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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Our Appearance: The Aesthetics Of Holiness

PERFECTING HOLINESS IN THE FEAR OF GOD
2 CORINTHIANS 6:14-7:1
OUR APPEARANCE: THE AESTHETICS OF HOLINESS
PSALMS 29:2
If there is an area of life that is more jealously defended than entertainment choices it is personal appearance (clothing choices, hairstyles, definitions of modesty and nakedness, body piercings, tattoos, etc . . .)

But what we must admit is that we all draw lines here. We all have things we consider to be appropriate and things we consider to be inappropriate, even lost people have their lines of demarcation in this area. Really there is no dispute about there being a wrong and right kind of appearance the dispute, to the degree that it exist, has to do with where the lines are drawn.

Again, this is an area where we hear people say well, I like this, or I like that, or I think this looks good. And, again I would contend that it is not about what we like or what we think looks good, but what God likes and what he thinks looks good. What we should desire more than anything is God’s mind on the issue. To the degree that we can discern it we should conform to it no matter how at odds with the culture it places us. Remember we have been translated out of the kingdom of darkness and into the kingdom of his dear Son!

Whether you like it or not people judge us by our appearance. Our appearance says something about our values it sends a message. It is dishonesty and unfaithfulness to argue that what we wear does not matter.

One of the first things we learn in Scripture is that it matters to God what we wear. Adam and Eve sinned and they sewed them aprons of fig leaves. God came and made them coats of skin. It mattered to God!

Aesthetics – Fitted for perception, esp. by feeling. From to perceive, especially to the senses. The theory or philosophy of taste, the science of the beautiful in nature and art.
Thus when I speak of the aesthetics of holiness as it relates to appearance I am arguing for adorning our selves in such a way that we manifest the beauty of holiness.

Psalms 29:2 - Give unto the LORD the glory due unto his name; worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness.

The word beauty in this verse is translated from the Hebrew word hadarah (had-aw-raw) which means decoration, honor, adornment, glory.

The Hebrew word comes from the root hadar (haw-dawr’) which involves the idea of magnificence, i.e. ornament or splendor:— beauty, comeliness, excellency, glorious, glory, goodly, honour, majesty.

I thus conclude that holiness is beautiful. It is aesthetically pleasing. It is not sexy, it is not seductive, it is not revealing, it is not coarse, it is not confusing, it is not alluring, it is not tempting, it is not flashy, it is not indecent, it is not fashioned after the world.

Our attire identifies us. It aligns us with certain principles.

Proverbs 7:10 - And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.

The clothing she was wearing identified the woman. Much of what is worn by modern day Christians would probably make the harlot of Bible days blush!

As God’s people we should want the beauty of holiness reflected in all that we do, including our appearance so that our holiness is aesthetically pleasing, primarily to God and a testimony to those still in darkness and held captive by the fashion of this world
My responsibility as a Pastor is set forth in 2 Timothy 3:16-4:5:
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
The responsibility of the congregation is set forth in at least two passages:
Acts 17:11 - These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
and,
Hebrews 13:7,17 - Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation.8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
SOME GENERAL BIBLE PRINCIPLES RELATING TO APPEARANCE
1 Thessalonians 5:21,22 – If we are to prove all things I believe this would include our appearance.
Romans 12:1,2 – Our appearance is to not be conformed to this world.
1 Peter 1:14-16 – Our appearance is to not be fashioned according to our former lusts.
1 Corinthians 10:31 – Every choice we make about our appearance should be to the glory of God.
Colossians 3:17 – Everything we put on we should be able to do so in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Colossians 3:23 – We should dress unto the Lord not men.
Exodus 23:2 – We should not follow a multitude to do evil as it relates to our appearance.
1 Corinthians 8:13 – Be careful in our appearance not to give offence to the brethren.
1 Corinthians 10:32 – Be careful in our appearance not to give offence to anyone.
2 Corinthians 6:3 – Appearance should not weaken the impact of ministry.
Philippians 4:8 – Does my appearance make it difficult for others to think on right things.
Ephesians 4:17,18 – Do not dress and have the apperance of those who have the understanding darkened.
Ephesians 5:9 – Our appearance should reflect goodness, righteousness, and truth.
Ephesians 5:10 – We should be proving what is acceptable to the Lord in our appearance.
Ephesians 5:17 – We should strive to understand the will of God in the area of our appearance.
PARTICULAR BIBLE PRINCIPLES RELATING TO APPEARANCE

Biblical modesty
1 Timothy 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; . . . .
The word "adorn" is translated from the Greek meaning to put in order, arrange, prepare, ornament.

