The Armor of God-The Breastplate of Righteousness: Ephesians 6:14-Lesson 2
Hold up two identical hearts cut from red construction paper. Have a little cup of water nearby, and splash some water on one of the hearts. Ask the kids what happened to the heart when it got wet. Point out how the paper is all bubbly and ruined now. Take the other red heart and wrap it in foil. Write with an unsharpened pencil (or crayon- just to make an indentation) without tearing the foil, “I trust Jesus”. Sprinkle water on this heart and ask the kids what happened. Point out that the water just rolled right off and the red heart underneath is not ruined.
Read Ephesians 6 as you prepare this lesson. Verses 10-20 tell us about special weapons and tools that we need to be strong in the Lord. We are going to explain each of these in simple terms to begin to lay a foundation that a strong Christian actively uses spiritual tools to fight against Satan, our enemy, and pursues righteousness and the glory of God.
When you ask Jesus into your heart, He takes away your sin and gives you His goodness (another word is righteousness). When Jesus lives in you and you have His righteousness, the bad ways of the world don’t hurt you.
The breastplate of righteousness is the tool God has given us to protect our hearts from being damaged or hurt by bad things in the world. It is like a shield that won’t let arrows through to stab our hearts. Just like the aluminum foil didn’t let the water ruin the red heart, if we trust in the goodness of Jesus and not our own goodness, we will be strong in the Lord. Satan can’t make us feel bad or make us think that God doesn’t love us, because we have a special tool that God has given us. It is the breastplate of righteousness.
“Stand firm with the breastplate of righteousness in place.” Ephesians 6:14
Just like a soldier who wears his armor to protect him in a battle, God has given each of his children some important tools and weapons to help them be strong. Wearing a shield (or breastplate) over your heart is one of the most important things you can wear. If the enemy can get to your heart, what can happen? You can be seriously wounded and even die. If you don’t believe that Jesus’ righteousness (or goodness) is enough to get you into heaven, then you will always be doubting in God’s power and that will make you a very weak Christian. A strong Christian wears His armor, the belt of Truth and the Breastplate of Righteousness. He believes that God’s Word is true and that the goodness of Jesus makes him God’s child and Satan can’t change that.
Why did Jesus die on the cross? (to forgive our sins) When your sins are forgiven, the black sin of your heart is washed clean and your heart is as white as snow. When that happens, you are right with God. This means not only will you be with Him in heaven one day, but that you have His righteousness and goodness. You have the power to say “NO!” to Satan and to stop sinning. You can’t be hurt by the lies and bad things of the world if you are safe behind the shield that God’s righteousness gives you. If you ever feel that God doesn’t love you or that you are bad, remember the tool that God gave you to protect you: The Breastplate of Righteousness!!
Closing Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross so that we can be right with you. Satan can’t lie to us and trick us because you have given us the Belt of Truth and the Breastplate of righteousness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Craft- Have the children make a shield. Put their full names on the back and let them wear them until it’s time to clean up. Collect each one at the end and put them in the box marked with the correct time of the service. There will be two containers for each service that will hold each piece of armor the child makes. When the 8 lessons on over, each child should go home with a complete set of armor.