Saturday, October 05, 2019

Bonhoeffer: which side are we on

Saturday, October 5, 2019
    [Jesus:] “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”
    —Matthew 6:13 (NIV)
    If temptation were really what natural man and moral man understand by it, namely, testing of their own strength—whether their vital or their moral or even their Christian strength—in resistance, on the enemy, then it is true that Christ’s prayer would be incomprehensible. For that life is won only from death and the good only from the evil is a piece of thoroughly worldly knowledge which is not strange to the Christian. But all this has nothing to do with the temptation of which Christ speaks. It simply does not touch the reality which is meant here. The temptation of which the whole Bible speaks does not have to do with the testing of my strength, for it is of the very essence of temptation in the Bible that all my strength—to my horror, and without my being able to do anything about it—is turned against me; really all my powers, including my good and pious powers (the strength of my faith), fall into the hands of th e enemy power and are now led into the field against me. Before there can be any testing of my powers, I have been robbed of them.
    ... Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), Temptation, London: SCM Press, 1955, p. 9 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 6:13; Ps. 38:10; Pr. 30:8; Matt. 26:41; 1 Cor. 10:13; 1 Pet. 1:6-7; 5:8; 2 Pet. 2:9
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, I am helpless to resist temptation without You.
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