The word "modest" is translated from the Greek meaning; orderly, decorous, well arranged, seemly. The Greek word is Kosmios from the root word kosmos. We get our English word cosmos. We can look into the cosmos and see how well ordered it is. In fact this year we have to add a day to the calander in order to bring our time keeping back into harmony with the cosmos.
The Greek word is used in 1Timothy 3:2 - A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; . . . . Here it is translated as good behaviour. I suppose we could say that women (and men) are to be adorned in apparel that is characteristic of good behaviour.

The word "apparel" is translated from the Greek katastole (kat-as-tol-ay’). This is the only place were the Greek word is used in the New Testament and it conveys the idea of a lowering, letting down; a garment let down, dress, attire. The Greek word comes from the root katastello (kat-as-tel’-lo). This word is used twice in the New Testament and is translated once as appease and another time as quiet. It is a word that means to send or put down, to lower; to put or keep down one who is roused or incensed, to repress, restrain, appease, quiet
The instruction for us here is that we are to order and prepare ourself in a decorous, well arranged, and seemly garment designed to be let down so that it appeases those who might be otherwise aroused.

Modesty is that orderly presentation of one’s self that is designed to put or keep down one who is roused or incensed. Modest dress represses and restrains the natural, God given desire.
The word shamefacedness is translated from a Greek word that conveys the idea of downcast eyes; bashfulness, i.e. (towards men).

The word sobriety is translated from a Greek word that involves soundness of mind, self-control, soberness.

Not with broided, gold, pearls, or costly array. That is a modest look is not a flashy look, a look designed to draw attention to one’s self. What is being discouraged here is presenting one’s self that is not in keeping with shamefacedness and sobriety. It is not a complete ban on any kind of braid, or jewelry, or nice clothes. We know this from the companion passage in 1 Peter 3:1-6 - Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement.
What do we learn from this passage? A woman is not to be preoccupied with the putting on of apparel. It does not mean she is not to wear any clothes which would be an obvious absurdity and at variance with what the Scripture teaches elsewhere. Just as it does not mean she is not to put on clothes neither does it forbid any plaiting of the hair or wearing of jewelry. The point being argues is that it is a beautiful spirit that should be observed and not a flashy presentation. Sara was married to a wealthy man and consequently probably had some of the best clothes available and a bit of jewelry as well.

The absence of modesty.
Isaiah 3:16-24 - Moreover the LORD saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet: Therefore the Lord will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the LORD will discover their secret parts. In that day the Lord will take away the bravery of their tinkling ornaments about their feet, and their cauls, and their round tires like the moon, The chains, and the bracelets, and the mufflers, The bonnets, and the ornaments of the legs, and the headbands, and the tablets, and the earrings, The rings, and nose jewels, The changeable suits of apparel, and the mantles, and the wimples, and the crisping pins, The glasses, and the fine linen, and the hoods, and the vails. And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty. Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war. And her gates shall lament and mourn; and she being desolate shall sit upon the ground.
Before us is a passage that provides the antithesis of a woman adorned in modest apparel with shamefacedness and sobriety. The virtues of shamefacedness and sobriety were unknown to these women. They were proud and haughty. The troubling aspect of this passage is that it can be an accurate description of women in Baptist churches. Allow me to define and highlight some of the characteristics of this genearation of women:

Wanton eyes – they were flirtatious.
Mincing – To skip, trip, take quick little steps.
Caul – A net that was woven into their hair.
Round tires like the moon – a neck pendant.
Mufflers – Long veil.
Ornaments of the legs – Drawing attention to their legs.
Wimples – Wide cloak.
Crisping pins – A bag or purse.
Glasses – Mirror.
Hood – headdress, mitre, diadem.
Proverbs 7:10 - And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart.
Gill suggests, “the word (attire) signifies one fitted to her body, neat and well shaped, to recommend her”. How often do we see this in the appearance of Christian women (and men) today.
Heavenly apparel.
Revelation 6:11 - And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.
Revelation 7:9,13,14 - After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; . . . And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

The word "robes" is translated from a Greek word that means a "stole" or long-fitting gown (as a mark of dignity):— long clothing (garment), (long) robe. This certainly gives us some perspective on how God dresses the inhabitants of heaven. I am not suggesting that we all wear robes but I am suggesting that we dress our selves in a manner that is in keeping with the modesty a robe affords.
Biblical nakedness and indecency.
Genesis 3:7,21 - And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

In verse 7 we find that Adam and Eve made aprons of fig leaves because they realized they were naked. Their new found knowledge told them this was wrong. An apron has reference to a belt for the waste; girdle, loin covering. While they knew they were not properly covered they did not know what it meant to be properly covered.

