"Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devils schemes." Ephesians 6:11
By incorporating additional games, adding song-time (suggestions below), and Scripture memorization, the following armor of God lesson may be used over a span of a few weeks, or up to six weeks. During lesson time discuss one or two of the armor pieces and then have the children make them, see creative ideas listed below.
When the armor pieces are completed, use the Armor of God Playing Cube to play the Armor of God Game; the rules are described, below.
Before playing, children will need items that represent the armor pieces, which can then be worn during the game. (See suggestions, below.)
What You Need: To begin, children make the Armor of God Playing Cube. It's a great memory tool! Print as many patterns as you need for single-classroom use. (The Armor of God game and cube is also available in Super Heroes of The Bible.)
How To Play: (You may play the game before or after the lesson.) Begin by dividing the players into groups of 3-4 players. Place the player's armor pieces into the center of the playing area. Players take turns rolling the cube. When a player rolls one of the armor pieces he or she puts it on. If a player rolls an item he or she already has, player loses that turn. The next player takes a turn playing as before.
How To Win: The first player to put on the full armor of God wins!
Read Ephesians 6:10-18 from an easy-to-understand Bible and explain the following:
The Bible says God's children are protected by supernatural armor; it is invisible, you can't see it or feel it. We are told to "put on the full armor of God" to protect ourselves from Satan's power and influence, "his schemes," as the Bible puts it. Schemes means to plot or to conspire against someone. Satan is plotting and conspiring to defeat us. (Spend a few minutes discussing sin and how Satan tempts us.) The Bible gives us a description of an ancient Roman soldier's armor and tells us how we can put on supernatural armor to protect and defend ourselves from Satan's fiery attacks.
Enrichment Idea: (Originally shared through the teacher's network) Have children take turns tracing one another's body while lying down on large sheets of butcher paper. Then have the children draw the armor pieces on their body outline as you explain them.
Bible Memory Verse:
"Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devils schemes" Ephesians 6:11.
The Belt of Truth - A soldier's belt tied up his tunic so he wouldn't stumble over loose clothing.
Why do you think we are told to put on the Belt of Truth? How would this invisible piece of armor help us and protect us? (Jesus is the One True God. He shows us the right way to go in life so we don't stumble and get off track. Jesus will never lie to us or mislead us. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.)
Optional Memory Verse: Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" John 14:6.
Coordinating Activities: Spend some time memorizing Ephesians 6:11; make a Belt (see suggestions below); play Narrow Way Relays, but you will need to substitute John 14:6 for the Bible verse.
The Breastplate of Righteousness - The breastplate protected the vital organs of a soldier.
What does the word "righteousness" mean? (It comes from the root word, "right," meaning "correct.") How does this invisible piece of armor protect us? (Jesus makes us righteous "right with God." He protects our hearts. The Bible says we are to guard our hearts in Christ Jesus.)
Coordinating Activities: Practice the memory verse; make a Breastplate (see suggestions below); make the Yummy Devotion - Breastplate Brittle.
Feet fitted with the Gospel of Peace - The Roman soldier wore protective and supportive footgear.
Why do we wear shoes? (They protect our feet by allowing us to walk on various surfaces that could harm us. e.g. hot pavement, thorns, rocks, etc.)
Why do you think we are told to have our feet fitted with the Gospel of Peace? Why would this invisible piece of armor be important to us? How does it protect us?
Gospel means "Good News." The Good News of protection is that Jesus has made peace with God in our behalf. Without Jesus in our lives, we are enemies of God. As Christians, our feet should always be ready to take us places to tell the Good News to others, to support the work of ministry, and to protect Christian influences in our world. The Bible says, "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have" (1 Peter 3:15). Telling others about God may not always be an easy thing to do. In fact, it can be quite "rocky" at times. But we need to bring the Gospel message to others so they can have peace with God.
Coordinating Activities: Practice the memory verse; make shoes (see suggestions below); play Evangelism Tag.
Shield of Faith - The Roman soldier used a large shield covered in leather that could be soaked in water and used to put out flaming arrows that were thrown at him.
