Published on The Cincinnati Church (

Modest Apparel

By Pastor Boffey
Created Nov 18 2018 - 16:40

Modest Apparel (1TI 2:9-10)
I. A Biblical ministry is characterized by a balanced emphasis on grace and practical holiness.
2TI 2:19.
A. “All holiness” leaves the soul overburdened and without relief or hope.
B. “All grace” leaves the soul without conviction or defined direction. It opens the door to a
false liberty. ROM 6:1-2 c/w JUDE 1:4.
II. It should be obvious to any reasonable person that we are living in a society that is in an increasing state of undress.
A. A beach party one hundred years ago would have looked decidedly different than one today. This is not because they were less biblically-minded one hundred years ago.
B. Ours is the era of body-worship.
1. Hence, the popularity of body-building, gyms, tanning salons, diet crazes, etc.
2. Hence, the increase of bulimia, anorexia and female (primarily) psychoses.
3. Hence also the increase of sexual harassment and predatory behavior.
4. In the age of midriff-baring and six-pack abs, see PHIL 3:18-19; ROM 8:5.
III. God Himself made clothes for Adam and Eve because of their sin. GEN 3:21.
A. The clothes were obviously designed to cover nakedness. GEN 3:7.
B. The denial of the need for appropriate covering is a tacit denial of original sin at least and a
denial or defiance of God at worst.
C. Public nakedness is indicative of an unsound mind. LUK 8:27, 35.
D. The issue is not what is inappropriate to wear to church; it is what is worn in public.
IV. There is either no standard for apparel or there is a standard.
A. If no standard, then anything goes.
B. If there is a standard, who sets it, man or God?
C. The world is not our standard. ROM 12:1-2; JAM 1:27.
D. There is a need to steer between extreme permissiveness and impossible rigidity on a topic
like this.
1. There will be some areas where each person must “ out your own
salvation with fear and trembling” (PHIL 2:12).
2. This demands the saving power of discretion (being discreet). PRO 2:11.
3. discreet: Showing discernment or judgement in the guidance of one's own speech
and action; judicious, prudent, circumspect, cautious...
4. Liberty is not to be an occasion to the flesh. GAL 5:13.
5. Liberty is under law to Christ. 1CO 8:9; ROM 13:10.
E. Young women in particular need to be taught discretion and use discretion. TIT 2:5.
1. chaste: Pure from unlawful sexual intercourse; continent, virtuous.
2. Dinah lacked discretion and lost her chastity. GEN 34:1-2.
F. The emphasis on modest apparel is definitely directed to the woman more than the man.
1. This is reasonable, since men are more driven and aroused by sight. Remember
Samson and David.
2. Therefore, a woman should not dress in such a way as to entice the insatiable eyes
of any man other than her husband. PRO 27:20.
3. This is not to say that a woman cannot be finely dressed. PRO 31:22.
4. Women, be discreet! PRO 11:22.
5. Women, you will either have the eyes of men obsessing on your private parts so
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you can exploit your narcissistic folly and female power or you will have respect. But you will never have both! Immodest apparel sends a message: “I am cheap.” And men don’t respect or care for cheap, disposable stuff.
6. Think! Do you really think that your immodest appearance only attracts the attention of “nice” guys?
7. Think! If you win a man’s approval by your immodesty, what kind of character did you win? How will you fare in marriage when his lusts grow weary of you?
V. Nakedness is to be covered.
A. Uncovered nakedness is a shame. ISA 47:2-3; REV 3:18.
B. cover: To put or lay something over (an object), with the effect of hiding from view,
protecting, or enclosing; to overlay, overspread with.
C. The following passages define the nakedness that is to be covered:
ISA 20:4; 1SAM 5:9 c/w PSA 78:66; HAB 2:15-16; DEU 23:1; 25:11-12; LEV 20:11, 18; EZE 23:3, 18-21; PRO 5:19-20.
VI. 1TI 2:9-10 gives apparel guidelines for women.
A. modest: Well-conducted, orderly; not harsh or domineering. Of female attire: Decent,
not meretricious.
B. meretricious: Of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or befitting a harlot; having the
character of a harlot.
C. harlot: Applied to a woman: a. As a general term of execration. b. A female juggler,
dancing-girl, ballet-dancer, or actress (obsolete by 16th C.). c. spec. an unchaste woman; a
prostitute; a strumpet.
D. shamefacedness: Modesty, bashfulness, shyness.
E. “Apparel” translates the Greek word katastole (S.R.N. # 2689) from katastello (S.R.N.
# 2687) which means a putting down or letting down, in N.T. of clothing, as let down.
1. Clothing may be let down from the top or bottom.
2. Clothing let down from the top would expose nakedness. It would NOT be modest.
3. Therefore, this is clothing let down from the bottom.
F. Women should not wear clothing in public that is clearly sexually arousing or bold.
PRO 7:10; ISA 3:18.
G. Women should emphasize the adornment of good works and a meek and quiet spirit.
1PE 3:3-5.
H. Observe the contrast between the godly woman and a harlot.
1. The harlot dresses to allure. The godly woman dresses modestly.
2. The harlot is subtil of heart. The godly woman magnifies the incorruptible hidden
man of the heart. 1PE 3:4.
3. The harlot is unchaste. The godly woman is chaste. TIT 2:5.
4. The harlot is loud (PRO 7:11). The godly woman is of a quiet spirit. 1PE 3:4.
5. The harlot is stubborn (PRO 7:11). The godly woman is meek or submissive.
1PE 3:4.
6. The harlot is a gadabout (PRO 7:11). The godly woman is more of a “keeper at
home” (TIT 2:5).
7. Women, which are you more like?
VII. EXO 28:42 gives the dimensions of a garment that will cover nakedness.
A. The express purpose for these breeches was to cover nakedness.
B. These were for the priests as they went into the tabernacle to minister. EXO 28:43.
1. There was no furniture in the holy place upon which the priest might sit. He was to Modest Apparel 11-18-19 Page 2 of 3