In verse 21 God made them coats of skin. A coat is derived from a word that has the meaning to cover. It has reference to a tunic, a long shirt-like garment, a robe.
God made the clothing from animal skin; hide, leather. God did not simply add to what they had made he used an entirely different material.

The Bible says that God clothed them. The Hebrew word from which we have the word translated "clothed" mean to wrap around, i.e. (by implication) to put on a garment or clothe (oneself, or another).
It is important to realize the lessons that we are taught here. God did not consider them clothed in the aprons of fig leaves. More than the loins must be covered to be properly clothed. An exposed belly and/or chest are not properly clothed.
Isaiah 20:4 - So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt.
To have the buttocks uncovered it nakedness.

Exodus 28:42 – And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach:
From the loins even unto the thigh is nakedness. Loins has reference to the waist or the small of the back, hips; while thigh is translated from a word meaning to be soft; the thigh (from its fleshy softness). From the waist to the knee is nakedness.
Nahum 3:5 – Behold, I am against thee, saith the LORD of hosts; and I will discover thy skirts upon thy face, and I will shew the nations thy nakedness, and the kingdoms thy shame.
The skirt to the face reveals the nakedness. The word "discover" means to denude, strip. The word "skirts" has means to hang down, a bottom edge. So if one were to take the bottom edge of a robe and pull it up to their face they are exposing their nakedness.

Jeremiah 13:26 - Therefore will I discover thy skirts upon thy face, that thy shame may appear.
Isaiah 47:1-3 – Come down, and sit in the dust, O virgin daughter of Babylon, sit on the ground: there is no throne, O daughter of the Chaldeans: for thou shalt no more be called tender and delicate. Take the millstones, and grind meal: uncover thy locks, make bare the leg, uncover the thigh, pass over the rivers. Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance, and I will not meet thee as a man.
An uncovered thigh is uncovered nakedness.

John 21:7 – Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked,) and did cast himself into the sea.
A fisher’s coat was an outer garment specifically designed for fisherman to use in their work. The word "naked" is translated from a Greek word that means unclad, ill clad, clothed in the undergarments only. Peter, only in his undergarments was improperly clothed. Often times bathing suits are nothing more than glorified undergarments.

Gender distinctive principles relating to appearance.

In dress.

Deuteronomy 22:5 - The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.

"Shall not wear that which pertaineth" is all translated from one Hebrew word meaning something prepared, i.e. any apparatus (as an implement, dress, vessel or weapon): armour ([-bearer]). A woman is forbidden to wear any dress that it identified as masculine. Some want to make this simply a prohibition against women bearing arms in combat. Is there any article of clothing that is readily and universally identified with men? If so, women are forbidden to wear it.

We know it is speaking in terms of clothing because of the use of the word "garment" which is translated from a Hebrew word that conveys the idea of a cover assuming the shape of the object beneath; a dress, especially a mantle:— apparel, cloth(-es, -ing), garment, raiment. The Hebrew word is used 29 times in the King James Bible and is translated raiment 11 times, clothes 6 times, garment 6 times, apparel 2 times, cloth 2 times, and clothing 2 times.
Why is it if I were to adorn myself in a dress or a skirt people would think I was cross-dressing but if a woman adorns herself in a pair of pants she is exercising her liberty in Christ?

The Bible says that all who do this are an abomination which is something disgusting (morally). Why? For the very reason that it creates moral confusion. It blurs the lines of distinction between the sexes. It pushes along the agenda of the unisex mentality. There is no difference between men and women. We are experiencing the trama of a society that has lost in bearings as it relates to a distinction between the sexes. With women dressing like men and men acting like women are we surprised that moral confusion everywhere exists. If there is no difference between the sexes then we should not be surprised when women desire to be with women and men with men. There is nothing morally superior about a relationship between a man and a woman. We are the same. I am afraid that many Christian women do not realize that they are adding to the confusion when they insists on wearing men's apparel.

