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Modest Clothing (Part 1)

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I. As Christians, we must not be conformed to this world, but must be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Rom 12:2).
1. There is probably not a more important area of our lives that needs to be not conformed to this world than our clothing.
2. In order for our lives to be acceptable to God, we must present our bodies as a living sacrifice to God, which includes sacrificing what we want to wear in order to please God (Rom 12:1).
II. God's ministers must put a difference between the clean and the unclean, the holy and the profane (Eze 22:26; Eze 44:23).
A. There must be a standard for acceptable clothing, or anything goes.
B. That standard must come from the word of God.
C. As a minister of God, I must set a standard for modest clothing within the framework of the word of God and the church should respect it (Heb 13:7,17).
III. Nakedness must be covered (Lev 18:6).
1. Nakedness - 1. The state or condition of being unclothed or destitute of clothing. Also transf. a naked person.
2. Naked adj. - I. 1. a. Unclothed, having no clothing upon the body, stripped to the skin, nude. †Also occas. having only an under-garment on. (Job 24:10)
3. It is a shame for one's nakedness to be shown (Exo 32:25; Rev 3:18; Rev 16:15).
A. Shame n. - I. 1. a. The painful emotion arising from the consciousness of something dishonouring, ridiculous, or indecorous in one's own conduct or circumstances (or in those of others whose honour or disgrace one regards as one's own), or of being in a situation which offends one's sense of modesty or decency.
B. A person's sexual organs are referred to as their shame in the Bible (Isa 47:3).
C. Shame n. - 7. concr. The privy members or ‘parts of shame’. 1611 Bible Rev. xvi. 15 Least hee walke naked, and they see his shame.
D. It is a shame and wickedness to look on the nakedness of someone of the opposite sex who is not one's spouse (Lev 20:17).
E. It is not a shame to see the nakedness of one's spouse -- their nakedness belongs to their spouse and no other (Lev 18:8,16).
4. What constitutes nakedness?
A. Breasts of women (Eze 23:3,18-21; Pro 5:19-20).
B. Buttocks of men and women (Isa 20:4).
C. The loins (Isa 20:2).
i. The loins include reproductive organs (Gen 46:26).
ii. Loin n. - 1. a. In the living body. Chiefly pl. The part or parts of a human being or quadruped, situated on both sides of the vertebral column, between the false ribs and the hip-bone. 2. Chiefly Biblical and poet. This part of the body, regarded a. as the part of the body that should be covered by clothing and about which the clothes are bound; so, to gird (up) the loins (lit. and fig.), to prepare for strenuous exertion.
iii. The loins are the mid section of the body (the area of the hips and groin) that a girdle (2Ki 1:8; Jer 13:1) and a sword are worn on (2Sa 20:8).
iv. Girdle n. - 1. a. A belt worn round the waist to secure or confine the garments; also employed as a means of carrying light articles, esp. a weapon or purse.
D. Sexual organs of men and women (Hab 2:15-16; Nah 3:5).
E. Uncovered thighs are nigh unto nakedness (Isa 47:2-3).
5. What must be covered for nakedness to be covered?
A. Since women's breasts are considered nakedness (Eze 23:3,18-21; Pro 5:19-20), women's breasts must be covered in their entirety including all cleavage.
B. Adam and Eve provide us with some clues about how nakedness should be covered.
i. Before man sinned, it was not a shame to be naked (Gen 2:25).
ii. After Adam and Eve sinned, it became a shame to be naked and they covered their nakedness (Gen 3:7).
iii. They made themselves aprons to cover their nakedness (Gen 3:7).
a. Apron n. - 1. a. An article of dress, originally of linen, but now also of stuff, leather, or other material, worn in front of the body, to protect the clothes from dirt or injury, or simply as a covering.
b. An apron generally covers from the chest to near the knees.
c. Even in their fallen condition, they had enough sense not to make themselves speedos, bikinis, one-piece bathing suits, or "Daisy Duke" shorts, to cover their nakedness.
