IX.14. God Tempts No Man or “Lead Us Not Into Temptation”?

Question:  James 1:13 says, "God tempts no man"; but in Matthew 6:13, it says we are to ask God to "Lead us not into temptation." I am confused.

Answer:  Matthew 6:13 states, "And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil..." Here, the word "lead" is the Greek "EISPHERO" which is also translated "bring" in other places. An important little word in this text is "into." It is the Greek "EIS," a prime preposition, indicating the point reached or entered. Therefore, "Enter not INTO temptation," does not mean that I will not face temptations; BUT, with the Lord’s help, I will not be a partaker by submitting and entering into the sin.

Therefore, we are praying and asking you, "Dear Lord, help us and give us strength, wisdom, and courage to resist entering into the temptation." In other words, "Dear Lord, block the way, or give me a way out; so I will not succumb to the evil temptation."

Every Christian faces temptations from the world. In 2 Corinthians 10:13 we are instructed that,

"There hath no temptation taken you but such as in common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, BUT will with the temptation also make a way of escape, that ye may be able to bear (endure) it."

Now, James 1:13,14.

"Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God:...neither tempteth he any man. But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed."

These temptations arise from within a person from uncontrolled appetites and evil passions. (Mark 7:20-23). This is why the Lord Jesus in Luke 22:40,46 told His disciples to "Pray that ye enter not into (be partaker of) temptations." In other words, when we are tempted with evil, we better start praying for help from the Lord for strength not to give in to it!

"Trial" and "temptation," basically come from the same root in the Greek. Many and varied are the Greek usages as a verb, adjective, and noun.

In response to your question, here is a very simple principle. God never tempts man to commit a particular sin. God does test man to see if he will obey God; so the Lord can bless him. Every time God tests man, it is for his own good—if he will only obey. The temptations to do evil come in an attempt to destroy the Christian. (Read John 10:10). Memorize Proverbs 3:5,6,

"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, AND HE SHALL DIRECT THY PATHS."

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