Exodus 28:32 – Breeches are only mentioned in relation to the Priest (men). Admittedly this particular garment was a undergarment of sorts to provide decency as the priest were performing their priestly duties.
The practice of girding up the loins.
Job 38:3 - Gird up now thy loins like a man; for I will demand of thee, and answer thou me.
Job 40:7 - Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.
This is the process whereby a man would take the hem of the back of his garment and pull it through his legs and tuck it in his girdle (belt) in order to provide greater freedom of movement when working, running, or in battle. He would in effect make himself a pair of pants by girding up his loins. I think there may be a reason why God told Job to "gird up thy loins like a man." Not like a woman, but like a man. I was not able to find anywhere where we can be sure that women were girding up their loins??? Woman would lift the hem of their garment in order to carry items, much like we have seen picture of pioneer women with their long dresses or aprons, feeding chickens or collecting eggs.

In hair length
1 Corinthians 11:4-16 - Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. 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. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God. Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering. But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.

Verse 14 declares that if a man have long hair it is a shame unto him.
Verse 15 declares that a woman’s long hair is her glory and covering.
Verse 16 declares there is no precedence for women praying uncovered or men praying covered.
It seems apparent to me that God intended for their to be a distinction between male and female and that distinction was to be observed in both apparel and hair length.
DRESS CODES
The minute someone suggest a dress code the cries of legalism go up and you would have thought that some one suggested cutting off the heads of dissenters. Dress codes are a part of life. The fact is most of us have lived with them our whole life. We have done so with little complaint until the church attempts to define Christian attire soley for the context of Church functions. I thought it would be interesting to see some of the dress codes that are required by different organizations. Anyone can go on the internet and find all the dress codes you care to look at. The fact is most organizations have them. Which according to some people would mean that they are legalist!

Neat and clean appearance. Comfortable footwear (no open toed shoes). No shirts with any type of tasteless words or pictures. NO SWEATPANTS, NO “DAISY DUKE” SHORTS, NO CROP TOPS, NO BAGGY JEANS. Baggy pants are a safety hazard. Boys MAY NOT wear earrings. Girls may wear earrings, but no body other piercings are acceptable for either boys or girls. NO EXCEPTIONS. No visible tattoos. No black fingernail polish or dark lip liner.

This is for volunteers at Pony Land in Angleton, Texas

"Business Casual" attire means: A long or short-sleeved dress shirt (collared or turtleneck), and/or a sweater. Dress slacks, khaki pants, or dress jeans. Appropriate shoes and socks, including dress shoes, dress boots, or other presentable shoes, but not including sneakers, sandals, flip-flops, or work boots. Excluded Items: · Sleeveless shirts · Shorts · T-shirts, jerseys, or sports apparel (unless appropriate for the event (e.g., a basketball clinic), team-identified, and approved by the team) · Headgear of any kind while a player is sitting on the bench or in the stands at a game, during media interviews, or during a team or league event or appearance (unless appropriate for the event or appearance, team-identified, and approved by the team) · Chains, pendants, or medallions worn over the player's clothes · Sunglasses while indoors · Headphones (other than on the team bus or plane, or in the team locker room)

This is the NBA Dress Code

Unacceptable attire in all classes: Any clothing that is worn, torn, frayed has patches or holes. Sweat clothing or workout attire such as sweat shirt, sweat pants, leotards, tights and jogging suits. T-shirts. Bare feet. Bathing suits. Beach sandals, flip flops and thongs. Bare midriffs. Extreme mini-skirts. Halter and bra tops. Sheer or see-through clothing. Tank tops, sleeveless or muscle shirts. Undergarments worn as outer garments.

This is the dress code for all United Airlines employees who wish to occupy available seats on any flight.

*NO HEADGEAR OF ANY TYPE IS ALLOWABLE INSIDE THE BUILDING*
Males:The male student will wear a collared shirt (golf type, sport shirt, dress shirt) and dress slacks (no jeans or colored denims). An undershirt may be worn under the collared shirt.
All shirts are to be tucked in or if a ribbed golf shirt, may be worn outside falling slightly below the belt line. No logo T-shirts may be worn. No open-toed shoes can be worn in the clinical areas. Socks are to be worn at all times and must cover the ankles.
Hair will be trimmed, neat, well groomed and cut above the collar or worn pulled back and fastened at the nape of the neck. Facial hair is acceptable but must not be long enough to prevent the effective use of masks and other barrier devices.
Jewelry will be kept to a minimum with no body-piercing showing (e.g., nose, cheek, tongue, eyebrow, lip, etc.) other than single small stud earrings in the ear lobes.
Females:The female student will wear a sleeved blouse or shirt with no plunging necklines, midriff or navels showing.
No tight-fitting, slacks, jeans or colored denims are acceptable. An undershirt may be worn under the blouse or shirt. No logo T-shirts may be worn.
Socks that come above the ankle are to be worn at all times. No bare skin can be visible. No open-toed shoes in the clinical areas.
Jewelry will be kept to a minimum with no body-piercing showing (e.g., nose, cheek, tongue, eyebrow, lip, etc.) other than single small stud earrings in the ear lobes.
Hair will be trimmed, neat and well groomed. Long hair will be worn up on the top of the head or pulled back at the nape of the neck and securely fastened to prevent it from falling forward toward a simulator, laboratory equipment or patient when leaning down. Makeup should be kept to a minimum at all times.

