Lesson: The Sword of the Spirit

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This is the 7th 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 Seven: The Sword of the Spirit
Scripture References:

  • Hebrews 4:12
  • Ephesians 6:17
  • Matthew 6:33
  • Matthew 4:1-11

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.
  • Sword of the Spirit activity page for each child. (Sword Search download & coloring sheet )
  • five sheets 8 ½ X 11 white computer paper
  • two sheets construction paper
  • Stapler.
  • Crayons, scissors.

For further information on the word of God, 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.

  • Matthew 4:1-11
  • Hebrews 4:12
  • Psalm 119:105
  • John 17:17

Theme: The last piece of armor is the Sword of the Spirit. The Sword is the word of God, the Bible. This is not a piece of armor we put on and wear, but one we must keep sharp and use daily. We must be “expert swordsmen!”
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: This game has many variations. The purpose is for children to see that we use God’s Word to “cut through” the lies and see the Truth. To play, you will need a stick of some sort (or a few, depending on how many kids you have. The game shouldn’t take more than ten or fifteen minutes.) The stick could be a bat, a stick, a pool noodle, or rolled up newspaper. The stick represents the sword, the Bible. Kids will swing at objects that have lies written on them. When they knock over the object, the truth will be revealed. For example: set up a number of cereal boxes with lies written on them. (Such as, “God won’t forgive you for that,” “you won’t really get in trouble for stealing,” etc.) Inside the box, have a card with a Biblical truth that refutes that lie. You could also write lies on balloons and have the truth inside. Kids pop the balloons to find the truths. Or you could make piñatas out of paper lunch bags. Use your imagination and the supplies you have on hand for this game. To make this harder, have some truths mixed in with the lies, and the kids have to decide which is which. They knock down only the boxes with lies.
 Lesson:  Pray with your class.
Today, let’s start by singing our marching song. (To the tune of “head, shoulders, knees and toes.)
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.
Today we will discuss the last piece of armor in the Armor of God. So far, we have put on truth like a belt, righteousness like a breastplate, readiness like shoes, faith like a shield, and salvation like a helmet. What is the last piece of armor? That’s right, the sword. Who can tell me how a sword is different from the other pieces of armor we have been learning about? A sword is not a piece of armor that we put on and wear. A sword is a weapon that we use in battle. We use the sword in battle against Satan. What does the Bible say the sword is? Let’s look at Ephesians 6:17. This verse shows us that the sword we use is the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. What is the word of God? That’s right, the word of God is the Bible. Why do you think Paul uses a sword to represent to the Bible? Let’s read a Bible verse to find out! To make this a little more fun, we’re going to have a sword drill. A sword drill is a race to see who can find the Bible verse first. Everybody close your Bible and hold it in one hand above your head. When I say go, start looking for the verse I say. Give me a thumbs up when you find it. Have the kids hold their Bibles above their heads. Look up Hebrews 4:12. Go! After the kids all find the verse, have a volunteer read it.
Hebrews 4:12 says, “ For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.” A sharp sword can cut through just about anything. When we use the Bible as a sword, we are able to “cut through” the things the world tells us and get to the truth. Sometimes TV shows, music, billboards and people can tell us things that may sound really good, but when we compare it with the Bible, these things aren’t really any good at all! For example, sometimes we hear the message that the best thing in life is having lots of things and lots of money. Satan tries to convince us that we need to work hard to get lots of money, but the Bible says, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.(Matt 6:33, NLT). This verses shows us that the most important thing in the world isn’t money or stuff, but following God. Did you know that even Jesus used the word of God as a sword against Satan? Can anybody remember when? Allow children to answer. After Jesus was baptized, he went into the wilderness and was tempted by Satan. Whenever Satan tempted Jesus to sin, Jesus fought back by quoting from the word of God. Jesus is the perfect example of a good swordsman. A good swordsman spends time practicing with his sword every day. He takes care to be sure his sword is always sharp. How do we keep our sword of the Spirit sharp? By reading the Bible every day, and memorizing Scripture. With the help of Jesus, we can become expert swordsmen and we can WIN AGAINST SIN! Let’s practice keeping our swords sharp by saying our memory verse with the motions now. “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.” “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.
 Poster Review the pieces from previous weeks and add the swords to the children on the poster.
 Craft: Make swords of the Spirit. These are booklets the children can use to record their memory verses in.

  1. Pass out five sheets of computer paper to the children. Cut all the sheets in half, so you end up with ten sheets of paper each 4 ¼ X 11 inches.
  2. Stack the papers together and staple them on a short end. Cut the other end into a triangle. You now have a booklet shaped like the blade of a sword.
  3. Trace the blade onto construction paper twice, and cut it out into a front and back cover. Use another sheet of construction paper, folded in have, to design and cut out a handle for the sword. Staple the whole thing together and decorate.
  4. On the first blank page, write Ephesians 6:11. Younger children can draw what it means, and you can write it for them.

Pray with your class, then pass out the Sword activity sheets. These can be done in class or sent home to reinforce the lesson. The page for the older children is a word search with some of the books of the Bible in it. The books can be found forwards, backwards, up, down or diagonally. The page for younger children is to help them see the importance of knowing the truth. Fold the page in half, so only one picture is exposed. Give the children a set amount of time to study the picture. (30 seconds, a minute or two minutes.) Then have them look at the bottom picture and see how many differences they can spot from memory.

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