A Lesson Taken from Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians
Even before the beginning of time…
…God planned to send Jesus to save us!
Save us from what?
Well, when God made the world it was perfect in every way.
And then Adam came along and ate the fruit God told him not to eat. Bad idea! At that moment God’s perfect world wasn’t perfect anymore. Adam decided to do things his way and not God’s way, and that never works. Sin got in. And sin ruins everything.
God try to warn Adam. He told him that if he ate the fruit of that tree he would surely die.
And that’s exactly what Adam did.
Well, he didn’t drop over dead right there! He lived for a long time afterwards. But he didn’t live forever either. One day he died, just like God said he would. God wasn’t being mean or unfair. God just knew that’s what sin does.
And we all sin.
We all do what we want to do instead of what God wants us to do. So we are in trouble! Sin is like a terrible disease, and we all are going to die from it.
And that’s what Jesus came to save us from!
God loves us so much, He sent His Son to make things right again.
And the price was very high. Sin brought death into God’s perfect world. The only price to make it right again is for the guilty ones to die – and that’s us.
But Jesus died FOR us. Jesus took the punishment we deserved. What amazing, awesome love that is!
That’s not the end of the story!
Three days later, Jesus rose from the dead!
Jesus defeated death! So now, even though we all are going to die just like Adam – we all can rise from the dead just like Jesus!
If we believe in Jesus, and we believe that he died for our sins, God will raise us from dead just like Jesus rose from the dead! That’s something we just can’t do ourselves no matter how hard we try – but God can. And that is God’s gift to everyone who believes in His Son.
And now God can adopt us as His children. One day, everything God has will be ours, and we will live with God forever!
That is the Good News!
Now, since we ARE God’s children, we should live like God’s children. Always be good and honest and loving. Let’s not be like the people who don’t care about God, who do mean and terrible things.
But we all know, it’s not always easy…
(illustration… the Armor of God. Sort of.)
The Armor of God
We are in a battle!
We have an enemy who wants to steal away everything God wants us to have. Only it’s not a battle we can see. Our enemy is Satan – and Satan lives in the invisible world of the spirit. Even though we can’t see him, Satan is very real. And he wants nothing more than to take us away from God.
And Satan is sneaky. He will use every trick to get us to turn away from God.
You don’t have to be afraid of Satan – but you have to be ready to fight him! And so, like a great warrior, you need to put on your armor. And because your enemy is a spirit, God will give you spiritual armor.
So put on the whole Armor of God!
The Belt of Truth
(illustration… the Belt of Truth. Sort of.)
Tie the Belt of Truth around waist. God is real. God loves you, and Jesus died for your sins. God is on your side – that is the Truth!
Hold on to the Truth, and like a good tight belt, the truth will hold you up and keep you strong when Satan attacks.
The Breastplate of Righteousness
(illustration… the Breastplate of Righteousness. Sort of.)
Guard your heart.
Put on the Breastplate of Righteousness. Always do what is right and good. That way, Satan won’t have anything to grab onto to worm his way into your heart. You will be able to stand straight and tall, with your head held high.
Shoes of the Gospel of Peace
(illustration… the Shoes of the Gospel of Peace. Sort of.)
Next, put on the Shoes of The Gospel of Peace.
Be ready to go wherever God sends you to tell the Good News of God’s amazing love for us.
The Shield of Faith
(illustration… the Shield of Faith. Sort of.)
And then, to protect yourself from Satan’s flaming arrows, take up the Shield of Faith!
The God of the Universe is on your side. God is your protector. Put your faith in Him and Satan cannot hurt you!
The Helmet of Salvation
(illustration… the Helmet of Salvation. Sort of.)
Now, put on the Helmet of Salvation.
You are saved! You are God’s child! Satan has already lost, death is already defeated, and nothing can ever take you away from God. Keep your thoughts always on that!
The Sword of the Spirit
(illustration… the Sword of the Spirit. Sort of.)
And finally, take up the Sword of the Spirit.
God has given us a weapon to fight back against Satan’s lies and accusations. Our weapon is the truth of God’s Word. It is the Bible. God’s Word can cut Satan’s lies to pieces. Use God’s Word to fight Satan just like Jesus did when Satan tempted him in the desert. The words of the Bible are your sword.
Now you are ready!
(illustration… the Armor of God. Sort of.)
You are God’s child. He will never let you go! Hold onto that Truth!
Always do what is good and right.
Be ready to tell anyone you meet about God’s amazing love.
Put all your trust in Jesus, and know that he has saved you.
And finally, fight the devil with God’s own Word.
Satan is going to try to take away all the good things God has for you – but don’t worry – God is on our side! And with God on our side, no one – not even Satan – can defeat us!
Be bold! Be strong! For the Lord your God is with you!
Be Bold! Be Strong!