Vol. 19, No. 8 – February 23, 2020
The Gospel of Luke
F. Instruction on Prayer, Luke 11:1-13.
1. The Lord’s Prayer Template, vs. 1-4, paralleled and expanded in Mat 6:9-13.
Luke 11:4, “And forgive us our sins, for we ourselves also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.”
From our previous studies, we understand that temptation is an inevitable part of life, whether it comes from within our own Old Sin Nature, (OSN), from the world, (Satan’s cosmic system), or from Satan himself (the Evil One, which includes his minions). Therefore, it would be absurd to pray that we are not tempted in this life, especially when God uses it to prove or reprove our faith, as we exercise our spiritual muscles. God uses testing to also develop our relationship with Him. So again, why would He have us pray to avoid temptation? Even Jesus went through temptation to prove His faith and relationship with God, His Word, and His Holy Spirit. Therefore, this is not a prayer for avoidance, but a prayer for sustaining us as we go through temptation, so that it does not become sin in our lives and lead us away from our relationship with God. That is why our Lord added, as Matthew recorded, “And deliver us from the Evil One.”
In the example of Jesus, the NT also uses PEIRASMOS to record the temptations of Jesus by Satan. Jesus came through His temptations victoriously, Luke 4:13, and the epistle to the Hebrews notes the tremendous significance of Christ’s perfect obedience when being tempted in all the ways we are, Heb 2:18; 4:15.
Heb 4:15, “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin.”
In addition, we see in Scripture, that while God is never its author, He is able to use our temptations to accomplish His own righteous purpose and develop spiritual growth within our souls. When we look to God for the strength and power to endure and overcome temptations, He causes the temptations to result in a strengthening rather than a weakening of faith, James 1:2-4, and for those who persevere under it, the Lord promises the “Crown of Life,” James 1:12.
James 1:2-4, “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials (PEIRASMOS), 3knowing that the testing, (DOKIMION, “testing, genuineness, sterling quality”), of your faith produces endurance. 4And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
James 1:12, “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.”
And going back to the petition for the forgiveness of our sins experientially, remember Jesus was tempted in all ways so that He would be able to come to our rescue when we ask, Heb 2:18, “For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.”
Therefore, this is a prayer petition not in the Imperative Mood for a request, but the Subjunctive Mood of negation of the possibility of being carried away into sin by being tempted to sin by Satan and his cosmic system, (i.e., not to succumb to temptation.)
Every temptation by Satan falls into one of these three categories, as temptation is primarily an attempt to get someone to act independently of God by implanting a desire for self-assertion or self-determination; to go one’s own way, Prov 14:12-18; Isa 53:6.
Isa 53:6, “All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.”
Satan used these three on Adam and the woman in the Garden of Eden, Gen 3:1-7, on Jesus in His three temptations, Luke 4:1-13, and he continues to use them on us today, as John warns. They include: 1) Appetite, 2) Beauty, and 3) Ambitious pride. John calls them in 1 John 2:16, “For all that is in the world, 1) the lust of the flesh, and 2) the lust of the eyes, and 3) the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world, (Satan’s cosmic system).” We could also characterize these as 1) The fleshly, 2) The aesthetic, and 3) The spiritual or intellectual temptation.
Because he has been using them since day one of human history, he most likely used them with the Angelic race prior to the creation of man, to lead them in rebellion against God, which resulted in the great fall of the angelic race.
Interestingly, the first Adam, who was tested in a beautiful garden of delight, with every creature subject to his will and provided with everything necessary to sustain and strengthen him physically, failed. But, the Last Adam, spending forty days with the wild beasts of the wilderness and without food, was victorious in that terrible wilderness.
In the Garden of Eden, Adam’s sin was more than merely eating forbidden fruit; it was disobeying the revealed Word of God, believing the lie of Satan, and placing his own will above God’s. This is what Satan wanted Jesus to also do, as he wants you and me to do as well.
Though the particular tests of our Lord were out of the ordinary experience of human beings, because they were a testing towards His Deified powers, the areas of testing which they represent are common to all people. All sinful desires can be classified as either lusts of the flesh, lusts of the eyes, or the ambitious pride of life, (or a combination thereof, 1 John 2:16). The tests which Satan put the Lord through fall into those three categories:
- Appetite: To turn stone into bread would have self-satisfied His human fleshly hunger for food.
