August 20, 2017 – Ephesians 6:10-17
Lesson Date: August 20, 2017
Focal Scripture Passage: Ephesians 6:10-17
AIM: To lead students to identify the pieces of the Christian armor and their uses, and to claim that armor for their daily spiritual warfare.
Before class: Read the notes on Ephesians 6:10-17 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. If you plan to use the second introductory idea below, enlist someone to wear their uniform and equipment to class. Get enough copies of the Roman soldier picture for your anticipated attendance. Have some pens or pencils on hand for any who might need one. Write the following scripture references on index cards or small pieces of paper: Psalm 119:11; John 8:44; John 14:6; Acts 1:8; Acts 4:12; Romans 10:17; 2 Corinthians 5:21. Ask some class members who are comfortable reading aloud to look up the verses and be prepared to read them to the class when called upon.
INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Ask class members to name their vocations. Try to get everyone to name his or her occupation, but do not make visitors feel uncomfortable. Ask volunteers to tell what kind of clothing and equipment they need in order to carry out that vocation every day. For example, a fire fighter must have the proper lifesaving and firefighting equipment close at hand; a nurse must be in uniform, have a pen, stethoscope and other medical equipment; a carpenter must have work clothes and a tool belt, etc. The point is to get the members to think about the special clothing and equipment they must have to do their particular job. Note the fact that different vocations require different clothing and equipment.
An even better introductory idea: Enlist a member of the military, fire department, police force, or a medical worker (there is probably such a person enrolled in your class) to wear his or her special clothing and equipment to class. Tell the class you’ve invited this person to briefly show and describe their uniform and equipment to the class. After the person shows his or her equipment, ask him or her if it would be possible or practical to try to do their work without that equipment. Ask if any other students use special clothing or equipment in their work.
Tell the class today’s scripture will help us learn about the special clothing and equipment a Christian needs to face his daily life.
HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):
- Remind the class that we are studying the New Testament book of Ephesians. Locate Ephesus on the map.
- Ask a volunteer to read the first word of Ephesians 6:10 (“finally”).
- Remind the class that the Lord inspired the Apostle Paul to devote the first three chapters of Ephesians to doctrines related to salvation and the church, and the last three chapters to telling how Christians ought to live.
- Ask: “What are some things we have learned about how we should live?”
- Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (God’s instructions for Christian employees and employers).
- Tell the class that the verses we will study today are some of Paul’s last words to the Ephesians.
- Put on the Armor.
- Ask the volunteer to read all of Ephesians 6:10.
- Ask: “What does this verse tell us to do?” (be strong in the Lord).
- Ask: “Whose power should we rely upon – ours or the Lord’s?” (the Lord’s).
- Tell the class we are not equipped to face life in this world unless we rely upon the Lord’s power working within us (Eph. 1:19-20).
- Read Ephesians 6:11.
- Ask: “What are we commanded to put on?” (the whole armor of God).
- Ask: “Why?” (to enable us to stand against the attacks and trickery of our enemy, the devil).
- Tell the class whether we believe it or not, the devil is the enemy of every believer. He is crafty, cunning, and wants to destroy us (1 Pet. 5:8).
- Read Ephesians 6:12.
- Ask: “Who are we NOT fighting against?” (“flesh and blood” – other humans).
- Remind the students that words such as principalities, powers, and rulers refer to demon spirits (see 8:38; Eph. 1:21; 3:10; Col. 1:16).
- Tell the class all Christians are involved in spiritual warfare against Satan’s forces.
- A good soldier must be able to identify the enemy in order to fight and survive.
- Other humans are not really our enemies; our real enemies are the devil and his wicked demon spirits.
- Ask a volunteer to read Ephesians 6:13.
- Ask: “How much of the armor are we commanded to put on?” (all of it – “the whole armor of God”).
- Ask: “Why do we need that armor?” (to be able to stand firm against the enemy’s attacks).
- Ask: “What can happen to a soldier who fails to put on all of his armor and equipment?” (he could be killed).
- Summarize: Christians are under attack by the devil and his evil forces. We must claim the armor God has made available to us in order to stand up against the devil’s attacks.
- Pieces of the Armor.
- Give each student the picture of the Roman soldier and a pen or pencil if needed.
- Point out the six pieces of the soldier’s armor (belt, breastplate, shoes, shield, helmet, and sword).
- Ask the class why each of those pieces of equipment were important to ancient soldiers.
- Tell the class that the next four verses name the same six pieces of the Christian’s armor.
