Why this is important: Jesus taught us to pray. Jesus gave us the template. The prayer is a part of the Jesus Manifesto (Matthew 5-7). This is the core of what I need to say to God. One of the pillars is to ask God to deliver us from evil (or as most translators agree) the evil one.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.” ~Jesus
Source: Matthew 6:13 (ESV)
Is there evil and an evil one? Yes, there most certainly is. Jesus constantly recognized that he was confronting evil. He says it over and over again. Jesus casts out the demons who thought they were under control of the evil one. They are not. In fact, they knew who Jesus was.
God’s goal: God wants us to be free. Jesus has delivered us from slavery to sin [missing God’s goal] and the evil one. We are free. Can we shout it out? WE. ARE. FREE.
Why do we need to recognize evil? Jesus is clear: “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders.” Evil can exist in our thoughts. Evil can lead to all kinds of disastrous results. Evil is not to be ignored.
What is the good news? Jesus teaches us about reality and how he has defeated evil. I don’t have to be in fear. God has delivered me. Jesus has already won the victory for me. I must live my life as a new creation, holy and accepted by God. I am a child of God. Now that is some good news.
Jesus is clear: Jesus said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and defile a person
- Colossians 3:5 (NASB) —Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.
- Matthew 5:29–30 — “If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.
- Romans 8:13 —for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.