THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date – 8-23-09
LESSON TITLE: “THE WORKS OF THE FLESH ARE…: IMMODESTY”
It’s great to have you with us this morning to hear the Living Word of God. What a blessing it is for us to gather before God’s Throne and to offer Him true worship and praise. I hope we will each do our part to make this time acceptable in His sight and according to His Perfect Will.
Let’s begin our offering this day with a prayer, bow with me please.
Our first song this morning reminds us of the fact that our Lord and Savior is always with us to help and to guide. So, won’t you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together this encouraging song, its name “Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah?”
(SONG # 1)
One of the greatest lessons which we can learn from Jesus was His true humility. There He was, the very Son of God on this earth. Furthermore, He was deity in the flesh. But what was it that He continually chose to do? He glorified His Father! He proclaimed “not my will, but yours be done!” You see, Jesus not only loved, respected and reverenced His Father; He also honored, gave praise to and glorified Him. Oh, what a true picture of submission and obedience Jesus was, and what a great lesson we can learn from these things as well.
I think that John helps us understand this idea better, as He actually records for us the words of Jesus in his gospel account. In chapter 12, verses 49-50, we read, “For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.” Our Lord Jesus did not come to do His own will or to speak His own Words, but what He was all about was the work of the Father! No doubt this is why He told His mother at a very young age, “Woman, don’t you know that I must be about my Father’s business?” Certainly, Jesus knew His responsibility to His God. He definitely knew His duty to the Father above, and His every desire and effort was to accomplish the commanded purpose at hand!
Brethren, if we could only learn to have a similar attitude as Jesus. To put our own wants, like and desires aside, and to determine to humble ourselves completely to the things which God has revealed to us through His Word. What a privilege we have to do God’s Will and to accomplish it according to His purpose and desire. The question for us all is, will we choose to speak the words of the Father as Jesus did? Will we be willing to follow the Almighty’s commands, again as Jesus did? Will we commit to doing all the will of God as it has been given to us in His own precious Word, the Bible? Just how much will you choose to humble yourself before God?
Today, our series of discussion will again be concerning, “The Works Of The Flesh Are….” Our specific lessons of the day will deal with, “Immodesty!” So please stay with us this morning and after our next song together, I will be leading us in our main thoughts of the day. Now it’s time to join in our second song, the name of this hymn, “Standing On The Promises Of God.”
(SONG # 2)
By Ray Sullins
We’re so glad you’ve continued with us today as we now go to God’s Word and consider another exciting lesson in relationship to the works of the flesh. Together we’ve begun to find many things in the Bible that are condemned and certainly things we should not partake in or be part of as Christians. So today, we want to continue to look into God’s Word and to encourage ourselves to know there are things we can correct, things we can do better in to know that God is more pleased with the lives that we live every day.
We’ve been looking a lot at the ideas of immorality and the ideas of sin certainly in our society and yet it be sin in the eyes of God, and how our society readily accepts these things and acts as if they are no big deal. Well today, the topic that we will consider is something that we don’t have to go very far to find. In fact, you might find it right outside your home. You might find it driving down the street as you are heading to your home. You might find it when you stop to buy gas or even when you go into a grocery store, or maybe when you are at the mall. You might go to a ball game or just for some type of recreation and it doesn’t matter where you go, there is something that is immoral taking place and that is the immodest dress of so many in our society.
The other day I was driving along Republic Road and there were some teenagers that were jogging, a group maybe of 10 or 15, and I was surprised because they had certainly much less on than you could say they “had more on.” It was sad because when I passed I wondered, “Is this some type of a beach or possibly a nudist colony?” Well where are they learning those things? Well they are learning them from you. They’re learning them from our society. They’re learning them from their parents. What they find in their daily lives is not what they wear or what they can do to be seen as modest, but really what they can be immodest in or what will catch someone’s eye, what will attract the attention of a boy or as a boy attract the attention of a girl. You see, there is a great problem with immodesty, but it is not just with young people. In the same mall, at the same game, you will find those who are adults, adults who certainly should know better who are setting the example that certainly again shows us why so many young people feel it is okay, because again they have very little on. It seems not to bother them at all.