Why do you think we are told to use the "Shield of Faith" to protect ourselves? How does our faith protect us? The Bible tells us without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6). God is willing to give us the faith we need to defend ourselves against Satan's fiery attacks.
Coordinating Activities: Practice the memory verse; make a shield (see suggestions below).
The Helmet of Salvation - The helmet protected the Roman soldiers' head.
When do we need to use a helmet? (Biking, sports, motorcycles.) How do helmets protect us? (They protect our brains, our minds, from being damaged.) How do you think the "Helmet of Salvation" protects our minds? We are to believe in the LORD Jesus Christ to be saved. The Bible says we are to guard our minds in Christ Jesus. We must ask ourselves, what are we reading and watching? Is it good for our minds? We are to think on good things (Philippians 4:8).
(Super Heroes of The Bible has an expanded lesson on the Helmet of Salvation, and directions to make a helmet in a very a special way.)
Coordinating Activities: Practice the memory verse; make a helmet (see suggestions below).
Sword of the Spirit - The Bible. A sword is used to protect ourselves and to attack our Enemy.
How might we use the Bible, our sword, to protect and defend ourselves? God's Word tells us what is right and wrong, shows us how to live, and tells us how to defeat Satan. Our battle is fought by using God's Word and in prayer. It is fought in God's strength and in HIS mighty power.
Optional Memory Verse: "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12).
Coordinating Activities: Practice the memory verse; make the Sword of the Spirit.
Purchase the Armor of God Cube pattern.
Copyright 2003 Sarah Keith
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Sally from Wichita writes, "I just want to let you know how much fun my group had playing the Armor of God game with the playing cube. The kids were all so thrilled to take their cubes home to play with later. During class, we looked at pictures of Roman Soldiers and also discussed all the armor pieces. For shoes, we used socks. For the breastplates I went to our local thrift store and bought old sweatshirts (adult small, all plain with no logos or pictures, but in an array of bright colors) and bought old ties for the belt of truth. When I told the thrift store what I was going to do with the items, they sold them to me at a really deep discount. I bought metallic party hats from the dollar store for the helmets and a bag of colored feathers so each child could add a feather plume to his/her helmet. For swords, I went to a local paint store who donated paint stir sticks (smooth, no points). And for shields, I used what are called "pizza rounds" which are 12-inch round pieces of corrugated cardboard which I got really cheap from a packing supply store. Then I punched two holes in each shield and ran a pipe cleaner through them for a handle. The kids also got to color and decorate their shields and swords. Then they all got to take their whole outfit home with them (except for my husband's socks) along with their own cube. We had a blast; the time went too fast for the kids. I really recommend this game. Well worth the cost."
Additional suggestions for making some of the Armor pieces:
Belt - tear long strips of cloth and allow children to decorate them with permanent markers.
Breastplate - make a paper breastplate vest out of brown grocery bags, or use heavy-duty tinfoil.
Shoes - decorate socks with buttons and markers.
Sword - make the Sword of the Spirit bookmark.
Song Time Suggestions (You can find many of the following songs in our affiliate bookstore.)
"Soldiers of Christ Arise - Traditional Hymn", Soldiers of Christ Arise - Rap (listen to rap): "Stand up, stand up, soldiers of Christ arise, and put your armor on. From in the strength which God supplies through his eternal Son. From in the Lord of hosts, and in his mighty power, through in the strength of Jesus trust is more than conquerors!"
"Onward Christian Soldiers", "I Am A Christian, A Mighty, Mighty Mighty Christian" (by Ronnie Caldwell-Children's Church Classics Volume Two) "I'm in the Lord's Army" (by Cedarmont KIDS Classics: Action Bible Songs), "The Battle Belongs to the Lord" (by Maranatha! Music Praise Classic Songbook), "My Shield" and "Power" (both songs are from "How I Praise You! 150 Little Psalms in Song" - type the title into the bookstore search box to find it), and "Armor of God Rap" (from Sunday School Specials 4 by Lois Keffer. It contains 4 lessons on the Armor of God for mixed age Sunday school. It ends with the Armor of God Rap, you march in cadence and say it - our kids loved it.)
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