- Read Ephesians 6:14.
- Ask: “What is the Christian’s belt?” (truth)
- Tell everyone to write the word Truth on the line pointing to the soldier’s belt.
- Remind the class that the devil’s primary tactic against man is, and always has been, to tell us lies. This started in the Garden of Eden and continues today.
- Ask the previously enlisted volunteer to read John 8:44.
- The only way to overcome lies is with the truth. We serve a Savior who IS the truth.
- Ask the previously enlisted volunteer to read John 14:6.
- Ask the students to look back at verse 14.
- Ask: “What is the Christian’s breastplate?” (righteousness).
- Tell everyone to write the word Righteousness on the line pointing to the soldier’s breastplate.
- Explain that we have no righteousness of our own. In fact, we are all sinners.
- Ask: “What right do sinful humans have to the breastplate of righteousness?”
- Ask the previously enlisted volunteer to read 2 Corinthians 5:21.
- When we trust Jesus Christ for salvation He takes away our sin and gives us His righteousness in exchange.
- Read Ephesians 6:15.
- Ask: “What is the Christian’s footwear?” (readiness to share the gospel of Jesus Christ).
- Tell everyone to write the word Gospel on the line pointing to the soldier’s shoes.
- Ask the previously enlisted volunteer to read Acts 1:8.
- We should be ready to share the gospel with others.
- Read Ephesians 6:16.
- Ask: “What is the Christian’s shield?” (faith).
- Tell everyone to write the word Faith on the line pointing to the soldier’s shield.
- Ask: “What are we supposed to use the shield for?” (to resist the fiery darts of the enemy).
- Explain that the enemy sends those fiery darts in the form of feelings of guilt, discouragement, and defeat.
- Tell the class that true faith comes by hearing the Word of God.
- Ask the previously enlisted volunteer to read Romans 10:17.
- Tell the students we can’t expect to have faith with which to resist the fiery darts of discouragement if we don’t expose ourselves to the teaching and preaching of the Bible. That’s why we must faithfully attend Sunday School and worship services.
- Read Ephesians 6:17.
- Ask: “What is the Christian’s helmet?” (salvation).
- Tell everyone to write the word Salvation on the line pointing to the soldier’s helmet.
- Ask the previously enlisted volunteer to read Acts 4:12.
- We need the spiritual helmet to guard our thoughts from Satan’s evil influence.
- Ask the students to look back at verse 17.
- Ask: “What is the Christian’s sword?” (the Word of God – the Bible).
- Tell everyone to write the word Bible on the line pointing to the soldier’s sword.
- Note that the sword is the only offensive weapon in the Christian’s armament.
- Ask: “Does this mean we must carry our Bible with us everywhere we go?”
- Ask the previously enlisted volunteer to read Psalm 119:11.
- Summarize: The Lord has provided six special pieces of Christian armor with which we can stand victorious in the face of the devil’s constant and deceitful attacks.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: Tell the class there are many people on earth who live in war zones (a few examples are those who live in parts of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria). The Bible tells us Christians also live in a war zone – a zone of spiritual warfare. This is a fact whether we believe it or not.
Stress the following facts:
- A soldier who doesn’t believe in the existence of the enemy will get killed.
- A soldier who doesn’t think he is a target of the enemy will get killed.
- A soldier who leaves his equipment at home will get killed.
Tell the class the Lord has provided armor for Christians to use as they face spiritual warfare. Today we have discovered six pieces of that armor. Ask: “What must we do for our Christian armor to be useful to us?” (put it on). Explain that the Bible tells us to put on our Christian armor (verse 11). We must decide to do that and claim it in prayer (verse 18).
Ask: “Do you think that only certain Christians can claim and use their armor? Do you have to be a general in God’s army before you get any armor?” (no, every Christian has it available, just as every soldier has the equipment he or she needs, regardless of his or her rank). Ask: “Do you want to put on your Christian armor?”
Lead a closing prayer, claiming each piece of the armor that God has made available to us. Encourage members to put on their Christian armor each day this week.
CONCLUSION: Ask everyone to read Ephesians 6:11-17 every day this week, claiming each piece of armor. Tell them to ask God to help them stand firmly for Him.
Tell the students next week is our last lesson from the book of Ephesians. Ask everyone to read Ephesians 6:18-24 and study the lesson from their quarterly. Give each student a copy of the Sunday School Member Quarterly for the Fall quarter. Express your excitement about the upcoming Survey of Bible Doctrine.
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