Holiness Life Church of God

New Testament Modesty and Sanctification
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(1Timothy 2: 1Ti 2:9) " In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; 10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works."( Le 18:17) Thou shalt not uncover the nakedness of a woman and her daughter.(I.Pet.3:3,4)-Whose adorning let it not be that( outward adorning) of plaiting the hair,and of wearing of gold,or of putting on of apparel.

Modesty - what does it mean and what does the Bible say about it? This is a very important question for every saint to answer, because we all need to deal with it.Modesty simply means, whats proper and right to do, or to be. The guide for modesty is shamefacedness,which helps one to keep their nakeness covered.  So when it comes to what to wear for a man or woman , its whats proper and right to wear. Unfortunately, many believers in the Lord Jesus Christ have chosen to simply adopt the World's standard for what is considered appropriate or modest clothing. However, we understand from scripture, that God does not want his children conforming to the World's Standards and the World's Philosophies. So, when it comes to dress and clothing styles, we need God's word to show us what is and is not acceptable from God's holy perspective.

First let's deal with a heart principle that Jesus discussed in (Mt 5:28), "But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." Let's not be blind to human nature! Yes man's sinful nature is attracted to lustful things. True, it's wrong to lust, but it is just as wrong to dress in such a way as to cause others to lust? That's why the apostle Paul says "that women adorn themselves in modest apparel." Of course it's not just the ladies that need to be modest. The men also need to be very careful about what they wear.

Let's consider what is acceptable according to God's word: It's good to dress clean and neat for church meetings! It's good to wear clothing appropriate for the function,and will always represent decently modest. You see the bible never said for us to "dress up" into fancy or richly clothes to assemble ourselves. The Eld. James said in James2:2- For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment

 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? So whats important is that we all be equal and all fellowship in love and dress in modesty, not trying to outdo others by our clothing or trying to look like we are so very prosperous by all the carnal things of this world we can posses and use. Somehow, we adopted  that a church assembly REQUIRES,that all men dress up in suits and the women in fancy dresses or suits, but that missing the whole point and reason for us to assemble. To dress this way can cause a stumbling block for the poorer saints that dont have much, causing some to fail in assembling themselves. We are just required to dress modestly, and then come and assemble ourselves together. Not to dress up in fancy and richly apparel, this wont make you righteous, nor does it proves you are highly blessed.  Examples would be that its not "modest" for a woman to assemble herself in the apparel of a man , like wearing any type of pants or fashioning her appearance like a mans', or theres nothing wrong if a man doesnt wear a suit, but just a shirt and pants, the serious offence would be if he assemble wearing the fashion clothing of a woman. We sometimes let the carnal mind interfer in whats right to do, which is to respect the truth and each others liberty in Christ. 

Now, let's consider what is NOT acceptable according to God's word: Revealing clothes that attempt to draw attention to yourself in a sexual way, that begins to reveal your "nakedness", or that are to tight,or to short showing the shape of your body. Dressing in this fashion makes you become more seducing carnaly, than appearing spiritual. Having the face painted(make-up) to become more sexually attractive, adding jewels, changing their hair by cutting, shaveing,or braiding it with added jewels. Clothes that begin to reveal what should be covered, such as low necklines and skirts with slits up the side. Many young ladies have fallen to the trend of wearing spaghetti straps that don't cover their under garments. Don't be a temptress! Women of the world(unsaved),always prefer their faces, hair and clothes in this manner, always competing against each other and trying to impress men, which will cause them to "lust" or "commit fornication or adultery" even in their imagination. Remember how God called out the children of Isreal, and had them to clean and sanctify themselves and warn them not to remember the world and the other heathen nations practices "that he saved them from." Read (Proverbs 7:10) And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtle of heart. Some young ladies (and men) will dress to look attractive, but they fail to use Biblical discretion as to what is honorable to God. Consider (Proverbs 11:22), As a jewel of gold in a swine's snout, so is a fair woman which is without discretion. What a woman does not realize is when she uses make-up she is in a snare bondage. To always wear and buy make-up that makes the men of these makers rich year after year, through the vanity of women. I was taught that a woman that wears make-up lacks integrity of who she is and looks like, she wears a hypocrite face around. A woman should want her face to represent her own personal beauty, not having to hypocrite her face around so others would say ,NOW you look good and better

