Lead us not into temptation. Although we have received forgiveness and a good conscience and are entirely acquitted, yet our life is of such a nature that we stand today, and tomorrow we fall [Isaiah 40:6-8]. Even though we are godly and stand before God with a good conscience, we must pray again that He would not allow us to fall again and yield to trials and temptations.
Temptation is of three kinds: of the flesh, of the world, and of the devil. For we dwell in the flesh and carry the old Adam about our neck. He encourages us daily to unchastity, laziness, gluttony and drunkenness, greed and deception, to defraud our neighbor. In short, the old Adam encourages us to have all kinds of evil lusts, which cling to us by nature. They often wound and inflame even an innocent heart.
Next comes the world. It drives us to anger and impatience. In short, there is nothing but hatred and envy, hostility, violence and wrong, unfaithfulness, vengeance, cursing, railing, slander, pride and haughtiness. No one is willing to be the least. Everyone desires to sit at the head of the group and to be seen before all.
Then comes the devil to agitate matters that concern the conscience and spiritual affairs. He leads us to despise and disregard God's Word and works. He tears us away from faith, hope, and love, and he brings us into misbelief, false security, despair, denial of God, blasphemy. (pars. 99-104)
Condensed from CONCORDIA: THE LUTHERAN CONFESSIONS, copyright 2005,2006 by Concordia Publishing House. Used by permission. All rights reserved. To purchase a copy of CONCORDIA, call 800-325-3040.