Article - God's Modesty Standard
When one becomes a Christian, he is commanded to: (1) walk in the newness of life (Romans 6:3-4); (2) be different from the world (2 Corinthians 6:14-18); and (3) be holy in all his conduct (1 Peter 1:13-16). This is also true when it comes to modesty. The scriptures plainly teach that Christians are to be different and modest. However, to say the Bible teaches modesty without a modesty standard would be the same as saying the Bible teaches salvation without a standard plan of salvation. Study Genesis 2:17 and 3:6- 11 and consider that after Adam and Eve committed their first sin, they realized they were naked and were ashamed. It was not a cultural issue but a matter of RIGHT and WRONG. Adam and Eve made “coverings” for themselves. The Hebrew word refers to a garment that covers the mid-section of the body and is tied about the waist. Adam and Eve's attempt was unsuccessful, because they were still considered naked. God clothed Adam and Eve with “tunics”. Fred Wight in Manners and Customs of the Bible Lands states, “The simplest form of [the tunic] is without sleeves and reached to the knees and sometimes to the ankles” (page 91).The ONLY scripture that mentions God clothing mankind mentions that He did so from the shoulders to at least the knees. God was setting forth a standard that was to last from the Garden to the Second Coming. In fact, from Genesis 3:21 through the New Testament (over 4100 years) God’s people have clothed themselves from the shoulders to the knees (especially study “tunic”). Even today, people in the East still clothe themselves in like manner. There is no authority in the Bible for wearing anything less. In fact, the “unpresentable parts” (I Corinthians 12:23) equated with “nakedness” include the loins (Genesis 3:7, 21), thigh (Isaiah 47:2-3; Judges 3:16) and chest (Ezekiel 16:7). If that was the amount of clothing with which God clothed Adam and Eve, what would make us think today that the standard has been lowered? Bikinis, shorts above the knees, low-cut tops, etc. do not meet the modesty standard. Males must not go shirtless in public and females must not wear low-cut wedding dresses. Whether in worship assembly, on the ball field, at the mall or in a park, Christians must be clothed modestly from the shoulders to at least the knees. Let us not be guilty of the sin of immodesty nor approve of immodesty in any way (Ephesians 5:11; Romans 1:32).
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