stand in his ministration. DEU 18:5.
2. Therefore, these breeches were meant to be sufficiently long for a normal standing
C. breech: A garment covering the loins and thighs. Now always in plural breeches, or
a pair of breeches. Breeches are distinguished from trousers by coming only just below
the knee, but dialectally (and humorously) breeches includes trousers.
D. pair: Two associated together; a set of two.
E. loin: In the living body. Chiefly plural. The part or parts of a human being or
quadruped, situated on both sides of the vertebral column, between the false ribs and the
hip bone.
F. thigh: The upper part of the leg, from the hip to the knee (in man).
G. This garment reaching to the thighs MUST cover the thighs in order to be a pair since
thighs come in pairs but loins do not.
H. This is not to say that the thighs themselves are considered nakedness, but if a garment
covers to the knee, one can be assured from this verse that his nakedness is covered.
I. In the light of EZE 23:3 and PRO 5:19-20, a woman should also keep her breasts covered.
J. This verse shows how far a woman's clothing needs to be let down according to the
meaning of apparel in 1TI 2:9.
VIII. Mark these additional principles.
A. If we have a verse giving us the dimensions of a garment that covers nakedness, it makes
sense to set our apparel standard according to that verse, especially since we are to prove
all things by the Scripture.
B. Since apparel is part of our outward appearance, we should “abstain from all appearance
of evil” (1TH 5:22).
1. Do not wear clothes that suggest evil.
2. In an area like this, where there is a substantial degree of personal discretion and
liberty, “...use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh...” (GAL 5:13).
3. Remember, we are to hate “...even the garment spotted by the flesh” (JUDE 1:23).
C. A skintight or see-through garment does NOT cover (hide from view) nakedness!
1. Yoga pants do NOT hide from view the female buttocks or genitalia. Ladies: if
you like wearing yoga pants, you need to have something modest over top of them. 2. Every argument that you come up with to justify skin-tight garments will also
justify body-paint as adequate to cover nakedness.
D. Ladies: think of what sexually arousing apparel does to a godly man who is trying to keep
his thoughts pure. You are tempting and perhaps destroying a good man and the kind of man you should be seeking if you are single. “Love worketh NO ill to his neighbour...” (ROM 13:10).
E. All need to ask:
1. Would I want to be wearing this in Jesus’ presence?
2. Would I want to be wearing this at His sudden return? 1JO 2:28.
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