This practical article reminds us of the value of the “outward” as a barometer of the “inward” and unseen.
In this article we would like to consider four scriptures that deal with the thought of apparel.
Rich Apparel, Zech 3:4 (RV)
We should never forget what the grace of God has done for us. While in Adam we were clothed with filthy garments, in Christ we have been clothed with rich apparel. Adam and Eve were clothed with coats of skin, and it was God who did the clothing. In Luke 15 the father said, “Bring forth the best robe and put it on him.”
There are four garments that ought to be worn by every Christian: the robe of righteousness, the girdle of humility, the garment of holiness and the great overcoat of love. Those four garments were worn by the Lord Jesus, our perfect example. “Ways of holiness and duty, righteousness and matchless love, dignity and moral beauty marked Him out as from above.”
Royal Apparel, Esther 5:1
A royal person, a royal throne and a royal house demanded royal apparel. We as assemblies of God are slipping in many ways. One fear is the way we dress when we come to assembly gatherings. Before Joseph went into the presence of Pharaoh in Genesis 41:14, he shaved himself and changed his garments. The presence of the one to whom he was going demanded it. Think of Jacob in Genesis 35 as he is going to worship God. Notice three things in the chapter. If I am going to worship God, there has to be reality. “Put away the strange gods that are among you.” There is enough idolatry, hypocrisy and unreality in the world. Do not bring it into the assembly. Then there has to be purity. “Be ye clean.” In a world that is crooked, cold and corrupt there is the need for purity. “Be ye clean that bear the vessels of the Lord.” The old sister was right when, pointing to her Bible, she said, “This book will keep you from sinning, or sin will keep you from this book.” Then there has to be freshness. “Change your garments.” The truth of Genesis 35 is that before going up to El-bethel, there has to be a cleaning up. There has to be a covering up. I see the same truth in Ruth 3. Naomi says to Ruth, “Wash thyself, anoint thee and put thy best raiment upon thee.” The question might be asked, “Why were the best clothes needed when she is just going to the threshing floor.” The truth of Ruth 3 is that she is going to spend the night with Boaz, the kinsman redeemer, the Lord of the field. One believes there are many things we should beware of as the people of God: blindness, bluntness, bitterness, bareness, legality, looseness, leanness and lightness.
Modest Apparel, I Tim 2:9
In this very important chapter you read about the Shamefacedness of the sister, the Subjection of the sister, the Sobriety of the sister, the Silence of the sister and the Salvation of the sister.
God wants men to be manly and He wants women to be modest. Women are either modem or modest. To be modem means to be up to date at the height of fashion. To be modest means to be timid, bashful, shy, to draw in ones horns. Modesty does not want to be in the forefront but in the background. One can remember when the slit in the woman’s skirt was at the back of the skirts. One old brother was so upset he told the dear sister that the stitching was out. I do not know what that same brother would think if he were alive today. The work of the Devil is to make men look like women and to make women look like men. Sad to say, the Devil seems to be successful. We should ever keep before us that God made them male and female.
Incorruptible Apparel, 1 Peter 3:3
In the Scriptures we read about the new man, the inner man and the hidden man. When we think of the new man, it is what we are in Christ. When we consider the inner man, it is the thought of strength. When we think of the hidden man, we think of value. There are two types of beauty in the Bible, a beauty that is vain and a beauty that is virtuous. There is beauty that goes with us as far as the grave and no farther, but there is a beauty we can take with us into eternity. There is a beauty that springs from within, lasting forever, deeper than the skin. There are certain words that Peter uses in his epistle and one is “incorruptible.” In Chapter 1 we see an incorruptible inheritance and the incorruptible seed of the word of God. In Chapter 5 we see the incorruptible crown. In Chapter 3:4 (RV), we have the incorruptible apparel of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God is of great price.