Summary: This sermon was an answer to some questions I received from one of our members regarding a woman's dress and body piercing.
Question: I have several questions to ask. The first one is, is it ok for women to wear jeans (both in worship and outside)? Is it ok for women to wear make-up? Is it ok for women to cut their hair? And is it ok to pierce your ears or any other body part (both male and female)?
1. Most of these questions are issues that seem to come from those in the Pentecostal church. Most of these questions seem to be things they feel very strongly about. There are a couple of good passages of scripture that shed light on this topic.
a. I Timothy 2:9-10, “in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety (shamefacedness, KJV) and moderation (sobriety, KJV), not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works.” NKJV
b. I Peter 3:3-4, “And let not your adornment be merely external-- braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.” NAS
c. Let’s notice a couple of things about these verses.
I. Modest Apparel.
A. The Christian is to dress:
1. Modestly (which means “orderly” or “well arranged”),
2. with Shamefacedness (means “a sense of shame or honor, bashfulness, reverence, regard for others, respect),
3. and with sobriety (means “soundness of mind, self-control, soberness”).
4. You can see from the definitions of these words the importance of a Christian in their dress.
B. Paul goes on in the passage in I Tim. 2 to describe more accurately what he is talking about.
1. He uses what we call a NOT— BUT statement.
2. This is a statement that shows in which area the emphasis is to be placed.
a. Let me give you an example. In John 6:27 Jesus says, “Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man shall give to you, for on Him the Father, even God, has set His seal."
b. Would you gather from this that someone could not work to feed himself physically?
c. Of course not, that would contradict other passages (II Thess. 3:10, “If a man will not work, neither let him eat.”)
d. What Jesus is saying is that the important thing is not physical food but the spiritual.
C. Jesus goes on to say a few verses later, “I am the bread of life.”
1. He is showing that eternal life comes through Him.
2. So the emphasis is placed on spiritual things. He is not saying it is wrong to work for physical food.
3. Now apply that to I Tim. 2 and I Peter 3.
a. It is not the braided hair, gold, pearls, costly clothing, jewelry, and the putting on of a dress that is important.
b. What is important is what is on the inside.
c. The contrast is between the outside and the inside of someone. It’s not what the look like on the outside that God is so interested in but what is on the inside.
d. It is the “hidden person of the heart” that is the most important. Paul and Peter are not saying that it is wrong to braid you hair, wear gold or pearls or jewelry. That is not the most important thing.
e. By the way, how many people who forbid wearing make-up, jeans, jewelry, and other things would say it is wrong to wear a dress?
1. That’s what Peter says!! If you are to take their position, Peter says that the external things, which include the wearing of dresses, cannot be done.
2. They teach just the reverse. They say that you can only wear dresses and no pants, right?
D. Jeans in worship.
1. I believe that worship is a time when we are to have our thoughts concentrating on God.
2. We sing praises to God and talk about spiritual things in our Bible Classes and in the lessons.
a. For the most part the way we dress has much to do with our attitude. I believe you are more likely to have a proper frame of mind for worship when you are dressed your best than when you are in a T-shirt and jeans.
b. Fortunately, this is more of my opinion than what we could quote from scripture. The important thing is that we worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).
c. With the right attitude and with the truth of His word. I don’t believe you can condemn someone to hell because he/she wears jeans but I also don’t believe it is a wise practice to start.