Friday, August 08, 2008

Clothed for Worship

As seen in previous noted I've started to read 1 Timothy. By God's grace I heard a phenomenal sermon on 1 Tim. 2:9 and 1 Peter 3:3-4 by Alister Begg.

1Ti 2:9 likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire,

1Pe 3:3-4 Do not let your adorning be external--the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear-- (4) but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious.

Before I begin let me make it clear that what I am about to right about and exhort is not the same thing that God taught through Pastor Begg.

It is clear from these to passages that Paul and Peter are not just trying to attack and condemn certain styles, but they are making some principles about worship.

Some of the principals:

Dress modestly and as not to draw attention to yourself.

Do not dress in "costly attire." (that one is universal)

Dress in a way that demonstrates self-control.

Let the beauty you have externally be saved for your spouse and do not share it with the world. It is to be treasured with your partner to whom you are forever joined.

Let your beauty be a gentle and quiet (or submissive) spirit. This beauty is an imperishable beauty and God sees it as very precious.

Now all of these principles seem to point in the exact opposite way of much traditional teaching within the church.

Gorwing up I was taught that when you go to church you are to "look your best." What this meant was that ladies wore dresses and men wore suits. But these Scripture say the exact opposite of that. They teach us that we are not to be concerned with our outward appearance or looking our best, but to focus on the heart and spirit.

Take specifically Easter. Every Easter as a child I was bought a new outfit for Easter Sunday, so I could "look my best for the Lord." Yea, I'm as lost as lost can be with even my "good" deeds as filthy rags before a holy God and He wants to make sure I have the best pastel plaid button-up in the country on. And it wasn't just my family, but this thought process permeates the body of Christ.

Their are still churches today that will not let you in the door without a suit. (BTW, most suits and dresses are quite "costly apparel.")

I think the real question is what is your heart focused on? I beleve that if we were take the time preparing our hearts to worship instead of preparing our clothes then we would be much more likely to meet with Christ in a fuller way by His grace.S

o consider this next Sunday and for the Sundays to come. I think the best way to honor the Lord with our dress is not to "look our best," but to be modest, cost-appropriate, and preparedto worship the King of kings, Lord of lords, and maker of heaven and earth.

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