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Sabbath School Lessons on Ephesians
About the Author
Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 41 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 13: The Christian Armor *
Introduction: Protection. We all like to be protected against bad
things. When it is cold outside, we protect ourselves with warm
clothes. When it is hot outside, we protect ourselves with sun block
and insect repellant. Our cars have all sorts of devices to protect
us from errors. At work, we hope our boss protects us from superiors
and the boss hopes the same from us. Last week we learned that Satan
has this huge, organized force of demons - and they are not a
peaceful bunch. It would seem like that bunch is something against
which we need extraordinary protection. Let's charge into our study
and find out more about securing protection!
- The Evil Day
- Read Ephesians 6:13. Who provides us with armor? (God.)
- Is it possible for us to be half-hearted about
putting on our armor? (The text refers to the "full"
armor of God. This implies that we should be sure we
have all the available armor.)
- What is the "day of evil?" (Trials. Attacks from the
forces of Satan.)
- What comfort do you take from the phrase "when
the day of evil comes?" (It is a problem that
has a limit on the time of the attack - at least
the worst of the attack.)
- What discomfort do you take from the phrase
"when the day of evil comes?" (It is certain to
come. Paul does not say, "if the day of evil
- What duty do we have to prepare for the day of
evil? (Paul warns us to "do everything." We are
not just standing around until the attack. It is
only when the attack comes that we are told to
- Last week we discussed whether our battle goals were
primarily defensive or offensive. Have they changed?
(Paul seems to be emphasizing the defensive nature of
our fight. He repeats that our goal is to "stand.")
- The Full Armor
- Read Ephesians 6:14. What does your belt do for you? What
do you think it did for soldiers in Paul's day? (If you
were wearing a long robe, it was a bit difficult to move
quickly. You could "hike up" your robe using your belt,
giving you better freedom of movement. (Compare Exodus
12:11.) Your belt was a place to hang weapons and it
helped to hold all of your armor together.)
- Why would the belt be equated with "truth?" (Having
the truth helps to keep all of your armor together.
It helps you to hold on to your weapons. It allows
you to move with boldness. If you find you are wrong,
then things just seem to fall apart.)
- How does God give us the belt of truth? (You
have a large role to play in this. Studying the
gift from God - the Bible - is essential to
knowing the truth. Asking for the Holy Spirit to
reveal the truth in the Bible to us is critical.
- How important is truth, as opposed to sincerity?
(Jesus tells us in John 8:44 that Satan is "the
father of lies." Truth is important to winning this
battle. Being sincere, but wrong, promoting lies,
puts you on the wrong side of things. I think we are
required to dig deep into God's word to be sure we
know what is true.)
- What role does the breastplate fulfill? (It protects the
heart and the vital organs.)
- In what way does "righteousness" protect your heart
and your vital organs? (The heart and the vital
organs are necessary for life. The righteousness
given to us by Jesus (see 2 Corinthians 5:21) allows
us to enter into eternal life. The righteous life
which we are expected to live (see Ephesians 4:24)is
the new life in God. The Bible Exposition Commentary
says, "The life we live either fortifies us against
Satan's attacks or makes it easier for him to defeat
- Read Ephesians 6:15. Have you ever thought about getting
into a fight with bare feet? If you normally wear shoes,
what would be going through your mind if you were called
on to fight without them? (When I am by myself, I have a
habit of making a running "battle assessment." For
example, when I take the dog out at night, I look around
and consider what I should do if faced with an intruder.
When I am not wearing shoes, bare feet are one of my first
concerns. So far, being alert has only kept my mind
occupied because I live in a safe area and never have had
to face an intruder.)
- Would wearing shoes give you "peace?" (You don't need
to be worried about your feet. You don't need to
worry about your toes being stepped on and you do not
need to worry about what you might step on. It would
allow a soldier to concentrate on the battle.)
- If you agree, "yes, shoes give me peace" then
what do you think Paul means when he writes
"your feet fitted with the readiness that comes
from the gospel of peace?" (I think he means
knowing the gospel is like wearing shoes - it
gives us peace in difficult times. You know
where to stand. You know where you should go. It
eliminates certain areas of worry.)
- Read Ephesians 6:16. What kind of "flaming arrows" would
Satan or his demons shoot at us? What do you think those
could be? (Trials and troubles would seem to be some. But,
others might not obviously be "shot" from a distance.
Those would be hateful thoughts, lies, covetousness,
impure thoughts, gossip, etc.)
- How does faith put out the fire of these arrows?
(First, faith gives us trust in God in times of
trouble. Second, faith gives us the way to resist
evil thoughts and actions so that we do not disobey
- A number of commentaries give a similar description
of the shields used by Roman soldiers. They were
about four feet by two and a half feet, covered with
linen and leather, with edges that allowed them to
interlock. Thus, the Bible Exposition Commentary
tells us "soldiers could interlock shields and march
into the enemy like a solid wall." Picture your
church in your mind. Would it match this description:
Christians with locked shields of faith showing the
Devil a solid wall?
- If not, what can you do to "form up" with your
- Read Ephesians 6:17. The helmet protects the head. Why
would Paul refer to salvation being a helmet? What is the
logical link? (This points to the importance of our mind.
If you have confidence that Jesus won the victory over
Satan at the cross, if you believe that Jesus will
ultimately make all things right, then that protects your
mind and emotions when you get into battle.)
- In your Christian walk, do you focus more on what you
do than on what you take into your mind? If so, have
you ( Ephesians 6:17)"taken" the helmet of salvation?
(This points to another aspect of the helmet of
salvation. Some Christians will armor their body, but
leave their head unprotected by a helmet. They do
this by taking in all sorts of evil influences.)
- Friend, have you do all that is necessary to have your
spiritual armor in place? Have you gone to God the
armorer? Have you the confidence in trouble that comes
from having your God-given armor in place? If not, why not
commit today to putting on that armor?
- Next week: The Christian Communion and Conduct.
* Copr. 2005, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.