This is the dress code for the University Of Michigan School of Dentistry

We probably all have a personal dress code. The question is from whence did we derive the principles for developing the dress code. I think in light of the aforementioned scripture the following can be considered a modest attempt at applying these principles to our own appearance.
APPLICATION OF PRINCIPLES TO MEN AND BOYS
Swimming.
Do we shed the shirt?
Are the trunks cut high and/or low and/or very tight?

Pants
Too lose - Do they expose the buttocks and/or the underwear?
Too tight - Do they leave little to the imagination?
Too short - Is any of the thigh exposed? When sitting, playing, reaching, bending over.
Shirts
Do they reveal the belly? When reaching, playing, jumping, etc. . . .
Do they reveal the chest? Shirts should be buttoned up.
Is it too tight so that it leaves little to the imagination?
Is it too loose so that it gapes open at inappropriate locations?

Is the apparel feminine in nature?


APPLICATION OF PRINCIPLES TO WOMEN AND GIRLS
Swimming
Bikinis? - What is exposed?
One-piece bathing suits? - What is exposed?
Do they reveal cleavage?
Are they cut too high, too low, or too tight?
Are they too loose?
Is it clingy material?

Skirts and dresses.
Are they too tight drawing attention to the hips?
Are they too loose revealing flesh?
Are they too short revealing the thigh in any normal position?
Do they have slits? Slits themselves can be a source of temptation to some men.
Are the slits high enough to reveal the thigh when walking or sitting?
Do skirts fall so low around the loins that the midsection is revealed when reaching, leaning, or bending over?

Blouses and dresses.
Are they too tight drawing attention to the bossom?
Are they too low revealing cleavage, even if only when bending over?
Are blouses cut so high that the midsection is revealed when reaching, leaning, or bending over?
Are they so loose that they gape open providing glimpses of flesh and nakedness?

Is the apparel masculine in nature?
ACCOUNTABILITY FOR OUR APPEARANCE
Holiness in appearance is the objective.

2 Cor. 7:1 – Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
Not just the spirit but the flesh as well. This would include how we dress ourselves.

1 Peter 1:15,16 – But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
Conversation has reference to lifestyle which would include our appearance.

1 Pet. 2:9 – But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:
One way to do this is by dressing with shamefacedness and sobriety.

1 Thess. 4:7 – For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.
Holiness in appearance is included.
Phil 1:27 – Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
Our lifestyle which includes our appearance is to be in keeping with the gospel wherein the righteousness of God is reavealed.
Titus 2:12 – Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
Soberness, righteousness, and godliness should characterize our appearance.

These things matter for those who want to please God.

They have no effect on our justification for either good or evil. I have dealt with that fully on another ocassion. They do have an effect on the degree to which we are pleasing to God.

Ro 8:8 - So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

1Th 4:1 - Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.

Col. 1:9,10 - For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

Heb 13:21 - Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

1Jo 3:22 - And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.
We do have a responsiblity as believers to please God. We are called, exhorted, and challenged to do so. This certainly includes our appearance. How we choose to dress ourselves. It matters.

There is a day of accounting hastening on.
2Co 5:10 - For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
People say its only what's in the heart that matters. This is patently unscriptural. The Bible says right here that we are going to be judged for the things done in the body, whether it be good or bad. As believers if we dress badly we will suffer loss of reward. As believers if we dress in a way pleasing to the Lord we will be rewarded accordingly.

Ro 14:12 - So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
Lastly, I am most thankful for this verse. We will each give account to God for ourselves. It is not a matter of pleasing parents, preachers, children, sunday school teachers but God. My only plea is that we not deceive ourselves believing that the judgment will be according to anything but truth as it is recorded in His word. We must approach our appearance with sobriety and honesty. Let us help each other to be perfecting holiness in the fear of God and let us revel in the beauty of holiness.
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