Apparel (Part 2)

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. Apparel 10-3-10 Page 2 II. A fundamental duty of those who are charged with the administration of laws is to shame those who transgress the law. JDG 18:7. A. The minister of Jesus Christ is a type of magistrate who is charged with the administration of the laws of Christ. 2CO 3:6; 2TI 4:1-2. B. The minister of Jesus Christ therefore may have to shame the disobedient by reproofs, example, and sound speech. 1CO 6:5; 15:34; TIT 2:7-8. C. The man of God has an obligation to make a difference between clean and unclean, right and wrong so as to save God's people from errant shame. EZE 44:23; 1CO 11:14-15; 2CO 6:17. D. Therefore, the man of God had better preach against uncovered nakedness since uncovered nakedness is a shame. ISA 47:2-3; REV 3:18. 1. Nakedness in the context of marital intimacy is not an issue. HEB 13:4. 2. Nakedness for medical necessity is not an issue since the law for the preservation of life is a weightier matter. MAT 12:3-5. 3. God Himself has made exceptions for nakedness. ISA 20:2. 4. Unintentional nakedness falls into a special category. a. To be forced by poverty, etc. to be naked is not sin. JAM 2:15; MAT 25:34-36. b. To be forced by others to be naked is not sin. LUK 10:30; MAT 27:28. c. Such nakedness may be an opportunity to bless God for Christ's love. ROM 8:35-37. 5. It is intentional public nakedness that is at issue, particularly when done in the context of sexual enticement or activity. E. Scripture warns against the desensitizing of the conscience to where one is no longer affected by godly standards and reproofs which should shame one out of ungodly behavior. EPH 4:19; 1TI 4:2. 1. Judah had sinned themselves out of a good conscience to the point where they could not even blush at their flagrant sin. JER 6:15. 2. Believers need to guard against this in view of the saturation of nakedness in our culture. 3. A godly people is a people who can still blush in shame when ungodliness occurs. 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: 1. an implied denial of God and the Biblical record of Eden. 2. an implied denial of original sin. 3. an implied denial that sin made a difference to the condition of man. 4. an indication that one is driven by the flesh, not the spirit. ROM 8:5. 5. indicative of an unsound mind (LUK 8:27, 35) which calls into question one's sonship. 2TI 1:7. C. Cover: To put or lay something over (an object), with the effect of hiding from view, protecting, or enclosing; to overlay, overspread with. 1. Mind that the concept of covering has an effect of hiding from view. 2. The body may be covered by Glad Wrap in the sense of having something put or laid over it but this would certainly not hide it from view. 3. Skin-tight clothing or see-through fabric does not effectively hide from view the nakedness which is to be covered. Apparel 10-3-10 Page 3 4. We are told to hate “...the garment spotted by the flesh” (JUDE 1:23). IV. The nakedness that is to be covered (effectively hidden from view) is as follows: A. Buttocks. ISA 20:4; 1SAM 5:9 c/w PSA 78:66. B. Men's genital area. HAB 2:15-16; DEU 23:1; 25:11-12; EXO 20:26. C. Women's genital area. LEV 20:11, 18. D. Women's breasts. EZE 23:3, 18-21; PRO 5:19-20. V. The foregoing parts of the human anatomy are the “bare essentials” of required covering. Remember the previous instruction about discretion and the foolishness of drawing lines so close to wickedness that your choices make “ occasion to the flesh” (GAL 5:13), etc. A. If a man were to publicly wear only an athletic supporter cup and harness to cover his genitals and a reverse loin-cloth to cover his buttocks, the essentials might be covered but would that be sufficient? B. If a woman were to publicly wear only a brassiere and a pleated mini-skirt, the essentials might be covered but would that be sufficient? C. HINT: Modern swim-wear does NOT sufficiently cover nakedness. D. Scripture has considerably more to say on this topic and there is a decided emphasis on women's apparel. 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 and therefore would not be modest. 3. Therefore, this is clothing let down from the bottom. F. Women should not wear clothing that is clearly sexually arousing or bold. PRO 7:10; ISA 3:16-18. 1. Haughty: High in one's own estimation; lofty and disdainful in feeling or demeanour; proud, arrogant, supercilious. (Of persons, their action, speech, etc.) 2. Bravery: The action of braving or acting the bravo; daring, defiance; boasting, swaggering; bravado. a bravery: an act of bravado. in, upon, or for a bravery: in bravado, in defiance, in display of courage or daring, as a brag. 3. The prophet was speaking of topsy-turvy times in Israel characterized by oppressive children and domineering women. There is nothing new under the sun. 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. Apparel 10-3-10 Page 4 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? Note that the N.T. 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. 2. I.

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