THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
PROGRAM AIR DATE - 3-23-08
LESSON TITLE: "GOD'S PECULIAR PEOLE: A PECULIAR DRESS"
What a privilege we have this morning to join together in the study of God's Living Word. We welcome you to our program and we thank God that you have chosen to be with us today. We are excited about this opportunity we have together this morning to glorify our creator. May we each do our part to make this time acceptable in His sight and according to His will. Now, let's approach our Father's throne in prayer.
What a wonderful privilege we have as Christians to lift up our voices in praise to God. How encouraging it is to have this avenue of worship to our creator! So, this morning won't you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together our first hymn of the morning. The name of the song "Does Jesus Care!"
(SONG # 1)
The Psalmist David always had a wonderful way of reminding us of just how great our God is. In fact, in Psalm 94 we see that he helps us to remember that it is only through God that we are able to bear the things of this life.
In verses 17 through 19 we read, "unless the Lord had been my help, my soul would soon have settled in silence. If I say, "my foot slips," your mercy, o Lord, will hold me up. In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul." Think of all the wonderful things David reminds us of here.
He said without God's help his soul would have already been silenced. How true this is. If we don't have God, our soul is empty, because it is the soul of man that houses the very essence of God. God fills us as His children and guides us through the soul.
David also reminds us that we can count on God to help us when we fall. He said if his foot slipped, God was always there to catch him. You see, we have the same privilege in Jesus Christ. He is always with us to help us and care for us when we have needs.
The final thing David mentions is in relationship to anxieties. He says that God is always with us as a comfort when anxieties come our way. Let me remind you anxieties are fears which we have due to uncertainties or things we are unsure of.
Our God is truly a great God. He is always with us to guide, guard and direct us in every walk of life. The question is, do you have Christ in you? If not, why not? Choose today to accept His will, by confessing His name, repenting of your sins, and being buried with Him through baptism. Then, and only then, can you have the help from God that we are talking about today.
In just a few moments we will be going to God's Word for the main study of the day. To lead us in our thoughts, we are happy to have brother Brent Green. Brother Brent is the School Representative for the Bible Institute of Missouri. We're glad to again have him with us today.
As far as our discussion, this morning we will continue our study on, "God's Peculiar People." Our specific topic of the day will deal with, "A Peculiar Dress." So please continue with us this morning and after our next song together, brother Green will return with this lesson from God's word. It's now time to join in our second hymn of the morning, the name of the song, "The Great Physician."
(SONG # 2)
By Brent Green
Good morning! I hope you have your Bibles in hand as we again open God's Word and see what those inspired scriptures have to tell us.
This morning, we are considering what it means to dress as God's Peculiar People. I have a strange question for you. How are you dressing Christ? I know that sounds a little strange at the beginning. It's not how was Christ dressed or how are you dressing as a Christian, but how are you dressing Christ? I want you to think about that as we consider these thoughts this morning about God and His peculiar people and how they dress.
So often today, Christians around the world will stand out probably most likely than many would have them dress. Throughout the world, we see a great push to take more and more off as we look at those around that are taking their families to the beaches and taking their families to different areas of recreation , and even in general dress as we go to work or as we go to the store we see people taking more and more clothes off and wearing things that are more revealing. For what purpose? Well I think the purpose is very much as is it is intended. There is the media and others that often portray the things that need to be more sexual, things that need to be more attractive as we might appeal to those of the opposite sex. So the appeal is out there of how we dress in the world. So as Christians, we have a great challenge to be those that rise above what may be out there and what we might succumb to of dressing like everyone else, but be those that really rise to the challenge and dress modestly in an immodest world. So consider that question this morning as we consider what it means to be a part of God's peculiar people.
There in 1 Peter chapter 2 the text or the verse which we've been stemming this series from, 1 Peter 2 and verse 9, God says of His people, "You are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light, who once were not a people but are now the people of God who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy." Those great verses there tell us who we are as Christians. He goes through here and tells us that we are a chosen generation, a generation of people that no longer chose to take those things on of the world but that chose to obey God and follow the plan of salvation, believe what the Bible said about Christ and turn from the lifestyle of sin and turn to living a life of righteousness for God that confess that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God and was buried with Him in baptism for the remission of sins (Acts 2:38). A chosen generation to be added by the Lord to the body of the saved, the church there as we see on the Day of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2. So a chosen generation, that type of people. But also not only that, but you are a royal priesthood. So Christ being the High Priest, but Christ also being King and so we serving as Priests of our own under that Kingship of Jesus Christ, we are a part of that royal priesthood, a holy nation. And so the idea here of being holy, being set apart, being drawn out of the world, being those not a part of sin, being a holy nation for God.
Also there as we read, "A special people." It's interesting that the other words that are used in other translations, the New King James there putting it forth as "His own special people." The King James we've got the word there for this series it calls "a peculiar people," a people that are different. Also we see in other translations, The American Standard Version, The New American Standard Version putting it forth as "a people for God's own possession." So even in this term there are many things that we can understand. What does that mean to be God's special, God's chosen generation, God's peculiar people? Well quite literally it means that we are purchased people by the blood of Jesus Christ. We were bought and so we were in sin. We were in darkness. We were those that were out of fellowship with God, but being brought back to the light because of the blood of Jesus Christ.
