Apparel (Part 1)

Apparel I. The successful presentation, reception and application of a study about apparel will largely depend on whether or not one thinks that discretion should influence Christian conduct. A. Scripture commends the exercise of discretion. PSA 112:5; PRO 1:1-4; 2:10-20; 3:21-22. 1. Discretion: The action of separating or distinguishing, or condition of being distinguished or disjunct; separation, disjunction, distinction. 2. Discreet: Showing discernment or judgement in the guidance of one's own speech and action; judicious, prudent, circumspect, cautious; often esp. that can be silent when speech would be inconvenient. 3. Discern: To separate (things, or one thing from another) as distinct; to distinguish and divide. 4. There is a distinction to be made in things. EZE 22:26. B. Mature Christian women are obviously to be discreet and so teach young women to be likewise. TIT 2:3-5. 1. Mind that one must be taught to be discreet. 2. Beauty without discretion is not a pretty picture. PRO 11:22. 3. Per TIT 2:5, it is a general observation that the young woman who is not discreet is likely not to be chaste (pure from unlawful sexual intercourse; continent, virtuous). Dinah lacked discretion and so lost her chastity. GEN 34:1-2. C. We are to be “...Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord” (EPH 5:8-10). 1. Prove: To make trial of, try, test. 2. All things are to be proved (1TH 5:21) which includes apparel. 3. This process determines whether something is acceptable to God and it obviously calls for discretion. 4. The standard for this proving process is God's will. ROM 12:1-2. 5. God's will is revealed in His word. PSA 119:1-3, 9, 11, 104-105. 6. The standard is NOT the world. EPH 2:2. 7. The standard is NOT our own thoughts and feelings. ACT 26:9. a. What seems right to us is the way of death. PRO 14:12. b. Fools trust in the thoughts and feelings of their heart. PRO 28:26. c. Remember, you must guide your heart, not be guided by it. PRO 23:19. d. The properly guided heart must also be kept diligently. PRO 4:23. 8. The standard is NOT what appears desirable or sensually fulfilling. GEN 3:6. 9. The standard is NOT our circumstances. JON 1:1-3; JER 44:16-18. 10. The standard is NOT expediency. 1SAM 13:8-14. 11. The standard is NOT popularity or peer pressure. GAL 1:10; 2:11-14. 12. The standard is NOT what misled “Christians” or good and godly people do. a. Misled Christians rejected Paul and assimilated paganism. GAL 4:9-16. b. David was good and godly but that doesn't justify lusting after someone else's spouse! C. Growth in and usage of God's word will exercise one's senses to discern both good and evil. HEB 5:12-14. D. We should strive to make distinctions in things even if our standard is not flawless. 1. Because of our corrupt nature in a fallen world, our best attempts will be imperfect. 1KI 8:46. 2. But if your standard is not 100% flawless, this does NOT mean that it is 100% flawed. Apparel 10-3-10 Page 1 God looks at the heart even though the outward performance may be lacking. 1KI 15:11-14; 2CH 30:18-20. 4. Those who are quick to criticize your standard are likely trying to justify their own lack of a good standard or they are just trying to find fault so as to avoid the implications of reproof. ISA 29:21. We should live so as to reprove evil. EPH 5:1-17. 1. As much as possible, we must maintain CLEAR separation from the works of darkness. 2. We should not give unbelievers or ignorant believers the impression that we condone their ungodliness. 1CO 10:27-29. 3. Our religion is not pure and undefiled if we are not unspotted from the world. JAM 1:27. 4. Those who partake with the children of disobedience are in a state of sleep and death from which they are called to awake. 5. Rather than being indifferent to what goes on about us, we must be awake and circumspect. We must steer between the extremes of lawlessness which allows anything and abstinence which forbids the enjoyment of lawful things. 1. There is evil to be abhorred and good to be held. ROM 12:9. 2. God give us richly all things to enjoy. 1TI 6:17. 3. God condemns those who forbid as a matter of doctrine that which God allows. 1TI 4:1-5; COL 2:20-22. 4. However, all things are to be used under law to Christ. 1CO 3:21-23; 9:21. 5. Our liberty is not to be an occasion to the flesh. GAL 5:13. In any discretionary area (an area which is not specifically governed by a prescription or proscription of God), the following guidelines for conduct should be applied. 1. Does it have the appearance of evil? 1TH 5:22. 2. Does it provide an occasion to be tempted to sin? PRO 5:8; ROM 13:14; EPH 4:27. 3. Does it hinder the effect of God's word on me? LUK 8:14. 4. Does it dominate me? Can I take it or leave it? 1CO 6:12; 9:27; COL 3:5; PHIL 4:5. 5. Do you have doubts in your conscience about it? ROM 14:14, 20, 23; 1TI 1:19. 6. Will it offend a brother so as to hinder his conversion or growth? ROM 14:21; 15:1-2; 1CO 10:32-33. 7. Does it discredit your testimony and profession? ROM 14:16. 8. Does it bring reproach to the name of God and His kingdom? 1TI 5:14; 1PE 2:11-17. 9. Could it cause a young person to stumble? MAT 18:6. 10. Could it embolden anyone else to sin? ROM 14:13, 21; 1CO 8:10-13. 11. Does it come close to wickedness? PRO 4:14-15, 24; JOB 11:14. 12. Can you do it to God's glory in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ with thanksgiving? 1CO 10:31; COL 3:17. 13. Does it violate the rule of those who exercise legitimate authority over you? EPH 5:24; COL 3:20, 22; HEB 13:7, 17; 1PE 2:13-14. 14. Would you want to be found doing it at the second coming of Jesus Christ? 1JO 2:28; LUK 21:34-36. 3. E. F. G.

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