So when you look into society we find many things that would make us immodest, specifically today we are looking at dress. Certainly there are other things that can make us be immodest such as maybe even the way we dress or our hair or the piercings or the multiple tattoos that we have. There might be many things that make us stand out and rather than being someone who is seen of God, maybe seen as the world or as something of another sort. So what we are talking about specifically today though are principles that will apply in all of these areas, but specifically in the area of how we choose to dress.
With that in mind, I want you to think with me what really the Bible says concerning these things beginning in the book of Genesis. Have you ever considered before that God dealt with modesty even in the book of Genesis with the first man and the first woman? In fact, I find it fascinating in chapter 2 after God had made man and woman, and it tells us specifically how He made woman as He took the rib from man and He made woman there also as man and gave her to him and then the man and the woman became one flesh as husband and wife. Now I want you to notice with me what the verse says (25) of Genesis chapter 2. It says, “And they were both naked, the man and the wife, and they were not ashamed.” How interesting. Of all the descriptive ways God could have said if you are innocent, and if you are doing what God says, and if things aren’t really about sin, then that innocence really would say that you don’t know what is the difference between being naked or having clothing.
But then as we move down into chapter 3 and we find the sin of woman and man, and as well the sin of the serpent. We find several things that are taking place, and after the woman had eaten of the fruit and she gave it to the man and the man also had eaten of the fruit, I want you to notice with me what it says first of all in verse 7 when they had eaten of the fruit. It says there, “Then the eyes of both of them were open.” So immediately they knew something had changed. They knew guess what, that they were naked. When they understood knowledge, when they understood good and evil… Do you remember the name of the tree? The Knowledge of Good and Evil. When they understood the difference between what is good and right and evil and what is evil and contrary to God, they realized instantly they were naked. And what did they do? “We must clothe ourselves,” the verse goes on to say, and so “they sewed together fig leaves and as they sewed them together they made for themselves covering.” Well some people today would call these coverings “clothing.” But we want to go a little further in the story because the story goes on to say that what they had made was clothing to cover what they felt was their nakedness was not acceptable to God because their God comes to the garden in the next verses and as He is in the garden, they hide themselves. So God calls out to Adam and asks, “Where are you?” And then in verse 10, I want you to notice what it says. “And so he says, ‘I heard your voice in the garden and I was afraid.” “Why were you afraid, Adam?” Look at the same verse. “Because I was naked and hid myself.” Instantly because sin has been revealed to him, knowledge of evil has been revealed to him. He knows right and wrong. He realizes, “I am naked and I must cover myself and even now that I have been naked in the eyes of God, I certainly have transgressed His will.” You see, not only was it a literal nakedness, but a spiritual nakedness. Why? God knows everything! He knew already what had taken place and I believe Adam already realized that God would know all these things.
Look at the next verse, verse 11. God asked him a question. He says, “Who told you you were naked?” He says, “I never told you. You never had a problem with it up to this point, so who told you?” Well you’ve eaten of the tree. God recognizes and acknowledges that they had eaten of the tree and therefore had given themselves over to sin.
We go on in the same text and it talks about the curse upon the serpent, the curse upon the woman, and then also the curse upon Adam. But as we move on down into chapter 3, the latter part of chapter 3, I want you to notice with me what God does after we find that He has placed a curse upon each of them. There in verse 21, it says, “And also for Adam and his wife, the Lord God made tunics of skin and clothed them.” You see, one moment their nakedness was not a shame because there was no good and evil. There was no wickedness. But immediately when they knew sin, they felt naked. They tried to cover themselves with fig leaves which we know aren’t very big and God evidently felt that wasn’t enough, and so He takes now tunics of skin to modestly cover them.
Do you think God was concerned with modesty? Certainly He was! Because the very first story in the Bible of the very first man and woman deals with modesty. “Well you know things have changed today, Ray. Things are different. We’re in a different culture, a different time. God’s cool today.” Well is that what the Bible said? Is that what the Bible really suggests or even infers in any way? Nothing could be farther from the truth because the same God that here thousands of years ago, in fact we might say anywhere from 5 or 6,000, some say even up to 8,000 years ago spoke these things to Adam and Eve and recorded them by inspiration through Moses is the same God that thousands of years later when they were writing the New Testament, he dealt with some of the very same issues, the very same concepts again specifically as we are talking about modesty.
