousness of Christ is the grounds of our salvation. When Satan comes around and starts his business of accusing us us when we say hey Satan yeah right I sent but I'm covered my sin has been forgiven sticks and stones get out of here. Leave me alone now that such an integral part of the Christian life that it doesn't surprise me at all that Jesus incorporates it in the Lord's prayer. Lead us not into temptation, lead us not into the place of testing and deliver us from the evil one, not only from the evil ones temptations but also the evil ones accusations.
Martin Luther, you know, used to have these fits of struggle where he sensed them and ordinate acute awareness of the presence of Satan and I can imagine Satan focusing his energy on anybody more ardently than he would've on Luther in the 16th century, Luther would have such a sense of the presence of Satan.
One time he picked up his inkwell and threw it across the room's people thought he was nuts.
He was throwing it at site and he would speak of what he called the relentless on Fecteau again, the unbridled assault of Satan against him to try to get in the compromise to try to get them to fall into despair. To try to get them to deny the face. So Luther would be on his knees every day, praying the Lord's prayer lead is not in the place of testing, deliver us from the evil one upon a Ross. It's every Christians need should be part of every Christians prayer of the conclusion of the Lord's prayer returns the focus again to God to remember we saw that in the first petitions, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.
The focus was on the glory of God, and only after we go through that process and pray that we turn the attention now to our needs, our daily bread keep us from the place of tempting forgive us of our sins. Now that we see the focal point is shifted from God to our cell doesn't stay there. It comes full circle so that the prayer ends with another reaffirmation of the sovereignty of God, of the excellency of God and the majesty of God, where the summary statement is made. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory for ever.
Does that mean it means that the power the kingdom, and the glory belongs to God. I said the first and most important rule of prayer is to remember who it is, with whom we are speaking we are speaking in prayer to the one who possesses all power to the one whose kingdom it is in which we are privileged to live, and the one who has said he will share his glory with no man and about which we are taught in the New Testament that if we were to glory in anything it is to be in the Lord because he deserves the glory he has the glory and we are to remember that in every prayer we pray that we attribute to God what is his intrinsically what is his eternally.
The power the kingdom, and the glory and this attribution of these things to God is not simply an occasional thing or temporary thing. It is an eternal dimension. Thine is the kingdom of our forever. Sometimes my first resolution for the little carried away the end in the same forever and ever and ever and ever and then that's not yours. He's parole with a message from his series on the Lord's prayer you're listening to Renewing Your Mind on this Friday and I hope you'll stay with us because RC has a final thought force.
Just a moment there is so much depth and insight in the prayer.
Jesus taught his disciples.
We learn about who God is about his character about his kingdom about our reliance on him and about our need to forgive and to be forgiven in 10 messages. RC explores each petition in the prayer and would like for you to have the full series is contact us today with your donation of any amount will provide you with a digital download will also send you RC's book, the prayer of our Lord. It's a great study companion for the series, reminding us of the great privilege we have two called on our heavenly father. Contact us today with your donation of any amount to look at her ministries and will be glad to send you both resources or web address is Renewing Your Mind.org and her phone number is 800-435-4343. Today is the last they were making this offer available so I hope you'll contact us soon again, or web address is Renewing Your Mind.org or phone number 800-435-4343 all of litigators resources and events are meant to help you articulate what you believe, why you believe it how to live it and how to share it. Want to come alongside the church to help growing Christians deepen their understanding of our triune God to let me take just a moment to say thank you for your prayers and financial support. Before we go.
Here's RC again one of the most difficult things that we have to discern in the Christian life is the difference between the conviction of the Holy Spirit in the accusation of Satan. When we sin it is part of the ministry of the Holy Spirit to convict us of sin and of righteousness in the real sense the Holy Spirit comes to us and troubles our consciences, and yet Satan comes also with the same charge.
It's not the same just makes up charges, though he does that. He'll slander us and bring false charges against us, but much of the accusation of Satan is designed to call attention to those things for which we are really guilty and the Holy Spirit does the same thing. So what's the difference how can we discern the difference between the conviction of the Holy Ghost which is redemptive and the accusation of Satan which is destructive. I don't think that's an easy question to answer my existential response to it. Is this. I have discovered experientially that when the Holy Spirit convicts me of my sin and guilt. As painful as that may be there is always an element of sweetness to because when the spirit comes and convicts us of our sin awakens us to our guilt.
He always at the same time points us to the cross and points us to the place where we can have relief from this guilt. And so, though we may be moved to morning over our sin. We are never moved to despair over rest. Satan comes relentlessly and tries to render us hopeless tries to get us to focus upon our own efforts to redeem ourselves.
His purpose in his accusation is to drive us away from Christ away from the cross, rather than to Christ. And I don't know of any other way to discern the difference in all I can say is that when you feel guilty when I feel guilty.
We know where we have to go we have to go to the cross we have to go to Jesus. Thank you for being with us today Renewing Your Mind is the listener supported outreach of link in your ministry.
We hope you'll join us again Monday at the same time as we continue to proclaim, teach, and defend the holiness of God in all its fullness