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Matthew 6:13 New International Version

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

1 John 2:14c

I write to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God lives in you, and you have overcome the evil one.

you have overcome
νενικήκατε (nenikēkate)
Verb - Perfect Indicative Active - 2nd Person Plural
Strong's Greek 3528: To conquer, be victorious, overcome, prevail, subdue. From nike; to subdue.

The perfect indicative shows that it is finished as a matter of fact and they are daily enjoying the fruit of this successful overcoming.

Do these young men need to pray Matthew 6:13? How to reconcile these two verses?

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Have the young men not already prayed thus ?

And have they not, indeed, been heard ?

And shall they not need to pray again in the future ?

And shall they not be heard again ?

The Lord's prayer is for every day we live. And do we not meet new situations on a daily basis ?

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John elaborates on this action of overcoming later on. The answer is simple.

1 John 4:4

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

It is a matter of faith to believe. After being born again, we have the Holy Spirit living in us. This is a matter of fact. There is no doubt about it. It is done.

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Twice John says that "you have overcome the evil one" in V13 and 14. The second is the key to understanding this idea. Note the full sentence of 1 John 2:14b -

I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.

Observe that these young men have two characteristics that qualify them for haing overcome the evil one:

1. They are strong

This is direct allusion to two other statements of Paul which allude to an OT passage was well:

  • Rom 1:11, 12 - For I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you, that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.
  • Eph 6:10 - Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.

Paul then goes on to show how one becomes "strong in the Lord" by using the full armor of God such as, belt of truth, breastplate of righteousness, shoes of the Gospel, shield of faith, helmet of salvation, sword of the Spirit, namely, the Word of God.

Being strong in the Lord is a direct allusion to Zech 10:12 which says:

I will strengthen them in the LORD, and in His name they will walk

2. The Word of God abides in you

This is actually part of the full armor of God as listed above which Paul calls, "The Sword of the Spirit".

It is only when we are "strong in the Lord", covered with the "full armor of God" that as weak humans we can say that we have overcome the evil one. This makes the Lord's prayer all the more important where Jesus taught us to pray, "deliver us from the evil one".

Now, we do not pray to be delivered from the evil one and then refuse to wear the full armor of God - it is only in the "strength of the Lord" that such a statement is possible. Jesus summarized this when he said, "For apart from Me you can do nothing." (John 15:5)

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The difference between these two verses is simple. The cross. And, that is all the difference. Matthew is ‘pre’ cross. 1 John 2 is ‘post’ cross. Let’s see the difference..

COL 1:13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.

So, when we see this in Matthew...

MAT 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

The passage in Colossians tells us we have been delivered from evil. Or specifically, ‘in him’ we have overcome evil, and, the young men John was addressing were ‘in christ’.

Do these young men (in 1 John 2, post cross) need to pray Matthew 6:13? No. This, Matthew 6:13, was ‘right’ for ‘then’. This is what the disciples were to pray. At a time when they were under Law. At a time when Jesus was looking to bring about the Kingdom. But, this was pre-cross. The question is, did the cross make a difference? Did ‘things’ change. Yes. The model for what we (post cross) need to pray is found in John 17.

Colossians (and elsewhere) clearly reflect this difference. We have been delivered.

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    There are two problems with this idea; (1) the suggestion that the Lord's Prayer is no longer relevant, and, (2) John 17 is also before the cross. This answer makes no sense. – Dottard Feb 3 at 20:54
  • @Dottard - Greetings. I suggested John 17 as a ‘model’, to consider how to pray. And yes, John 17 is pre-cross. But, in his prayer, Jesus is reflecting on the difference that would come about after, or rather as a result of his death. And it is that difference which my answer ‘argued’. Second, regarding the Lord Prayer, that’s exactly what I’m suggesting, that is, that the Lord’s Prayer needs to be considered in context, that is, it was a pre-cross prayer. I appreciate this view is not the ‘traditional’ one, but is this forum just to present ‘the traditional’ views? – Dave Feb 3 at 22:36
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The Lord’s prayer is primarily a morning prayer. The line: “Give us this day our daily bread” gives it away. Thus, it is a prayer to pray daily, which also Lam 3:23 bear witness of:

God’s grace is new each morning.

Consequently, if we pray the Lord’s prayer in the morning we have a good start and the rest of the day is set up for overcoming the evil one; which the words “lead us not into temptation” also requests. Because it would be a bit cumbersome to resist temptation if a spiritual entity would forcefully “lead us” into it. We must therefore pray that that never will happen.

Thus, the Lord’s prayer makes us strong. If we start the day with it, the word of God will live within us for the rest of the day. This must have been what made the “young men” in 1 John 2:14 strong and victorious.

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