VERSES: Ephesians 6:10-18
MEMORY VERSE: Ephesians 6:10 "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: Acts. Write the book, "Acts," on small slips of paper and hand out papers to the students at the end of the class to take home to memorize.
PRAYER: Pray that all Christians will take up the armor of God and, not only protect themselves from the devil, but will be able to stand and fight against his wickedness.
SPECIAL SONG: Read, Read Every Day (see February 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #1 on this blog.) Matthew Four (see May 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #5 on this blog. Click orange circles to hear tunes.)
VISUAL AID: Draw a simple picture of a soldier wearing the armor of God, holding a shield and a sword on a white board or blackboard. Label all parts of the armor. (Older students: Present a good Bible concordance and a good dictionary. See notes under "Older Student" Tips.)
NOTE TO THE BIBLE TEACHER: With this lesson, there is much to teach and much to do if the Bible teacher chooses to cover all of the material presented here in one class time. If this method is chosen for this lesson, the Bible teacher may want to pre-cut a few items and/or type labels for a quicker and stress-free class. No one learns when the Bible teacher is hurried. Rather, perhaps this might be a five-day series of Vacation Bible School lessons, lessening pressure of the teacher and encouraging memorization and comprehension on the students' part. An idea for attendance charts might be a soldier without his armor and, as each day passes, the student adds a portion of godly armor. A large bulletin board may be created centered around a soldier in God's army and the items of armor clearly labeled. Students learn much from attractive and Biblical walls. Each item of the armor of God might be supplemented with another lesson from the Bible each day, such as Joshua, Gideon, David and Jesus. These ideas are given for your consideration and the students' benefit.
ATTENDANCE CHART: If using a soldier as an attendance chart, draw your own soldier and his armor or copy the soldier below. Add an article of the Christian armor to the soldier to log the attendance of each student. Each student should have their own copy of the soldier and armor. Displaying the soldiers on one wall with the student's name close by would be motivating and encourage attendance in Bible class. (The soldier below may also be used as an alternate activity than the one shown below under "Activity," coloring and cutting out each piece of armor and gluing it to soldier who has no armor. Two Activitiy choices for one lesson!)
This is what the soldier should look like (see below) if the student has had perfect attendance. The soldier and armor may be colored with crayons or colored pencils.
- We know by reading our Bibles that, especially in the Old Testament, God had soldiers who fought for Him and did whatever He told them to do. Men like Joshua, Gideon, and David fought many physical battles in their lives and were always on God's side, obeying His commands. As we read the pages of the New Testament, we find that there is still a battle going on, but it is a spiritual battle that must be fought with spiritual weapons because the enemy is the devil and his wicked ways. Let's turn our Bibles to Ephesians 6:10-18 and read God's special instructions to His soldiers. (Read verses.)
- God, through the apostle Paul, tells Christians to be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Like obedient Old Testament soldiers, Christians must trust God, knowing that their strength does not lie within themselves, but in God's power and strength. By diligently studying the Bible and remembering Bible verses, a Christian can be of great value to the Lord, whether they are teaching others about Jesus, His only begotten Son, or if they are defending God's Word and standing up for what God says is right.
- Let's take a look at the armor or the coverings worn in battle for protection that God has given to Christians as a way to not only defend themselves, but to strike against the devil. God tells His soldiers to make certain that they put on the WHOLE armor of God, not forgetting any of the valuable pieces of armor, so they are able to stand against the devil and his tricks. In verse 12 of Ephesians 6, we can learn that this battle is definitely not a physical battle where Christians are throwing punches and blood is flowing, but God's battle is one that is a spiritual battle against the devil, spiritual darkness, and sin. When the battle is fought, Christians must make sure that, at the end of the spiritual fight, they have done everything they could do and are still standing.
- First, the Lord says that Christians should have their loins girt about with truth. The loin area is around the hips where a belt might encircle a person. What should this area be strongly fastened with? Truth! What is truth? God's Word is truth. (John 17:17.) Christians should have God's Word encircling and fastened to them. This is the area that will make Christians stand firm--having God's Word protecting them. Christians should be able to prove every word they say and everything they do with God's Word. (Colossians 3:17).
- Next comes the breastplate. This is the largest area that the enemy can see of a Christian and it can also be seen from a distance. This area is where the heart is found. What covers this area? Righteousness! Righteousness is another word for 'right doing.' This largest area of a Christian is covered with doing right or doing good deeds. This is the area that people see the most--the Christian's actions of good works.
- Does it make a difference in what kind of footwear a Christian is wearing? Shoes are an important part of a person's attire, showing that they are prepared for the event. If a person is wearing the wrong type of shoes, much harm can come, such as wearing snowshoes on a slippery cliff or slippers in a heavy snow storm. Christians need to be wearing the right type of shoes, preparing themselves with the gospel of peace. Christians should be thinking of ways to talk about Jesus to their neighbors, how to explain spiritual things like salvation and the church to their friends, and preparing themselves with knowledge from God's Word by studying the Bible and sharing it with people they know. Questions will surely come and they will be prepared with answers that come from the Bible and not from people's traditions or ideas; their feet will be grounded and will not stray from God's Truth.