iv. God later clothed Adam and Eve with coats of skins (Gen 3:21).
a. Coat n. - 1. a. An outer garment worn by men; usually of cloth, with sleeves. In olden times the name was sometimes given to a tunic or close-fitting garment coming no lower than the waist (cf. waistcoat); and it was especially applied to the close-fitting tunic which when armed constituted the coat of mail (sense 5), as in quots. c 1300, c 1475. In modern use, coat means a garment for the body with loose skirts descending below the waist. 2. a. A garment worn suspended from the waist by women or young children; a petticoat, a skirt.
b. God made them garments that extended below the waste to cover their nakedness.
c. God didn't make them speedos, bikinis, one-piece bathing suits, or "Daisy Duke" shorts, to cover their nakedness.
C. God specified that the priests would wear breeches to ensure their nakedness was covered (Exo 28:42).
i. Breech n. - 1. A garment covering the loins and thighs: at first perh. only a ‘breech-cloth’; later reaching to the knees.
ii. Nakedness n. - 1. The state or condition of being unclothed or destitute of clothing. Also transf. a naked person.
iii. These breeches would cover the loins and thighs (Exo 28:42).
a. Loin n. - 1. a. In the living body. Chiefly pl. The part or parts of a human being or quadruped, situated on both sides of the vertebral column, between the false ribs and the hip-bone. 2. Chiefly Biblical and poet. This part of the body, regarded a. as the part of the body that should be covered by clothing and about which the clothes are bound; so, to gird (up) the loins (lit. and fig.), to prepare for strenuous exertion.
b. Thigh n. - 1. The upper part of the leg, from the hip to the knee (in man).
iv. In that the thighs are connected to the knees, the breeches that God gave to cover nakedness reached to the knees, as the definition states.
a. This would ensure that the priest's nakedness was not seen if he were walking up stairs (Exo 20:26).
b. It is true that the breeches the priest wore were for their priestly work and were not the garments that they usually wore (Exo 28:43).
c. It is also true that the thighs themselves are not nakedness, though they are close to it (Isa 47:2-3).
v. But the important point to be taken from Exo 28:42 is that God required that the priests wore garments that covered their nakedness, and the garment God chose was breeches which covered the thighs down to the knees.
vi. Therefore, God sees fit that to ensure nakedness is covered, the thighs should be covered down to the knees.
a. The priests ministered standing up, so the breeches they wore would have extended to the knees in a standing position.
b. If God gave a garment to cover nakedness that covered the thighs down to the knees, who do we think we are to wear garments that only cover the genitals by a fraction of an inch (bikini bottoms or one-piece bathing suits) and claim that we are modestly dressed, alleging that we have our nakedness covered?
c. To ensure that they are meeting God's standard for modesty, Christians should make sure that their shorts, dresses, and skirts come down to the knee.
d. If this is done, there is no question concerning whether a person is covered sufficiently.
e. We must abstain from the appearance of evil (1Th 5:22).
f. Why would a Christian want to push the limit and wear clothing that covers less than a garment that God himself gave to ensure that nakedness is covered?
vii. For the church service and church events, all church members shall wear clothing that extends at least to the knees.
D. It was a shame for David's men to be seen with their garments cut off "in the midst hard by their buttocks" (1Ch 19:4-5; 2Sa 10:4-5).
i. Hard by - A. prep. Close by; in close proximity to; close to, very near to.
ii. Their garments were cut off very close to where their legs met their butt cheeks.
iii. Their garments were shameful to wear.
iv. Therefore, clothing that only extends to very close to where the butt cheeks meet the legs is shameful.
a. Bikinis, one piece bathing suits, and "Daisy Duke" shorts only cover to where the butt cheeks meet the legs.
b. Therefore, bikinis, one piece bathing suits, and "Daisy Duke" shorts are shameful when worn in public.
v. Therefore, the thighs should be covered.
E. The loins, which a girdle covers, including the genital organs, hips, groin, and butt (see Section III,4,C) are considered nakedness (Isa 20:2), and therefore should be covered.

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