Luke 11 Teach Us to Pray – Part 4
And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. (Luke 11:4)
Forgive as we forgive. We must realize that we are broken from our own sin. It is a natural condition. Romans 5:12 explains to us that sin came into the world and was passed down to every single man, woman, and child through the sin of one man. This sin separated God from man and produced death in man. In this manner, death has moved through all the generations of man, through one common ancestor. Our sinfulness is more than that.
Not only do we have inherent sin, but; we also commit sin of our own. You can try to say, “The Devil made me do it”, however; it was your own sinful nature. This sin nature is driven out of selfishness. Just as Adam chose to disobey God, so do we choose to disobey God. This sin makes a separation between you and God (Isaiah 59.2). WE forgive in recognition that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23).
We must recognize that just as we needed forgiveness, so do others around us. We cannot hold ourselves to one standard, and hold all others to another. We are all in the same boat, as it were. If we have been forgiven, of all that we have done. Forgiveness that includes the sin that was on us from generations past, and those of our own seeking. In recognizing then, we are truly and completely clean of sin, and that we could not have cleansed ourselves no more than a pig can clean itself in the pen. Knowing that we did not earn this cleansing by our own merit, because we cannot be good enough. We cannot be good enough because even at our best, we are still in sin from Adam. We have come to the understanding that without this forgiveness our sin is punishable by death. (Romans 5:12).
Even though we deserve the death penalty, we have been forgiven of all sin in Jesus Christ our Lord. This was a gift from the Father, and is witnesses in the sealing of the Holy Spirit. Through this grace, we have been justified by God, in the faith we have in Jesus. (Galatians 3:11). In having a true understanding of this in our hearts, we cannot approach the Lord with our petitions if we are holding something against another.
To be unforgiving, especially after we received such a gift ourselves, is hypocrisy. This attitude is contrary to the heart of God, who wishes that all should come to repentance and not die (2 Peter 3:8-10). Jesus himself said that you come to the altar and remember that someone has something against you, or it you have something against someone else; leave the altar. Jesus said, leave your gift where it is and make things right between you and them. Once you have addressed the issue with whom you have offended or who has offended you, then come back to the altar. With a clean heart, offer your gift. Do not offer a vain gift to the Lord.
We must come to the Lord with the right heart, motivated by love and gratitude. We cannot hold animosity. To hold animosity means that we have judges ourselves to be more important than someone else. We think too highly of ourselves in thinking that we deserve forgiveness but someone else does not. In truth, no one DESERVES forgiveness, not you, not I. Hypocrisy is as it’s heights in an unforgiving Christian. In fear and understanding, we humble ourselves before God. We recognize that we needed his forgiveness, and so do others. How can we who have been forgiven, not forgive other? You may say, but I have not done the terrible things that they did to me, or to so and so. That is not true. Your sin had someone else tortured. Your sin caused a mother to lose her child. In fact she watched him being tortured, and beaten, and mocked. She watched him shamed in public, and stung up to die. Your sin caused a man to die. How much worse can someone else do, then to kill someone either by malice of forethought or even by happenstance?
Forgiveness also does some other things. Forgiveness sets the one who was wronged free from anger and resentment. Forgiveness relieves victimization. Forgiveness gives one the chance to renew their life. Forgiveness causes a person to be stuck in the offence. Forgiveness also reveals the nature of our own heart. In order to love God with our whole heart, we must be able to love one another. We are incapable of loving one another without being able to forgive one another.
And lead us not into temptation…
Part of this salvation provided by the Lord is Justification, which we covered already. Now we move into the next portion, that of Sanctification. Justification happened when we first believed on Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Justification is passed to us through faith in the gospel message concerning the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. God sees our faith in Jesus and is pleased with this faith. We are then given a legal righteousness imputed to us for all time, which delivers us from the penalty of sin.
Sanctification is a present experiential or progressive work performed in us by the Holy Spirit, keeping us holy until the final phase of salvation. Sanctification is then a process of spiritual growth in the Christian life where we are delivered from the power of sin in daily life through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Looking again at this portion of the prayer recorded in Luke 11 where is says, “and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”, in this context, we see a great hope in living for Christ in our daily lives. This is not some vain wish or aspiration, but; a real living hope! This is voicing and expectation in dependency. This statement gives recognition that we are dependent upon the very Spirit of God not only as a provider, but as a protector.
This is pleas has specific connotations. I am sure that you recall, if you have had a child, or know someone who has a toddler. When the child gets old enough to walk, but not old enough to know better, which for some of us can last until the 40s. (LOL) The very safe environment of the family home can become a living hazard to the exploring babe. A parent must safeguard the environment with outlet covers, door latches, and the sort. Even then with all of those precautions, a parent must be ever vigilant for where the child is and what they are doing, especially if they are to quiet. The attentive parent must from time to time, correct or avert the attention of the young one from things that may cause them harm.
This is the plea made here. God keep a watch out for me God! Keep me from the things that would harm me. Even if I really think I want them. Protect me not only from the temptation out there that is in this sinful age, but also from the lure to sin that I create in myself. Don’t let me sin against you, safeguard me! We must also realize that we are in a real spiritual battle.
There is a war going on in the spiritual realm. In that realm, just as there are angels that are aligned with the Heavenly Father, there are fallen angels who fight against his will. These fallen angels, known as demons, have a leader we know by the name of Satan, the devil, the Evil One. They make war against the lamb of God, Jesus. Since you are in the will of God and in the family of God the enemy will make war against you.
This evil is real and is powerful. Alone we cannot stand against such power. However, our God is all-powerful, and in Him, we can stand against the Devil and his demons. You see God is our salvation, and our protector from this present age and all the evil that it contains. There is no enemy that can stand against us, because we can call on the name of Jesus. This prayer is a seeking of the will of God in our lives. Jesus then says in his model of prayer, that we should seek first the kingdom of heaven.
We should seek to do what is the will of God the Father in recognition of who He is, and what he had provided for us. We must never forget that He did these things because of His great love for us as mankind and as individuals. We glorify Him, but in actuality we do this because He has glorified us first. Not only that there is a future glorification to come that we cannot understand.
The final stage of salvation is glorification. For a lot of us this happens when we die. But there are some of us who may yet see the rapture of the church. I say this because we are in the last days, and he is standing at the door ready to open it wide. In this final glorification we will put on immortality.
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. (1 Corinthians 15:53-55 KJV).
Death shall be finally defeated. We will have moral perfection and a resurrected body. This is a promise made by God and this promise will be deliverance from the presence of sin. You see we will be in the presence of God himself, and sin cannot enter into His presence. There are allot more things that can be written, concerning this prayer. I think to answer the question, is there more to this prayer than just being a model for prayer can be answered with a loud, resounding “YES!” Thanks God! YES!