From every evil of body and soul

According to THE SMALL CATECHISM, which we have been discussing, the last two petitions of the Lord’s Prayer ask God to protect us both spiritually and physically:

THE SIXTH PETITION

And lead us not into temptation.

What does this mean?

God certainly tempts no one to sin, but we pray in this petition that God would guard and keep us so that the devil, the world and our own flesh may not deceive us nor lead us into misbelief, despair and other shameful sin and vice; and though we be thus tempted, that we may still in the end overcome and retain the victory.

THE SEVENTH PETITION

But deliver us from evil.

What does this mean?

We pray in this petition, as the sum of all, that our Father in heaven would deliver us from every evil of body and soul, property and honor; and at last, when the hour of death shall come, grant us a blessed end, and graciously take us from this valley of sorrow to Himself in heaven.

THE CONCLUSION

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

What does “Amen” mean?

Amen means that we should be sure that these petitions are acceptable to our Father in heaven and are heard by Him; for He Himself has commanded us so to pray and has promised to hear us. Amen, Amen: that is, Yes, Yes, it shall be so.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Very interesting. Note that we ask for our Father in heaven to deliver us from every evil of body and soul, property and honor, not necessarily the things in themselves. I take this to mean, for example, that we may enjoy bodily pleasure within the bounds and purposes of sacred marriage. The evil lies outside these bounds of moral and natural law.

    Christians are often criticized by secularists for being prudish moralists, though in fact within the bonds of moral law they are encouraged by Christ to enjoy life to the full.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Very interesting. Note that we ask for our Father in heaven to deliver us from every evil of body and soul, property and honor, not necessarily the things in themselves. I take this to mean, for example, that we may enjoy bodily pleasure within the bounds and purposes of sacred marriage. The evil lies outside these bounds of moral and natural law.

    Christians are often criticized by secularists for being prudish moralists, though in fact within the bonds of moral law they are encouraged by Christ to enjoy life to the full.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Sorry for not closing the bold bit. I meant to bold only the word evil.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Sorry for not closing the bold bit. I meant to bold only the word evil.

  • Joel

    I hope this question isn’t so broad as to be unintelligible, but why is everything Lutheran so full of confidence and assurance while other forms of Christianity, viz., Calvinism and Roman Catholicism, always seem to entail an element of doubt and contingency?

  • Joel

    I hope this question isn’t so broad as to be unintelligible, but why is everything Lutheran so full of confidence and assurance while other forms of Christianity, viz., Calvinism and Roman Catholicism, always seem to entail an element of doubt and contingency?

  • Gulliver

    Joel,
    You are very perceptive and have asked the right question. However the answer is not so readily accepted. Lutherans appear to have confidence because they first humbly confess their inability to please God because of original sin or to come to God (3rd Article). Second, they rely on Jesus alone to save them from sin and third, they believe that the Holy Spirit alone gives them faith and to keep them in the faith through His Word. This confidence arises from the nature of the Bible as God’s absolutely truthful Word, which is the “power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Rom. 1:16). If God promises salvation to all people through faith in Christ (and He does), He cannot go back on His promise.
    How can I be confident that Christ’s salvation is mine? Because of God’s “visible Word.” God made me a child of God by means of “the washing of water by the Word” (Eph 5:26). The Small Catechism will later explain why this is a real washing of sins because of God’s Word. The other visible Word is the Lord’s Supper, where God’s word proclaims the forgiveness of sins given with Christ’s body and blood truly present in the Supper. The Small Catechism will explain the effective power of the Word in the Lord’s Supper.
    God uses the means of Word and Sacraments to create and sustain faith in Christ and give forgiveness of sins and eternal life. The assurance is not found within us, but given from outside us—from God. Since salvation and faith are God’s work, grace and mercy, and not ours; God’s work gives us the certainty of salvation.
    This certainty is not an arrogance of personal pride or endeavor, but a sure and humble trust in God’s powerful Word and His merciful promises. Everything depends on Christ crucified for our sins, who declared, “It is finished.” Faith clings to Christ’s promises: Mark 16:15-16, John 3:14-17, John 6:40, John 10:11, 27, John 11:25-26, John 14:6, John 17:3 and 17, John 20:23. There is no uncertainty in these words and promises of Christ.

  • Gulliver

    Joel,
    You are very perceptive and have asked the right question. However the answer is not so readily accepted. Lutherans appear to have confidence because they first humbly confess their inability to please God because of original sin or to come to God (3rd Article). Second, they rely on Jesus alone to save them from sin and third, they believe that the Holy Spirit alone gives them faith and to keep them in the faith through His Word. This confidence arises from the nature of the Bible as God’s absolutely truthful Word, which is the “power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Rom. 1:16). If God promises salvation to all people through faith in Christ (and He does), He cannot go back on His promise.
    How can I be confident that Christ’s salvation is mine? Because of God’s “visible Word.” God made me a child of God by means of “the washing of water by the Word” (Eph 5:26). The Small Catechism will later explain why this is a real washing of sins because of God’s Word. The other visible Word is the Lord’s Supper, where God’s word proclaims the forgiveness of sins given with Christ’s body and blood truly present in the Supper. The Small Catechism will explain the effective power of the Word in the Lord’s Supper.
    God uses the means of Word and Sacraments to create and sustain faith in Christ and give forgiveness of sins and eternal life. The assurance is not found within us, but given from outside us—from God. Since salvation and faith are God’s work, grace and mercy, and not ours; God’s work gives us the certainty of salvation.
    This certainty is not an arrogance of personal pride or endeavor, but a sure and humble trust in God’s powerful Word and His merciful promises. Everything depends on Christ crucified for our sins, who declared, “It is finished.” Faith clings to Christ’s promises: Mark 16:15-16, John 3:14-17, John 6:40, John 10:11, 27, John 11:25-26, John 14:6, John 17:3 and 17, John 20:23. There is no uncertainty in these words and promises of Christ.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com/ Steve Martin

    Joel,

    Because we trust God’s promises (in our better moments)

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com/ Steve Martin

    Joel,

    Because we trust God’s promises (in our better moments)

  • Joe

    Joel

    We are confident because we understand that we, ourselves, have nothing to do with our salvation – it is all God’s doing and he has promised it will be done. What comfort! If I thought my salvation depended upon me or my own actions, I would be despondent

  • Joe

    Joel

    We are confident because we understand that we, ourselves, have nothing to do with our salvation – it is all God’s doing and he has promised it will be done. What comfort! If I thought my salvation depended upon me or my own actions, I would be despondent

  • Joel

    These are good answers. There is a certain unconditionality in Lutheran teaching about God’s promises and their personal application that is unique in Christendom.

  • Joel

    These are good answers. There is a certain unconditionality in Lutheran teaching about God’s promises and their personal application that is unique in Christendom.


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