Armor of God

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
Objective: Teens 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
Soldiers need armor to protect them in combat.
[Refer to diagram.] 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. In ancient times, every good soldier carried a shield. He could hold the shield in whichever direction the danger was 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 is injured, he cannot continue 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 firearms, but in ancient times soldiers carried swords. This is the weapon they would 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? Did he say, I am the Son of God, but making bread out of a stone wouldn't prove it? No. 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
Let's see if you can use your sword. 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.
  1. 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.)
  2. 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, ...)
  3. I can have an abortion. It's not really wrong to get rid of a fetus, because it's my body, and I don't want to bring a child into the world that nobody would love.
    (Accept Bible verses. Good answers would include Psalm 139:13, 1st Corinthians 6:19-20, Luke 1:41-44, Matthew 10:28-31, Jeremiah 1:5, or Exodus 20:13.)
Invitation: Growth
Give an invitation for teens who want to get really serious about studying their Bible and learning to use their armor better. Have them give you some specific ways that they're going to do this.

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