- Beauty: To worship before Satan would have returned the glorious dominions of His creation back to Him.
- Ambitious Pride: To throw Himself off of the pinnacle would have self-aggrandized His Deity and status as the Son of God.
Using these three categories of temptations, Satan tempted our Lord in three areas, as we too are tempted in these ways. Each was directed towards Jesus to satisfy His problems Himself with His own Deity, rather than relying upon God. For us, it is directed to use our own human powers and abilities to solve our problems, rather than relying upon God and His Word.
- Temptation to act independently of the filling of the Spirit, Luke 4:3-4.
- Temptation in relationship to the Plan of God, Luke 4:5-8.
- Temptation in relationship to the Word of God, Luke 4:9-12.
As such, Satan’s objectives were threefold.
- He sought to destroy the doctrine of KENOSIS, (i.e., Jesus use your Deity to satisfy your problems).
- He sought to fulfill his original sin to make himself like the Most High, Isa 14:14, (i.e., Jesus worship me).
- He sought to annihilate the prototype spiritual life, (Jesus falsely apply the Word of God).
Likewise, temptation comes to us so that we use our own human power or resources to solve our problems, worship the creature rather than the Creator, and not use or wrongly apply the Word of God in our lives.
These temptations were designed to test Jesus Christ to operate independently of God the Holy Spirit in problem solving. If the Deity of Christ acts independently of the filling of the Spirit, the humanity of Christ destroys the prototype spiritual life. Likewise, if we do not rely upon God the Holy Spirit and the Word of God to problem solve, we will destroy our spiritual life. If we act independently of the filling of God the Holy Spirit and the Word of God, our spiritual life becomes vanity (MATIOTES), cf. Eph 4:17-19; 2 Peter 2:18.
Eph 4:17, “So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility (vanity) of their mind.”
2 Peter 2:18, “For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error.”
Therefore, Satan attacked the humanity of Christ at the point of His strength. This was a temptation to compromise the prototype spiritual life. Our Lord’s strength was the filling of the Holy Spirit and metabolized Bible doctrine circulating in His stream of consciousness of His soul. Satan attacked the two power options. He attempted to get our Lord to operate independently of the filling of the Spirit and Bible doctrine. Satan was tempting our Lord to violate the will and plan of God, just as he does to the believer every day, a sin which is unfortunately committed by believers daily. Yet, with the power and filling of God the Holy Spirit and the Word of God resident within our souls, God leads us to be overcomers and not give in or be destroyed by temptation to sin, which furthers the development of our eternal relationship with God.
The method of temptation used by Satan established a pattern according to which he would deal with man as seen in the Garden of Eden temptations, Gen 3:1-6:
- Questioning God, i.e., distorting or casting doubt on the Word of God, is the beginning of every temptation.
- Contradicting God, i.e. denying His Word outright, is the inevitable result of questioning it.
- Surpassing God, is that satanic device in which some imaginary good is sought, above and beyond what God has offered, 2 Cor 11:14-15, “No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.”
- Disobeying God, which is the final result that leads to sin, vs. 6-7.
Gen 3:6-7, “When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. 7Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.”
James 1:14-15, “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust. 15Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.”
As Satan’s tactics are characterized as temptations of Appetite, Beauty, and Ambitious Pride; his mode of operation is carried forward through fear, lies, and deception. We have to remember that the Bible tells us that Satan is the enemy of:
1. Unbelievers, Luke 8:12; 2 Cor 4:3‑4; 2 Thes 2:7‑10; Col 2:8.
Luke 8:12, “Those beside the road are those who have heard; then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved.”
2 Cor 4:3-4, “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, 4in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
Col 2:8, “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.”
2. The Church Age believer, 2 Cor 2:11; 2 Cor 11:3; Jas 4:6‑10; 1 Pet 5:6‑9; Eph 6:10‑18.
2 Cor 2:11, “So that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes.”
2 Cor 11:3, “But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.”
3. The Church. Rev 2:9, 13, 24; 3:9.
“Satan does not tempt us just to make us do wrong things—he tempts us to make us lose what God has put into us through regeneration, namely, the possibility of being of value to God. He does not come to us on the premise of tempting us to sin, but on the premise of shifting our point of view, and only the Spirit of God can detect this as a temptation of the devil. Therefore, temptation means a test of the possessions held within the inner, spiritual part of our being by a power outside us and foreign to us.” (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest).