Men you need to use biblical discretion as well, God wants us all to live by the law of Modesty. In the gym class and on the athletic field, tank tops may be appropriate,or a t-shirt, around men but not in assembly services .This country has adopted that a man's nakedness is not the same as a womans, so society accepts men being outside with no shirt on revealing the nakedness of their chest. This is no different from a woman doing the same, it's still lustful exposure. Women lust after men ,the same way a man does after them. God has given a special relationship for men and women to reveal  the nakeness of their bodies to each other, and that is called the marriage relationship. (Hebrews 13:4) "Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge." The harlot of Proverbs 7:10, intentionally dresses in such a way to lure men to her body in a sexual way. This is WRONG! Women have been taught the lie, that God does not care what you look like on the outside. This helps the false prophets and the men to have a good lusting time from the females at the church, and to create sexual stumbling blocks to the men that attend, and towards the married women before their husbands. Dont fool yourselves to think this does`nt happen among the assemblies, it does, because the saints are required to be of the spiritual mind and not to live by the carnal mind. The whole church of men and women are to obey  I.Pet.1:14-As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. This scripture shows God's will is for you not to look and act the same as you were before, God saved you!

Read(II.Pet 2:13,14) We need to understand that in the setting of the Jewish culture in biblical times, much of the modern ladies clothing that we see today would be even more revealing than the harlot's clothing years ago. Has the nature of men changed? Absolutely not! What has changed is our culture's attitude towards God and His moral Standards and Principles. What should men and women see when they observe each other? Should they see someone trying to tempt and lure others or should they see "CHARACTER", godliness and clothing that represents inner godliness? For the sincere saint, this answer should be obvious!, But in the last days men and women are careing less. They seek out reason why they must look and dress like the world , from which they claim God has SAVED them from. 

Things to ask yourself about specific clothing: *Am I buying this because I want to look sexy? Don't buy it! *Am I wearing this because I want him/her to look at me and want me in a sexual way? Don't wear it! *Am I trying to draw attention to myself from those of the opposite gender by being immodest or even slightly immodest? Don't do it! *Am I trying to be more like the world and less like Christ? You need to have a heart and attitude change! * Read (Romans 12:1 & 2) "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

We also have married women trying to dress inappropriate, saying they are dressing this way or having their face make-up, for their husbands, but once she leaves her house, it's no longer for her husband it's now for everyone that can see her, which also shows a sad reflection on her husband. Passages to read: (Galatians 5:16) This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. (1John 2:16) For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. When it comes to the clothing you wear, don't help someone else feed his or her flesh! Be careful what you wear. You also need to care about others. God's word tells us a number of times not to set "stumbling blocks before our brethren." (1John 2:10) He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. ( Romans 14:21) It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.

Key thoughts concerning Biblical Modesty: Your clothing on the outside should represent godliness on the inside (see 1Tim. 2:9-10).  How you look on the outside does show the condition of your heart on the inside. A hypocrite will clean up the outside but leave the inside unclean, Jesus says in Matt.23:24- "Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.  Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter(heart), that the outside of them may be clean also". Your clothing should not be a stumbling block for believers or unbelievers. Would you feel uncomfortable with what you're wearing or thinking of wearing if our Holy Lord Jesus were standing next to you? Would the older men & women in the church be offended at what you're wearing? Some saints just don't care about others when it comes to modesty, but they are wrong biblically. Some may say, "what about my Saved Liberty?" Please turn your attention to what God says in Galatians and Romans: (Galatians 5:13) For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. (Romans 13:14) But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.