So what does the Bible say about modesty? What was the standard for thousands and thousands of years from creation to New Testament times? Well it is clear. We can find it in the book of 1 Corinthians and chapter 6 as we have evidence to us that we, you and I, there in verses 19-20 are the temple of God. In fact, he asked the question, “Do you not know that you are the temple of the Holy Spirit and that you are God’s?” Why is it that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit, God? Well verse 20 says, “Because you have been bought with a price.” Guess what—the blood of Jesus! We are the temple of God! This body houses God and so everything I do including the way I dress reflects on guess who- God!
In 2 Corinthians chapter 6 and verse 16 guess what we read about- Holiness! It speaks there about the fact that you and I as followers of God once again must realize that God chose to dwell among us and walk among us and to be our God and we to be His people. But then in chapter 7 and verse 1 of 2 Corinthians the Bible says, “Therefore having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the spirit and perfect holiness.” What are we striving for? Godliness, righteousness, holiness. Isn’t that what it speaks of in 1 John chapters 2 and 3? God is righteous and guess what we strive for, righteousness exactly as God commands.
Now can you imagine God striving to be unrighteous in dress? Can you imagine Jesus immodest in dress? Can you imagine Jesus dressing in an immodest way or flaunting His body in an immodest way? Can you imagine that you would wear some of the things that you wear if God were here or by your side? Well I think if we are honest, we could say that certainly many of the things we wear as men and women are not proper in the sight of God.
Let’s look at a few specific passages that deal actually with women. Again, after thousands of years, God, same standard, but also I think the application would be the same for men who would be immodest or trying to impress someone from a fleshly or sexual standpoint which certainly would be sin.
Look there in 1 Timothy chapter 2. He says, “There in like manner,” verse 9, “also that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but that which is proper for a woman professing godliness with good works.” What is the objective for men and women? To profess godliness, to dress modestly so that when people see me, they don’t see flesh, they don’t see wickedness, they don’t see evil, they don’t see sin, they see God!
We also see the same concept approached and really dealt with by Peter. If you turn over there in the book of 1 Peter and chapter 3. We find that Peter says this in verse 2 beginning, “When they observe your chaste conduct…” That means a controlled and godly conduct. He goes on to say there that, “It must be accompanied by fear.” But then he adds this in verse 3. “Do not let your adornment be merely outward in the arranging of hair, or wearing of gold or putting on fine apparel, but rather be the hidden person of the heart with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which is very precious in the sight of God.” He goes on to give examples of Sarah and other women in the Bible, those who profess godliness. He says, “What is it that you’re striving for in your dress, in your wardrobe and what you do? Is it to appeal to man or is it to appeal to God and therefore showing glory to God and allowing man to see God in you?”
Well that’s what we strive for. That’s what we want. Not lust, not cheap lust as we read about in the gospels. Not that lust that would cause someone to have improper thoughts or that would cause someone to think about sexual things that are contrary to the Will of God. You are responsible for your body and the way that you present it whether it be received in that way or not. You might say, “Well I don’t do it with that intent.” What if you cause someone to stumble? Doesn’t the Bible talk about that? What if you dress in such a way that entices others? Well you see you have sinned.
You see the challenge this morning is to realize that everything we do in deed, in word, in dress or in action is all about God. We must ask the question: Will we profess godliness or worldliness? Will we serve God or evil? Will we be those who are seen as naked or as clothed by God for everything we do should bring Him glory (Matthew chapter 5 and verse 16). Will you be a light in this world? Will you illuminate and glorify the Father or will you choose the way of man which might lead to destruction? Why not choose the way of life, life eternal in heaven with God forever?
(SONG # 3 - “An Empty Mansion”)
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today, in this offering to God. I know our time together has been an encouragement and blessing to all of us. We invite you back every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God!
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Will we choose to dress ourselves in such a way as to please God or man? We had better decide to please God, rather than man, because eternal life is only offered to those who are faithful to God in all things!