Temptation in our thinking today means, to entice so as to move someone to sin, evil, or human good. But, as we have noted above in its original meaning, it also meant, “testing or trying.” The Greek Verb for “testing,” is PEIRAZO, πειράζω that means, “try, attempt, put to the test, tempt, or entice to sin.” Therefore, it could be thought of as a challenge of the will either for good or bad. In fact, we see God “testing” Abraham in the Isaac incident, Heb 11:17-19; cf. Ex 20:20; Deut 8:2; Judges 2:22. Clearly, God was not trying to get Abraham to sin, but was challenging his faith in God.
Ex 20:20, “Moses said to the people (after giving them the Ten Commandments), “Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin”.”
With that understanding, we are also reminded that a temptation by itself is not sin. Therefore, when you are presented with a temptation to sin, the temptation itself is not the sin. The sin is when you act upon the temptation either mentally, verbally, or overtly.
Furthermore, in regard to a challenge of faith, all temptations towards the believer are a challenge for the believer to continue to trust and rely upon God and not give in to the temptation and sin, thereby maintaining their walk of faith with God, while growing spiritually as a result of the tactical victory of not giving in to the temptation to sin.
So, the subject of the following principles is in regard to enticing to sin, as we are tempted to sin from one of three sources: 1) From our Old Sin Nature (OSN); 2) From Satan or one of his minions, Eph 6:10-11; or 3) From the world, (Satan’s cosmic system). As noted above, we are never tempted to sin by God, James 1:13.
A temptation is an enticement to choose a path that leads to or enters us into sin, human good, or evil. It is a choice that leads us astray from our ongoing experiential relationship with God. It leads us to not be in fellowship with God, walk in the Light of Jesus, or be filled with the Holy Spirit. It leads us to not be experientially sanctified before God. With that said, we also see that a temptation to sin can have the complete opposite of its goal when we resist its enticement to sin and act independently of God.
It is not a sin to be tempted. Yet, when you respond positively, (i.e., say Yes), towards temptation, it becomes a sin, human good, or evil in your life, and you lose your fellowship with God, are now walking in darkness, and are no longer filled with the Holy Spirit. When you go negative towards God’s will at the point of being positive towards temptation, then you enter into sin, human good, or evil and come under the control of the Old Sin Nature, (OSN), James 1:14; Rom 6:6; Eph 4:22; Col 3:9. Being under the control of the OSN, (a.k.a. the flesh), means you are out of fellowship with God and you are not filled with the Holy Spirit.
James 1:14, “But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.”
Rom 6:6, “Knowing this, that our old self (OSN) was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin.”
Eph 4:22, “That, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit.”
Col 3:8-9, “But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. 9Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices.”
The NIV Application Commentary shows us several things we learn about temptation from Jesus’ example.
1. Do not try to think or rationalize your way out of God’s will. When Jesus was tempted, He did not think or rationalize His way out of God’s will. He could have easily said that God would not want His Son to starve, to suffer rejection, or to die. He could have easily rationalized His way through or out of the situation by thinking the kingdom was going to belong to Him anyway, so what did it matter how it came into his hands? Jesus avoided this kind of “the end justifies the means” thinking as He responds to the three proposals of Satan. We must be careful that the shortcuts that often become possible in life do not in fact reflect rationalization to avoid God’s will for our lives.
2. Tests in life are not bad; in fact,
God allows them in our life, Job 1-2, James 1:2-4. The main issue is our response to the test. Do we respond in a way that looks to God to guide us through it? Do we trust Him, or do we put Him to the test?
In addition, how do you respond to personal struggles in your life? Do you get angry? Do you seek to reassert your control, even when you know you cannot control events? Or do you rest in faith, look for God’s hand, and ask Him what you should do and learn from what you are going through? If we are to grow spiritually, we can expect trials. If we are to grow spiritually, we need to look to God in the midst of them.
