|Wednesday:||Armor of God|
|Story Passage:||Matthew 4:1-11, Luke 4:1-13|
|Other Passages:||Ephesians 6:10-18, Deuteronomy 8:3, Deuteronomy 6:16, Deuteronomy 6:13, Genesis 1:1, Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 10:9-10, Romans 3:22|
|Objective:||Children should learn that temptations should be resisted using God's word and the armor of God, not human reasoning.|
|Memory Verse:||Ephesians 6:11, |
Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.
Introduction: Pieces of Armor
What do all good soldiers need, to protect them in battle? (Accept some answers.) We have a word for the things a soldier wears and carries for protection: we call them "armor". Did you know that in our battle against Satan, God gives us spiritual armor to wear?
[Show diagram.] This piece right here is called a "breastplate". Our spiritual breastplate is righteousness. If we are righteous, that protects us from spiritual harm. To hold things together, a soldier wears a heavy belt. Our spiritual belt is truth. We can learn truth from the Bible, and it holds our spiritual life together. Soldiers do a lot of walking, so they need good boots. This prepares them to get to the battle without tripping or being hurt. Our preparation comes from studying the gospel. Every good soldier carries a shield. He can hold the shield in whichever direction the danger is coming from, and protect himself from arrows. When Satan throws trouble our way, our faith protects us. The Bible says with our shield of faith we can extinguish all his flaming arrows. The most important thing for a soldier to protect is his head. If a soldier doesn't have a helmet, and his head gets hurt, he can't keep fighting. He could even die. Our spiritual helmet is our salvation, which we talked about on Monday. The rest of the armor cannot protect us if we do not believe in God. Soldiers also carry weapons. Today they may carry guns, but in ancient times soldiers carried swords. This is the weapon they use to push back the enemy. Our sword is the word of God. When you learn the Bible, you have the information you need to push Satan back. The Bible says that God's soldiers should also pray, not just once in a while, but all the time. In our story today, someone was being tempted by Satan, and he used his sword to push Satan away.
Story: Temptation of Jesus
Jesus hadn't eaten for forty days, because he had been fasting. The devil saw this as an opportunity, and came to tempt him. He said, "If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread." How do you think Jesus responded? Did he say, "No, I don't like bread"? (No.) Did he say, "I am the Son of God, but making bread out of a stone wouldn't prove it"? (No.) What did Jesus do? He quoted from the Bible. He used his sword: "It is written, 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" Jesus was quoting from a passage in Deuteronomy that was talking about the people of Israel, being tested in the desert (just like Jesus was being tested in the desert), and how they were hungry, and God fed them manna, to show them that following God is more important than food. Jesus applied this idea to what was happening in his own life: it was more important to Jesus to follow God (not Satan) than to eat bread.
Satan didn't give up. He tempted Jesus again: two more times. Both times, Jesus answered by quoting more passages from Deuteronomy. He didn't answer with human reasoning, but with the Word of God – and it kept him from sinning. After the third time, Satan left. Jesus had pushed him away with his sword.
Application: Using Your Sword
Okay, let's play a game. I'll tell you something that's wrong, and you give me a Bible verse that says it's wrong. Don't tell me what you think: tell me what the Bible says.
Billions of years ago, everything in the universe was a dot the size of a period, and it exploded, and the gasses that came from it collected into what became planets and stars and eventually people.(Accept Bible verses. Genesis 1:1 would be a good answer.)
I know I'm going to heaven, because I am a good person. I go to church, and I help the needy, and I don't swear, and I don't kick dogs.(Accept Bible verses. Good answers include Ephesians 2:8-9, Romans 10:9-10, Romans 3:22-24, ...)
Invite any children who want to get really serious about studying their Bible and learning to use their armor better to stay after the lesson and discuss it further.
Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.