We need to also speak on the issue of I.Cor.11:4-16. Many believe that a woman that comes into the assembly of the saints to pray,prophesy and worship must have her head covered. But the doctrine of Christ does not say it is a commandment for the women to do so. Some of the New Testament churches were exsposed to Jewish influences, meaning some of the Jewish custom were imposing upon the Gentiles that were saved. Some of the the Middle Eastern societies, and those that were going to keep the customs of Moses, tried to influence the Gentiles to keep, while in the same case Gentile customs influences upon the Jews. Just like today in the world in some nations women must have their heads covered even in public. In the New Testament church there was no teaching of any Apostles to the Gentiles that they were to have their women heads covered in the assembly. Some Jewish custom were for the married women to be covered, to represent publicly "she`s a married woman, or for all women to represent her place to man in worship. This was seem to be either a jewish or gentile custom of the exposure of this time period in Corinth and not a commandment from the law of Moses nor any old testament prophets. Is the Apostle Paul showing what is the significance of the woman`s hair thats on her head or a cloth wrap covering on her head? The woman's hair is important and not a cloth, blanket, robe, or any added on thing to her hair and head. The woman's hair is her covering,..Paul does not quote any old testament scriptures of this custom, neither does he say ,that this custom is given to him from Christ, to command the church to obey...Always remember this that Paul said in Rom.15:18-I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ have not wrought by me,to make the Gentiles obedient ,by word,and deed." and  I.Cor11:14 >Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? 15. But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering. So, then she dishonors her head(man)(husband) if she shaves her hair or fashions it liken to a man. Paul mentions verse# 10 because of the angels, her hair is her power and glory and verse#14 says that the man is in shame if he has long hair ,fashion like a womans', because his glory came from the image of God-vs#7.,For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 8.For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man. Pauls says it's the woman's hair thats her covering,not a cloth covering. Many churches practice this error of falsely teaching the women that they need something on top of their heads or her head need to be covered. If God wanted women to have a covering over her hair in public or in worship temples why then is Paul speaking  about the "length" of a woman`s hair, and that it should be long and not be shaved, meaning permitted to grow and not be cut. If she has on a covering of cloth , no one will know if her hair is long or short, cause it wont be able to be seen by men or angels, so it makes no sence to tell her to grow long hair ,and so she can keep it covered up. When, finally if you read verse #16 it clearly says "we (Apostles)have no such custom,neither the churches of God." Which means no commandment by Christ ,that Gentile women or Jewish women must have their hair or head covered up in public worship, to pray or to prophesy. This custom also was not a commandment from the Law of Moses. There is a major difference between a custom of man and a commandment from God. The today`s practice of this error custom is hypocrisy, because, the men teach the women an alternative to covering up their heads useing a hat, cloth, or large hanky, but according to that time period practice of covering your head, the whole head is coverd up and only her face is open and no part of her hair is seen at all, or the covering would just be drape over her head. It also would`nt make sence for the Apost. Peter to say in I.Pet.3:3-Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; If she has to have her head covered up, which also involves her hair, then why tell the woman what not to do to her hair, when your not going to see it, because it will be covered. So obviously the woman`s hair will be showing and uncovered to address how she wears her hair. It's natural for the woman to grow her hair and of some if it will grow longer and of some it may not.   But not cutting, nor shaving her hair or dressing up her hair with adornments, braidings or fashioning it like a man's hair and after the manner of the world fashions, this is known as "hair pride". To pratice after the Jews of this custom of the women head covering would be a bondage for the women in the church. In this chapter of I.Cor.11, Paul is not instructing the men to have all women married or single or are ministers to prophesy to be head covered  in the assembly.

 Research gives the rendering of "It was the custom of the Jews, that they prayed not, unless first their heads were veiled -that by this rite they might show themselves reverent and ashamed before God and  unworthy with an open face to behold him". So again, in this chapter Paul starts with addressing this custom but then concludes that this custom is not of the church of God to keep. Remember Paul had to help more towards the Gentile nations saints so that they will not be decieve by Jewish false prophets trying to bring them under bondage. All commandments MUST come from Christ and the Apostles with ordiances and examples. The practice of "head covering" whether hair or cloth cannot be a Moral Law, for all moral laws were written in the Old Testament scriptures.

One last thought: (II.Cor.5:17) Therefore if any man be in Christ (not just at a local church building being a member) he is a new creature: old things(your sinful past of what you were, behaved as, and looked like) are passed away; behold, all things are become new. When in doubt about a type of clothing fashion, ask one of the godly women or godly men where you assemble.
Now today we have big arguments from women and men that want no outer appearance changes. They say its not required nor is it important to be what God has called for and thats Holiness, Modesty ,Shamefaceness and Sobriety. Are we really loving God when we fight against what pleases him, than what the world and satan wants.(I.Cor.6:19,20)-What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.