3. Our trust in God should extend His provisions for our lives. Though Satan tested Jesus about the most basic of needs, bread, we sometimes desire to “feed ourselves” with things we feel are basic to life. But those “basic things” frequently involve a larger home, more gadgets, the finest appliances, the most expensive clothes, and a host of other material possessions to say that we have arrived. Yet, life is not defined materially; rather, it is defined relationally and spiritually in terms of knowing God and serving Him in the context of His will. Will Satan succeed in testing us to take bread that God is not asking us to eat, while we ignore the most basic meal of all, His will?
The pursuit of material goals can become a driving force in our lives. But where does God’s Word and leading stand? Sometimes, giving resources to the accomplishment of ministry may mean giving up personal material pleasures. Sometimes, seeking to have less materially can lead to having much more. And, sometimes God provides abundantly in the midst of a sacrifice made for His will.
4. Our trust in God should include contentment with the station He has given us in life, Phil 4:11-13. Satan tempts us to slip into idolatry as directly as he did here with Jesus, using subtle substitutes, leading us to not be content with what we have and to pursue what we desire. Perhaps we worship our work, our status, our possessions, our family, or other unsuitable items that stand in the way of knowing God. Maybe he asks us to take the easy path of “growth” without suffering or facing rejection in our stand for Jesus or for Divine values. Sometimes, when we opt for comfort in life, it means selling our soul to the prince of this world.
Another way we show lack of trust is to grab for power that is not ours or to take power in a way it is not intended to be received. The implications of such a power grab extend into how we exercise authority in the home, how we conduct our businesses, and how we relate to others. Yet, God desires to give us rich blessing, even to share in the benefits of His authority. The best authority is one exercised not under threat, but that which is earned. The most genuine authority is not that which is seized, but that which is received from the God who honors faithfulness. But, to worship Satan and to take his path to get there is to lose whatever access to God’s blessing we may possess.
5. We should never try to force God to act on our behalf, show that He loves us, etc., or prove Himself or His Word in any way. A way we tend to show a lack of trust in God is to try to force Him to act on our behalf. In the test we often set up, we want to see if He is for us or against us. This type of spiritual wagering does not involve leaping from tall buildings, but walking into events where we say in effect, “If you care for me God, then this situation will turn out this way.” In effect, we test the “emergency broadcast system” of God’s presence and presume on how He should react. This kind of testing is an attempt to control God, not follow His leading. We are setting ourselves up for disappointment, since it may be in our best interest for events to go in a different direction than we desire.
6. We should never blame God for our problems or whenever suffering occurs. As stated above, God never tempts us to sin, James 1:13, but He will allow us to be tempted by our OSN, Satan, or the world, as Job was, cf. Job 1-2. When problems, difficulties, or suffering occurs in our life, we may feel that He has abandoned us, when, in fact, He may be getting our attention, revealing a better way to us, or asking us to meet Him in the midst of the adversity. As Jesus turned down Satan and consciously chose to follow God down the hard road of His ministry, so too must we be prepared to walk into events under His leading, even where the outcome is not clear. And remember, He has given us His 11 Problem Solving Devices and will always provide us a way of escape to overcome the adversity and be winner believers inside of His plan for our lives.
1 Cor 10:13, “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.”
Rev 2:7, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.” Cf. Rev 2:11, 17, 26; 3:5, 12, 21.
Rev 21:7, “He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.”
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If you would like more information on this subject, you may watch/listen to lesson:
#20-018, 20-019, 20-020
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A PERSONAL NOTE FOR YOU
If you have never accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, I am here to tell you that Jesus loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His life for you. God the Father also loves you. He loves you so much that He gave His only Son for you by sending Him to the Cross. At the Cross Jesus died in your place. Taking upon Himself all of your sins and all of my sins. He was judged for our sins and paid the price for our sins. Therefore, our sins will never be held against us.
Right where you are, you now have the opportunity to make the greatest decision in your life. To accept the free gift of salvation and eternal life by truly believing that Jesus Christ died for your sins and was raised on the third day as the proof of the promise of eternal life.
So right now, you can pause and reflect on what Christ has done for you and say to the Father:
“Yes Father, I believe that Your Son, Jesus Christ,
died on the cross for the forgiveness of my sins.”
If you have done that, I welcome you to the eternal Family of God!