- In the Old Testament, most soldiers had some type of shield which was usually large enough to protect them from darts or spears that were thrown by the enemy. The spiritual shield is like that, too. The Christian's shield is their faith. If they have a little bit of faith, then their shield that protects them is small, but a Christian who has a great faith in God has a great shield to protect them from any fiery darts that the devil may throw. How can a Christian's faith grow? Romans 10:17 tells us that faith comes by hearing God's Word.
- Just like those Old Testament soldiers, a Christian has a helmet. Instead of a physical helmet made out of strong metal that could actually be placed on a soldier's head and protect themselves, God has given instructions on what kind of helmet would work best in the spiritual battle that Christians must fight today. Let's read Ephesians 6:17. What is the Christian's helmet made of? Salvation! Salvation is extremely important to a Christian and should be in their thoughts at all times. Salvation is what a Christian strives for in this earthly life and fights for in the spiritual battle.
- All of the pieces of armor that we have studied protect the Christian, but there is one weapon the Christian holds to strike out and cuts down the devil and his evil ways and that is the sword. Not just any sword, it is the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. With this sword, the Christian can attack the devil and those that fight for him. Having God's Word in hand, the Christian can defeat the wicked one.
- Finally, the Christian prays always for himself and for others to win their spiritual battle. We may not see the devil with our eyes, but we know that he is walking around on this earth like a roaring lion, looking for and finding those who he might devour. (Read First Peter 5:8). Christians are to be serious and alert to all signs of danger and sin, staying close to God and His Word for their protection and safety.
- Many times in the New Testament, Christians are told to be strong. Read a few of these passages: First Corinthians 16:13; Ephesians 6:10; Second Timothy 2:1, adding a few that the students may find in their Bibles. This might be a good time to show the older students how to use a concordance and how to find Biblical words in the Bible easily. A good concordance will only help good Bible students become better Bible students, knowing that there is a way to find needed verses. Using a good dictionary is also a help defining Bible words like "armor." "girt," and "shod."
- The Bible is a great part of the Christian's armor. Let us read a little of it every day to prepare ourselves against the trickery of the devil.
- How did Jesus handle His temptations in the wilderness in Matthew 4? Jesus was prepared with scriptures to win His battle over Satan. "It is written..."
"LOINS GIRT ABOUT WITH TRUTH":
Materials: Two 2" x 18" light brown pieces of construction paper, a strip of bulletin board border, one large paper clip, stapler, staples, tape, scissors, marker.
- Hand out brown paper.
- Place construction paper on table.
- Match up two of the ends of the paper.
- Tape, covering the staples, so they do not harm the student.
- Write "Loins girt about with truth" and "Ephesians 6:14" towards the top edge of the brown paper.
- Place colorful border along the bottom edge of the brown paper.
- Staple in place.
- Tape over the edges of the staples.
- Encircle the paper belt around the student.
- Place paper clip to secure. (If paper clip is attached to the front of the belt, then the student can take it off when he or she wishes.)
Materials: Two sheets of 12" x 18" light brown construction paper, stapler, staples, tape, scissors, marker.
- Hand out brown papers.
- Place both papers on top of one another.
- Draw a triangle in the middle of the brown papers (at the top) large enough for a child's head.
- Cut triangles out of brown papers.
- On the outside of each paper, draw many "V"s to resemble a breastplate.
- Write "Breastplate of Righteousness" and "Ephesians 6:14" in the middle of one of the papers.
- Tape the two papers together on either side of the triangle, forming shoulders.
- To wear, simply place the breastplate over child's head. (Sides of breastplate are not attached for easy-on and easy-off).
"FEET SHOD WITH THE PREPARATION OF THE GOSPEL OF PEACE":
Materials: Two pieces of 2" x 9" light brown construction paper, two 4.5" x 6" light brown construction paper strips, two paper clips, stapler, staples, scissors, marker, tape (optional).
"SHIELD OF FAITH":
- Hand out both 4.5" x 6" brown papers.
- Cut all corners of papers. These are the shoes.
- Fold long edges of brown papers.
- Write "Feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace" and "Ephesians 6:15" on the tops of the papers.
- Hand out both 2" x 9" brown paper strips.. These are the shoe straps.
- Staple one brown strip to outside fold of 4.5" x 6" brown paper.
- Place over student's shoe.
- Secure with paper clip. Use a little tape if needed.
- Repeat with other shoe.
"SHIELD OF FAITH":
Materials: One piece of 9" x 10" orange construction paper, one 2" x 9 strip of orange construction paper, tape, scissors, marker..
"SWORD OF THE SPIRIT":
- Hand out 9" x 10" orange paper. This is the shield.
- Write "Shield of Faith" and "Ephesians 6:16" in the middle of the orange paper.
- Tape one side of orange strip to the back of the shield.
- Gently bend the other end of the orange strip and tape to the other edge of the shield. This is the handle of the shield.
"SWORD OF THE SPIRIT":
Materials: empty toilet paper or paper towel roll, 12" x 12" piece of aluminum foil, marker, tape (optional).
- Hand out empty toilet paper roll.
- Write "Sword of the Spirit" and "Ephesians 6:17" on the roll.
- Hand out foil.
- Loosely and gently, roll foil into a long tube.
- Insert foil into the toilet paper roll.
- Gently form into a sword's blade.
- As students wear all the articles of armor, the students bow their heads as the Bible teacher says a prayer of thankfulness and God's protection for the students, and then the students are sent out into the world to stand firm and fight against the devil..