Bible Lesson: A Believer's Power (Ephesians 3)

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This lesson is the third in the series teaching from the Book of Ephesians emphasizing the importance of a personal daily quiet time with God.  This lesson focuses on the power of the Holy Spirit available to all believers.  The lesson was created for older students.
Learning Goal: Students will learn that the Holy Spirit empowers believers to do God’s work.

Bible Passage: Ephesians 3
Bible Story Title:  A Believer’s Power
Target Age Group: Ages 9-11 (3rd-5th Grade U.S.A.)
Target Time Frame: 60 Minutes
Original Teaching Context: Sunday School

Supply List: Bibles, flash light, batteries for flash light, copies of Ephesians 3 for students to mark key words/phrases, color pencils/pens
Learning Activity #1: Bible Sword drill. Have students hold their Bibles with the binding against their palms.  When you say, ‘Swords up’ they hold their Bibles above their heads.  Say the reference and write the reference for the students to see.  Say, ‘Charge!’ and the students begin to search for Scripture.  When the verse is found the student stands.  The first student to stand will recite the verse once the remaining students find it and stand. (If the same student is consistently the first one standing give him/her the option to choose someone to read the reference. Use this drill as an opportunity for students to become familiar with their Bibles.  Sometimes students won’t even try if they know they aren’t going to get to it first.  That’s the reason we wait for all to find it before reading it.)
(Optional verses:  Zechariah 4:6 So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty. Luke 24:49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 4:31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 2:3-5 3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.1 Corinthians 6:19-20 19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.Ephesians 1:18-20 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,2 Timothy 1:7 For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. 2 Peter 1:3 His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.)
Learning Activity #2: Before class prepare instructions for students to mark key phrases on their Ephesians 3 observation sheets.  (Optional:  (Read Ephesians 3) 1. Mark every reference to Jesus by underlining with red and making a cross. 2. Mark every reference to the Holy Spirit by drawing a red cloud and filling in yellow. 3. Mark each time you see power by drawing a stick of dynamite around it and color it red.)
Memory Verse: Ephesians 3:20-21 “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, fore ever and ever! Amen.”

Bible Lesson: A Believer’s Power (Ephesians 3)

Power-(1411 NT – Greek [dunamiV] dunamis doo’-nam-is from [dunamai] – dunamai 1410; force (literally or figuratively); specially, miraculous power (usually by implication, a miracle itself):–ability, abundance, meaning, might(-ily, -y, -y deed), (worker of) miracle(-s), power, strength, violence, mighty (wonderful) work)
Introduction to Bible Lesson:
Show the flash light without batteries.  Why is this flash light of no use to me if I am in the dark and need to see?  (No power) Put the batteries in.  Why would this flash light not be any help to me just because I put batteries inside? (I need to turn the light on)
A believer is like the flash light with batteries.  The moment a person puts their faith in the Lord Jesus (believes) the Holy Spirit comes to live inside (indwells) him/her.    In order to allow the Holy Spirit’s power to make a difference in a believer’s life he/she must turn on the power switch.  We don’t really have a switch like this flash light but there are things we must do in order to allow the Holy Spirit’s power to flow through us.  Let’s turn to Ephesians 3 and learn more about the power every believer has.
On your observation sheet, which verses did you mark the word power?  (Verses 7, 14,20) Let’s read those verses together.
The Holy Spirit empowers believers to do God’s Work (Ephesians 3:7)
Last time we discovered from Ephesians 2:10 that every believer is “God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”
How do believers find out what God has created them to do?  (Allow responses) We have to walk in a close relationship with Jesus every day.  We spend quiet time with God by reading His Word, memorizing His Word, praying and obeying what He is teaching us.  As we do this consistently we will walk in His power (turning on the switch of our lives so to speak) and He will lead us and guide us to do the work He has planned.
Right now you are children living in a home with the family God has given you.  You are students in the school God has placed you.  When you walk daily with God and obey what He is teaching you in His Word you are empowered by the Holy Spirit living in you to do the good works God wants you to do so others can see Jesus.  What happens when others see Jesus working in and through your life? (Allow responses) You have opportunities to share the Good News with them so they can be saved from their sins.
The Holy Spirit strengthens believers (Ephesians 3:16, 20)
Let’s read Ephesians 3:14-21.Look at verse 16.  What was Paul asking God to do? (Strengthen believers through the Holy Spirit in their inner being)
Physical strength is what we do with our bodies.  Spiritual strength is what takes place inside our hearts.  What affects our ability to be physically strong?  What affects our ability to spiritually strong? (Answers will vary)
Sometimes believers face difficulties.  What are some difficulties students your age face?  Sometimes difficulties can cause believers to be discouraged.  Some can cause them to be fearful.
Paul prays for believers to be strengthened by the Holy Spirit in their inner being.  Are you feeling weak spiritually?  You can pray that God would strengthen your inner being.  Every time you spend in His Word and prayer He does strengthen your inner being.  He may send another believer to encourage you and pray with you so that you will be strengthened.
Do you know a believer who is discouraged or fearful because of the difficulties he/she is facing?  You can pray for him/her just as Paul did.
Let’s take verses 14- 17 and personalize them. (If students shared a difficulty, use that difficulty as an example to pray verses 16 and 17) If not use your own:  There is a family in our community that is facing a very difficult time.  Their teenage daughter was in a car accident and has been in a coma for several weeks.  The parents are believers.  Let’s pray for them using these verses.
Let’s close by reading Ephesians 3:20-21.  When believers pray God’s power to respond is beyond anything we could ask or think.  Nothing is too hard for God so we must pray and believe that God hears and answers our prayers.  When He answers it will be above and beyond what we could have asked or imagine!  God is great and greatly to be praised.
These lessons have been an encouragement to walk closely with Jesus by making a personal quiet time with Him a daily priority.  As you begin to discipline yourself and make that a high priority you will begin to see the Holy Spirit’s power working through you in ways you have never seen.
Close in prayer asking God to help each student to desire to spend time daily with Him.  Pray for those who have not yet been saved.

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