Lesson: The Breastplate of Righteousness

This is the third lesson in our series called “How to Win Against Sin.” It’s based on the Armor of God teaching found in Ephesians 6. Click here to see more Bible lessons in this unit.

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How to Win Against Sin, Lesson Three: The Breastplate of Righteousness

Scripture References:

  • Ephesians 6:11-14
  • Psalm 119:9-11

Teacher Preparation:  Read the lesson beforehand and familiarize yourself with it. You do not have to read it word for word. Feel free to make it your own, just be sure to get the theme across. Pray for your class. Gather the following supplies:

  • Bible.
  • Poster and pieces.
  • Breastplate of Righteousness activity page for each child. (page )
  • One large (12X18) sheets of construction paper per child. (For younger kids, precut the breastplate.)
  • Ribbon.
  • Buttons with two holes. (Heart shaped ones would be great.)
  • Handheld hole punch.
  • Crayons, scissors, glue sticks
  • Scrap paper, other collage materials

For further information on righteousness, study the following passages. As you study these, allow the Holy Spirit to work these truths into your life so you can share them with the students.

  • Psalm 119:9-11
  • Deuteronomy 6:25
  • Romans 3:21-22

Theme: The second piece of armor we read about is the breastplate of righteousness. We put on the breastplate of righteousness when we do what God wants us to do instead of sinning.

Memory Verse: Ephesians 6:11 (ESV) “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”

Game: Read a series of tricky situations that children might find themselves in. Have them run to one corner of the room or the other to show what they would do in a given situation.
For example, say, “Your friends want you to stay out later than your parents say you can. Do you (a) stay out with your friends for just a few more minutes or do you (b) tell your friends that you have to go home because your parents told you to.” When you say go, have the children run to corner a or b. Have a few children explain their reasons. Make the questions appropriate for the age and situations your students may find themselves in. After a couple or rounds, you can have children come up with situations, too.

Lesson:

Pray with your class.

Who remembers what we have been learning about? That’s right, we are learning about the armor of God and how to WIN AGAINST SIN! Say this with me: With Jesus, I can win against sin! Just like knights and soldiers wear armor to protect themselves from being attacked, we wear the armor of God to protect us from being attacked by Satan. Last week we learned a song to help us remember all the pieces of armor. Let’s sing that song together now.
Pretend to put on each piece of armor as you sing it. Hold the sword up high. When you sing “this is the armor of our Lord,” march in place.
Belt, breastplate, shoes and shield,
Helmet and sword,
Belt, breastplate, shoes and shield,
Helmet and sword,
This is the armor of our Lord,
Belt, breastplate, shoes and shield,
Helmet and sword.
Satan tries to get us to sin, but since we love God, we don’t want to sin. We want to live righteous lives. Who can tell me what righteous means? Righteous means being right with God. We are righteous when we follow God and don’t let any sin into our hearts. What piece of armor protects the heart? Point to the knight’s breastplate. That’s right, the breastplate. The breastplate on a knight protects his heart. Our armor from God comes with a breastplate too. The breastplate we get from God is called the breastplate of righteousness. This means that when we put on the breastplate of righteousness, we are protecting our hearts from sin and learning to be righteous- right before God. Now, is the breastplate of righteousness something we actually wear, like we might wear a jacket? Do we keep our breastplates of righteousness hanging up in our closets? No! So how do we put on the breastplate of righteousness? Let a few children answer. That’s right. We pray that God would make us right before him by forgiving us of our sins, we read our Bibles, and we do our best to do what we know is right. o a sword drill with the following verses. You tell them the verse to look up, they do. Have a student read the verse and discuss it briefly. Let’s have a sword drill. Look up Psalm 119:9-11. What do these verses have to do with righteousness? Verse 9 talks about keeping our way pure. That means righteous. What do the following verses tell us to do to stay righteous? That’s right, we seek the Lord with our whole heart, we keep his commandments, and we store up his word in our heart. We memorize Bible verses to remind us how to be righteous.
When we do what is right before God, we are putting on the breastplate of righteousness. Now let’s all practice our memory verse together. I will say it once, and then we will practice our motions to help us remember it. “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” Now stand up and we will learn a few motions to help us learn this Bible verse. “Put on the whole armor” As you say this, pretend to get dressed. Put on your pants and a jacket. “of God” Sign God. (with right hand, thumb facing you, bring your flattened palm downward from your forehead to your chest.) “So that you may be able to stand against” Stand with your feet slightly more than shoulder width apart with your hands on your hips, like a super hero. “against the schemes” Rub your hands together like an evil villain. “Of the devil.” Sign devil. (Put your thumbs to your temples, and your forefingers and middle fingers straight in the air. Bend them twice, like air quoting.) Repeat the entire verse with the children, leading them in doing the motions.
I don’t want you to answer out loud, but can any of you think of a time when you sinned? Think to yourself how you felt after you sinned. (Give time for students to think.) At first it may have felt really good, but after a while, you probably felt pretty bad, huh? That’s because when we sin, we aren’t wearing the Breastplate of Righteousness. This makes it even easier for Satan to come in and help us to sin more. Remember, we make the choice to let Satan lead us to sin. If we work to put on the Breastplate of Righteousness every day, then it will be really hard for him to lead us into sin because we will be focused on following the commandments God gives us.
Make a list of some of the commandments that God wants us to follow. Discuss that righteousness is not based on what we do, but on God’s gift of the crucifixion to us. We follow his commandments because we love Him.

Poster: Review the pieces from last week. Add (or have the children add) a breastplate to the boy and girl on the poster.

Craft: Make breastplates of righteousness with the children.

  1. Cut out a breastplate shape. (Make an inward curve at the neck, the armpits, and the stomach.)
  2. Punch a hole in each shoulder.
  3. Decorate with scraps of paper. Include a heart on the center.
  4. Add the words “Right with God” to the breastplate.
  5. Measure a piece of ribbon to about a yard per child. String a button through it, then tie each end of the string through a hole in the shoulder. This makes an apron-like breastplate.

Pray with the class. Then pass out the Breastplate of Righteousness activity page. (Circle the things that belong in a righteous heart and cross out the things that do not belong in a righteous heart.) Work on it until parents come, or send it home as homework to reinforce the lesson.


Comments

  1. says

    Thank you for this..been looking for a curriculum, but I like this and hope to stick with it. I will discuss with my teachers and see what they think! I like it being easy and everything i need is all there! Praise Jesus!

  2. Kelley Larrew says

    Thank you for this excellent lesson! You really saved the day as I was called unexpectedly to teach this lesson. The movements are so well explained! I can’t wait to teach tonight!

    His Servant & Yours,
    Kelley

  3. Kim says

    Thank you for the great ideas, especially the games and crafts, that go with the lesson!

  4. says

    Thank you! thank you! thank you! The kids love these lessons. My class is 5-11 and they all love the lessons and the song by Go Fish. The smaller ones got so excited when they saw they get to “dress” the children with armor. These truths will stick with them for a long time to come.

  5. Kisha says

    I am thoroughly enjoying teaching these lessons to our children at church. It is appropriate for a variety if ages. I love how the lessons are reinforced week to week.

  6. Juliet says

    Thank you for posting this lesson- it’s really helping me out as I prepare a class on this topic! I think the song is a really great idea, and the concept is well explained too! Thank you!

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