I hope you have your Bibles and you'll turn with me to Titus chapter 2. To understand that we are a peculiar people, to understand what this means I think we'll very much dictate how we dress in this world. But in Titus chapter 2 we see the words there written to Titus of what it means to be those that are bought by the blood of Christ.
Titus chapter 2:14, it says, "Of Jesus who gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works." So what did Christ do? He redeemed us. He bought us back. He paid the price for our sins that we might be brought back into the light, to have fellowship with God once again. To be what? TO be His own special people, zealous for good works. And so to be the people of God, that peculiar, that special people, those that were brought back at a price. What does that mean? Well we have a great indebtedness to God because we were lost. We were in sin. "But God was not slack concerning His promises, some men count slackness," there in 2 Peter chapter 3 and verse 9, "but He was longsuffering toward us not willing that any should perish but that all should have repentance." God wanting His creation to be brought back to Him to no longer be lost in sin and to understand that we as God's peculiar people have been redeemed by the blood of Christ.
Well that should lead us to understand that we should be different as the people of God. You can even go back to Old Testament passages. There spoken of God's people, the Israelites, in Esther chapter 3 and verse 8 talks about Esther and her people. It says, "And their laws are different from all other people." Understanding even those in that day that those that follow God, those that serve God had different laws, that they were different from those of the land, that they were different from the other people. So understanding and knowing that God's people are different in the way that they live and the way that they serve God in this land. So being those that as in Ecclesiastes chapter 12 and verse 13 tells us that "We are to fear God and to keep His commandments for this is man's all."
So in understanding that as Christians we have a great responsibility to be different, to be those that fear God, those that keep His commandments, those commands that stand out above all other commands and laws in this world.
So knowing there in John chapter 14 and verse 15 as Jesus said, as He pleaded, He said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments." An earnest request of those that might follow Him, those that would take up His cross and follow after Him in His footsteps, to be those that had the love in your heart to follow God and to keep His commands.
So understanding those principles, understanding that we must be different and in doing so we are those that keep the commands of God.
Turn in your Bibles to 1 Corinthians chapter 6. Paul tells those in Corinth quite literally, those Christians here who had once been involved in sin, those who had once been walking in darkness and what it meant for them to be those that understood that they were now purified. There in 1 Corinthians chapter 6 beginning in verse 9, it says, "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived neither fornicators, nor adulterers, nor idolaters or homosexuals or sodomites or thieves or covetous or drunkards or revilers or extortioners for none of these will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you, but you were washed. You were sanctified. You were justified by the name of the Lord Jesus and by the spirit of our God." He says, "Corinthians, you were involved in sin. You were in darkness. You were trying to conform yourselves to all the things of the world. That was your lifestyle. But what happened? You were washed. You were purified. You were justified by our Lord Jesus Christ." Do you see what it means to understand that we are a peculiar people? We've been washed. We've been justified and therefore, we cannot go back to walking in sin. We cannot go back to the lifestyle of unrighteousness, to be those devout and pure before God.
If we understand what it means to be God's peculiar people, very easily do we understand what it means as Christians to dress appropriately. I want us to consider how we should dress as God's peculiar people.
If we go back even to Adam and Eve in Genesis chapter 2 and 3, we can see that there is a certain requirement that God had there when Adam and Eve first realized that they needed to cover themselves. Go back to Genesis chapter 2. There in verse 25, we'll read the verses there before Adam and Eve had sinned, before they knew they were naked. There in verse 25 of Genesis chapter 2, it says, "And they were both naked, the man and his wife (being Adam and Eve) and were not ashamed." It was before they sinned, before innocence was lost. But we know what happened. We know that Eve partook of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil and she sinned against God because God said to not do that and she offered it to Adam and He took it as well and they both ate and they sinned against God.
That's why we go over to the next chapter to Genesis chapter 3 and verse 7. It says, "After this the eyes of both of them were opened and they knew that they were naked and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings." Innocence was lost. So what did they do? They sought to cover themselves. Quite literally here, they brought fig leaves together and they made themselves literally what we might consider as a loin cloth. They made themselves underwear to cover themselves because they realized that they were naked.
You see it doesn't stop here. God saw as well that they had covered themselves, but also saw that they hadn't covered themselves adequately. So you look down just a few verses to Genesis chapter 3 and verse 21. It says, "Also for Adam and Eve the Lord God made tunics of skin and clothed them." And so tunics here symbolizing or representing rather something that would be like a coat, like a cloak, and so it would be something that covered from their shoulders to their knees most likely. So what did God do? Well He made them skins. He made them clothing to cover up what they had made. So yes, they had made themselves some coverings, but they weren't adequate. So what God did is He made outerwear to cover their underwear quite literally is what He did. So we can see from this that a person can have clothes on but by God still be considered naked because they don't have enough on.
Well do you see the principle put forth there that we can learn from Adam and Eve? There can be clothing that we wear that is inadequate to properly cover our bodies as God would have us to do.
