Summary: What we "wear" communicates what we believe.

Are any of you ladies like my wife? Looking through her closet saying, “What am I going to wear?” Sometimes it’s funny just watching her mix and match blouses with skirts, then the shoes… Then when I think we’re all ready to go, she comes out wearing something completely different than what she was going to go out in!

Ladies, do you ever find yourself doing on Sunday mornings? Asking, “What am I gonna wear to church?”

Well, our study today is going to address this issue… No, I won’t be reading from Ladies Home Journal, or Mademoiselle, or Cosmopolitan. We’ll be studying the Word of God.

We’re going to find out that for a Christian woman,

Big Idea: What you wear communicates what you believe.

Paul’s Purpose:

…I write so that you may know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth. (I Tim 3:15)

As we study the Scriptures, it becomes very evident that God desires for the church to reflect the purity and orderliness of His creative design.

God’s standards prove to be the best:

God wants the church to operate by the standards that He has set up because He knows that in so doing, the church will bind itself in unity, efficiency, impact, and orderliness. If we follow by that which seems right in our own eyes, there is only disorder, poor organization, conflict, political correctness, and down-right sinfulness.

God’s standards serve as a witness:

God wants the church to look like Christ, rather than looking like the world. The Lord wants His church to accurately represent what He is like, so that this unfallen world sees with their own eyes “Christ” living through us, and thus be drawn to Him.

As we delve into our passage this morning, we are obviously confronted with a delicate topic: women’s roles in the church.

Why is this so touchy? Because our society has come so far in the way of advancing women’s rights in allowing them to vote, to run for office – even for president, to lead companies, to work in settings where once only men worked, and to call their own shots. In many ways these advancements have been very good. And in some ways, they have led women down an extreme path of worldly, selfish ambition that is outside of the design of God.

And when we read these verses in I Timothy, at first blush, it sounds as if Paul is shutting down all of these privileges that women have come to enjoy having. So Paul has been accused of being “sexist,” or “backwards.” And as a result, it doesn’t appear to be the way of “wisdom,” nor a “good witness” to society.

Therefore, as we approach our text today, the question of relevancy will be raised. We will have to answer the question as to whether or not the commands Paul gave were limited to the Ephesian church in its own time, or do they apply even to today – even here at GEFC…

Big Idea: What you wear communicates what you believe.

I. What to Wear on the Outside: Modesty (vv. 9-10)

A. The Principle of Modesty (v. 9)

Paul refers to the elaborate hair syles which were then fashionable among the wealthy and also to the styles worn by courtesans. The sculpture and literature of the period make it clear that women often wore their hair in enormously elaborate arrangements with braids and curls interwoven or piled high like towers and decorated with gems and gold and pearls.

Though Paul’s specific examples were limited to the time of his writing I Timothy, the principle of modesty is universal.

We should note that principle of Modesty is Universal. It is applicable to every church, in every age, including today. In every way possible, we should make an effort to reflect the purity and grace of our holy God.

How sad it is when a Christian woman betrays her testimony of being a child of God, when she is wearing clothing that courts the devil!

Styles come and go, but the principle of modesty does not.

Christian women must be discerning in what they choose to wear and how they fix themselves up, because whether they realize it or not, they are revealing something about inner motives. And her motives need to be pure and holy, not flashy and flirty.

B. The Motivations of Modesty (v. 10)

It would probably do little good for me to spend much time rattling off a list of immodest clothing. I think we all recognize that certain styles, though popular in today’s culture, are inappropriate for a Christian woman to flaunt herself with.

The question a Christian woman should ask is, “What is my motivation in wanting to dress in this or that way?”

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Colin Bain

commented on Oct 16, 2006

If, in Christ, there is neither male nor female (a completely universal meaning), then there is no gender distinction for educated teachers. I appreciated the rest of the sermon. (I am male.)

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