Summary: A serious, biblical look at the subject of modesty.
Title: Does Modesty Matter?
Introduction: Genesis 2:25 (NCV) "The man and his wife were naked, but they were not ashamed."
‒ Adam and Eve found themselves created into a perfect SINLESS world.
A. No Shame
C. No blushing
D. Naked and no reason to feel wrong about it.
‒ But oh how things changed in Genesis 3
A. Genesis 3:7 (NCV) "Then, it was as if their eyes were opened. They realized they were naked, so they sewed fig leaves together and made something to cover themselves."
B. Then God made more durable clothes for them. Genesis 3:21 (NCV) "The LORD God made clothes from animal skins for the man and his wife and dressed them."
‒ Why do you think God made animal skins for them?
A. They already had fig leaves.
B. Where they out of style?
‒ I believe they were inadequate.
‒ Inadequate is an understatement for the kind of “no-wearing” of clothing we see in our society and sadly enough even in the church.
‒ Words like indecent and inviting are more like it.
*From the time sin entered the world, nakedness has been a shame.
Today we are going to deal with a subject that has many opinions. I am not interested in my opinion or yours. I want to see what God says concerning the subject of Modesty in dress. This is NOT just a YOUTH ISSUE.
1. Definition of Modesty (2 forms of immodesty)
A. FORM # 1 OVERDRESSING The most commonly MISUSED passage on the subject of modesty is 1 Timothy 2:9-10 (NCV) "Also, women should wear proper clothes that show respect and self-control, not using braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes. 10 Instead, they should do good deeds, which is right for women who say they worship God." KJV 1 Timothy 2:9-10 (KJV) "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."
‒ Preachers read this and say, “There! The Bible says modest apparel and women have no business wearing immodest clothing.”
‒ Christian women AND MEN, for that matter, have no business wearing immodest clothing.
‒ But, 1 Timothy 2:9 does not teach against clothing that is immodest in the sense of indecent: too low cut, too short, too transparent, too tight, etc)
‒ It deals with immoderate excessive clothes.
B. Clothes that bring attention to the person’s wealth and outer looks.
C. Clothes that distract from inner beauty and focus on gold, pearls, or the finest hair-do.
‒ This is a form of immodesty. It is excessive-Look at me-apparel. PRIDE
‒ Paul’s rules set forth here are proper and moderate dressing. Not too much! I am of the fear that we violate this more than the other sometimes.
‒ FORM # 2 UNDER DRESSING The second kind of modesty is that of dressing decently or placed in the negative, dressing immodestly or indecently. (Too short, too low cut, too transparent, too tight, etc.)
‒ Our introduction to this lesson concerning Adam and Eve is proof enough that God wants us to be covered up because of the shame of nakedness.
‒ Paul tells Titus in Titus 2:11-12 (NIV) "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12 It teaches us to say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age...."
‒ 1 Peter 1:13-16 tells us to “be holy in ALL of our conduct...”
REVIEW: So far in the lesson we have determined two kinds of extremes in modesty. God condemns both through scripture. GOD WANTS PURITY IN EVERY ASPECT OF OUR LIVES
Two questions: 1. What is “immodest clothing” in terms of indecency? 2. Can modesty vary somewhat from culture to culture?
2. Cultural Views of Modesty and Immodesty
‒ We will answer the second question first. Can modesty vary somewhat from culture to culture?
‒ Every lady in this audience would be immodest in Saudi Arabia or Iran.
‒ However, if we lived among some of the tribes in the Amazon basin, their women wear little or no clothing.
‒ Both cultures are to be instructed according to God’s plan. God put clothes on people for good reason.
‒ Then to question 1. What is “immodest clothing” in terms of indecency? We think that making rules as to inches and length will make everything alright, but there is a better answer to what is indecent.
‒ Immodest: clothing which is too revealing, wether too low, too thin, too transparent, too tight. Clothing that calls improper attention to sexuality.
1. Here are some synonyms listed in the Thesaurus of my computer: debased, erotic, immoral, daring, improper, inappropriate, indecent, obscene, off-color, shameful.