So that's why we also signify there when we look at passages like Micah chapter 1 and verse 8. There Micah, it says that "he prophesied naked." Well it wasn't that he was completely without clothing. He had his underclothes on, but because he wasn't covered up enough he was considered to be naked.
So also there in 1 Samuel chapter 19 and verse 24 the same is said of Saul whom he himself just had his undergarments on and it is said of him that he was naked and so he didn't heave enough clothes to adequately cover himself before God.
So we see the need from God and His Bible to be those that cover ourselves in a proper fashion. So dressing as God's peculiar people means that we have got to have adequate clothing. We have to do it in a modest fashion. And that's the next thing to consider that our clothing must be according to the standard that God gives.
There in Deuteronomy chapter 22 and verse 5 it speaks of men not supposed to be wearing women's clothing and women not supposed to be wearing men's clothing, but all are supposed to be wearing according to their own standard. That is the essence put forth there. So men and women need to be dressing properly before the sight of God and that's why if you'll turn your Bibles to 1 Timothy to chapter 2 we see one of the greatest passages we can look at in requirement for our modesty before God.
There in 1 Timothy chapter 2 and verse 8, it says, "I desire therefore that men pray everywhere lifting up holy hands without wrath and doubting, in like manner also that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel with propriety and moderation." So we see both to men and women here the need to be holy before God. It says, "Men lift up holy hands." The essence of purity and righteousness that when you come together here, he's speaking of in the worship assembly, that you have got to be holy, but he says, "In like manner also, women adorn yourselves in modesty." So we can talk about men and women and the fact that both are not dressing modestly these days. Men, in the hot weather, do you go out without a shirt on to mow your lawn? Or do you wear shirts that the sleeves are cut off with such gaping holes that you can see right through them? Yes, men we need to consider what we are wearing. Are we modest in our apparel? But so much the issue comes upon women because it is the great desire of the world to have women present themselves in such a fashion to be so appealing, to be so sexually appealing to the other sex. Well women, that's why great emphasis is often put on not only here in scripture but today to make sure you adorn yourself in a modest fashion.
So this lesson isn't to give you some numeric standard. You know how long should the inseam be of the shorts that I wear, or how long should my dress be or how much room should I leave from my chin to the top of my dress line? I can't give you a number! But I can appeal to you to think about being God's Peculiar People, to think about how you clothe yourself in the sight of God. Is it enough? Is it adequate? Is it modest? Is it something that when people look at you they understand that this is someone that is different. So make an appeal to yourself to consider how am I dressing before God.
Other passages that we can consider that are similar to there in 1 Timothy are passages like Titus chapter 2. Also in 1 Peter chapter 3 again calls to dress in a modest nature. So to be those that clothe ourselves in such a fashion that we are modest before the world. So we can know very much that if we go to Matthew chapter 5 verses 27-28 there is an appeal there when it talks about a man who already looks at a woman has already committed adultery in his heart. Well there is the idea. Well women, how are we dressing? Men, what are we looking at? So there's an appeal that we must be those that as we dress don't entice others. So women may not always understand the psyche of men but very much are we built to be those that propagate. So having to control that desire and need and to put that within the marriage bond as God would have it, but women to understand that as men look at you they are seeing something that you may not be understanding, so to cover yourself and dress in such a way that does not reveal or promote or entice men to look at you in a sexual way.
So to be those that are God's chosen people, God's peculiar people as we live our lives and in 1 Thessalonians chapter 5 and verse 22 that "abstain from the appearance of evil." If you dress like a prostitute, what will people think you are? If you dress like a stripper, what will people think you are? We have got to dress in such a way to raise the standard, to raise the bar and to go back to the scriptures that we might stand holy and righteous before God dressing as He would have us. So to be those as God's peculiar people that not only just understand this for ourselves but shine as lights in this world.
So if we go back there to 1 Peter we understand that the purpose of being that holy priesthood, that royal priesthood, that holy nation, that chosen generation that we are called to do this for a purpose.
There in 1 Peter chapter 2 and verse 9 "that you may proclaim the praises of Him that called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." We were in darkness. "We once were lost, but we have been called out of that darkness to shine as lights in this world (Matthew chapter 5 and verse 16)."
So to know to answer the question: How are you dressing Christ? Well consider Galatians chapter 2 and verse 20 when Paul says, "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me."
If we as Paul are living in such a fashion that Christ is seen through us, that Christ is living through us and when people look at us they see Christ, then ask yourself that question. How am I dressing Christ? If Christ is seen in me, what am I putting on? Is it enough to be adequately and modestly covered? Is it enough when people look at me they understand that I am a part of a peculiar people, a chosen generation? We have a challenge as Christians to dress in a proper fashion. So be those that understand that we must dress accordingly to God's standard to be modest in today's immodest world.
(SONG # 3 - "Burdens Are Lifted At Calvary!")
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today for the Living Word Program. I hope and trust, that together we have all benefited from this service to our lord. Let me also invite you to join us every lord's day morning at 7:30 as we give this time to our creator.
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Thanks be to God that he has given us a pattern for how we should present ourselves in this world. May we always follow it and do only those things which bring Him glory and honor!