Teenagers encounter many temptations as they battle their way from childhood to adulthood. The Bible's teaching about the armor of God -- found in Ephesians 6 -- shows us how to take a stand against temptations to sin. It is among the easiest passages of Scripture to teach to teenagers because it uses a simple metaphor -- a suit of armor and the protection it provides -- to explain how we can protect ourselves from sin.
Go over each of the pieces of the armor of God listed in Ephesians -- the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, greaves (foot protection) of readiness, shield of faith, helmet of salvation and sword of the spirit. Have the teens briefly explain how each piece of armor helped protected soldiers in ancient times. Then, have your teens choose pieces of modern equipment. Examples could include a firefighter's protective equipment, protective sports equipment or even the sanitary equipment used by hospital workers. Using the passage in Ephesians as an example, have the teens come up with new metaphors comparing the modern protective equipment to the concepts represented by the armor of God -- truth, righteousness, readiness, faith and salvation.
Truth and Schemes
Two pieces of the armor of God -- the belt and the sword -- deal specifically with recognizing biblical truth. To help cement this concept with teens, write several true statements and several statements that contradict the Bible on index cards. Include some statements that overtly contradict the Bible and others that are more subtle. Lay out three cards at a time -- one which has a biblical truth, one which has a fairly obvious contradiction and one with a subtle contradiction. Using a rubber band to represent the belt of truth and a pocket New Testament to represent the sword of truth, have the teens cover the "contradiction" cards, leaving the "truth" card uncovered. For an added challenge, have teens look up Bible verses that support or contradict the statements.
Biblical and Contemporary Examples
The Bible and the newspaper are both full of examples of people who needed the concepts represented by the armor of God to get through a specific circumstance in life. Choose both Bible stories and current events -- events involving teens, if possible -- and discuss how the people involved used the concepts represented in the armor of God. As an example, you might relate "feet shod with readiness" to the willingness of runners and bystanders at the 2013 Boston Marathon to run toward the scene of the attack to help the injured. After discussing biblical stories and current events, discuss how the pieces of the armor of God could be used in circumstances the teens face in their daily lives.
Before the lesson, list several temptations teens face. These could include temptations to have sex, to cheat on a test, to bully others, to take drugs or any other temptations teens in your area are likely to face. Have each teen draw and cut out each piece of armor described in Ephesians 6 -- belt, breastplate, shield, helmet, sword. While they are doing this, discuss the concepts represented by the individual pieces of armor. When they are done, choose a temptation from your list and have the teens choose which piece of armor they think would best help them against that temptation and explain why. You might find that the discussion does more to teach teens the concept of the armor of God than the questions.