“And lead us not into temptation . . . ” – Q&A #1

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil;
And God leadeth us not into temptation, but delivereth us from sin, disease, and death.

Question: What is “temptation”?

Answer: A temptation is something that has a strong attraction for us, but is usually
off-limits. You might recognize what temptation is if you have ever been told not to touch anything yet on a plate of freshly baked cookies! Were you able to resist the temptation to take one?

As the word is used in the Bible, it means “a testing.” We are really put to the test when we have to resist temptation. But is God responsible for these testing times? If we are told to ask God not to lead us into temptation, could He also be the one doing the tempting? We read in
the Bible:

“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil,
neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.” (James 1:13, 14)

This explains why Mary Baker Eddy’s spiritual interpretation of this line of the Lord’s
Prayer indicates that God does not tempt us — He leads us away from temptation!
And, she defines temptation as “sin, disease, and death.” That sums up evil!

“The history of Christianity furnishes sublime proofs of the supporting influence and protecting power bestowed on man by his heavenly Father, omnipotent Mind, who gives man faith
and understanding
whereby to defend himself, not only from temptation, but from bodily
suffering.” (S&H 387:27)

God is our Defense against temptation!

* * *
(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume Three: The Lord’s Prayer”
Copyright 2005)

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Temptation - #1




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