Lead us not into temptation

“Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Will this, again, be necessary in the life to come? “Lead us not into temptation” will not be said except where there can be temptation. We read in the book of holy Job, “Is not the life of man upon earth a temptation?” What, then, do we pray for? Hear what. The apostle James saith, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God.” He spoke of those evil temptations whereby men are deceived and brought under the yoke of the devil. This is the kind of temptation he spoke of. For there is another sort of temptation which is called a proving; of this kind of temptation it is written, “The Lord your God tempteth (proveth) you to know whether ye love Him.” What means “to know?” “To make you know,” for He knoweth already. With that kind of temptation whereby we are deceived and seduced, God tempteth no man.

What, then, has He hereby taught us? To fight against our lusts. For ye are about to put away your sins in holy baptism; but lusts will still remain, wherewith ye must fight after that ye are regenerate. For a conflict with your own selves still remains. Let no enemy from without be feared: conquer thine own self, and the whole world is conquered. What can any tempter from without, whether the devil or the devil’s minister, do against thee? Whosoever sets the hope of gain before thee to seduce thee, let him only find no covetousness in thee; and what can he who would tempt thee by gain effect? Whereas, if covetousness be found in thee, thou takest fire at the sight of gain, and art taken by the bait of this corrupt food; but if he find no covetousness in thee the trap remains spread in vain.

-from Sermon 7 on the New Testament