This article is Part 3 in the series about Biblical Modesty. You are welcome to read the earlier posts. The Case for Biblical Modesty: Being Discreet and Chaste (Part 1)
and The Case for Biblical Modesty: God’s True Purpose (Part 2).
Titus 2, has been the basis for our entire series. Studying it has helped us see God’s emphasis on modesty in two simple words: discreet and chaste (2:5). Now we will learn more about the importance of modesty by looking further into Titus chapter 2.
This chapter instructs Titus to teach certain people (older men, aged women, young men, servants) “sound doctrine.” Doctrine is the teaching and instructions given in the Bible. The purpose for teaching these doctrines is found in Titus 2:11-12, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men. Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.”
Notice these words, “For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men…” How could it appear to all men?
Then the thought occurred to me, that our outward lifestyle is displayed for the world to see! Titus was encouraging people to live righteously so that the matters of the heart were an accurate reflection of what could be seen from the outside.
This verse means the grace of God that brings salvation has been shown to most people in this world by the outward righteous lifestyles of Christian people. There are still unreached people groups without a Christian influence in this world.
In looking up the definition of appeared in this verse it means, “visible, give light.” Maybe the popular children’s Sunday School song comes to your mind, “This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine…” That song speaks of the Biblical illustration of a candle in Matthew 5:15, as a picture of God’s light inside us that shines out into a dark world pointing the lost to Him.
Matthew 5:16 is a personal encouragement from Christ, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”
Our outward lifestyle and dress sends out a light that glorifies or defames the Word of God.
Modesty is one way that God’s grace appears to all men.
Let’s look at verse 12 again, “Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.“
Modesty silently teaches unsaved people and newborn Christians to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts and encourages them to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world.
Ask yourself these questions and allow God to speak to your heart.
- Are any of my clothes a hindrance to God’s purpose of drawing all men unto Himself?
- Do I dress in a way that helps other people learn to live the Christian life and helps them live a more godly life?
- Do I genuinely desire for unsaved people to see a difference in me?
- Am I concerned about lost souls enough to change my clothing styles and wardrobe?
- Am I committed to wearing modest clothing each day so I can be a consistent witness?
- Does what I wear match what I say about being a Christian?
- Do any of my clothes accentuate or reveal my body in a way that would cause my brothers in Christ to stumble?
Titus 2 goes on to explain in verses 13 and 14 more of God’s reasons for living godly and righteously, “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.”
Jesus is coming back and we should be looking for His appearing! He gave Himself for us, to redeem us from all iniquity (sin). He wants to change us into a “peculiar people.” God wants us to be special! Modest dress makes us special, not weird or out-dated.
In the area of intentional modesty we must always be monitoring and modifying our dress so that we stay righteous and pure. It helps enable us to be actively pursuing good works. This is the opposite purpose of immodest clothing, that may tempt us to actively pursue sinfulness.
God’s Intentions for Biblical Modesty are:
- That the word of God be not blasphemed. (Titus 2:5)
- That the grace of God that bringeth salvation appears to all men. (Titus 2:11)
- It helps deny ungodliness and worldly lusts. (Titus 2:12)
- It helps us and others live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world. (Titus 2:12)
- To be a sign that we are ready and waiting for Christ’s second appearing. (Titus 2:13)
- To identify us as a peculiar people, zealous of good works. (Titus 2:14)
Each and every one of these points gives us a clear reason why we should dress appropriately out in the world and in front of our brothers in Christ.
If you have clothes that bring a question mark in your mind, then ask God first what He thinks about it. Then, go down the list of God’s intentions of Biblical modesty ask yourself if your dress is fulfilling each Biblical intention.
Ask trusted modest women in your church to help you if you have questions. Most women would love to help you! We have such a great responsibility as women to help men deny ungodliness and worldly lusts.
Now that we have learned these things from the Bible about modesty we have an accountability to God for how we dress. We also have a duty to teach the younger women how to be discreet and modest, and an obligation to point lost souls to Christ by our clothing styles.
“Be wise dear women, and listen to God’s biblical case for modesty by studying and learning His Word, and allow Him to make changes in your heart and wardrobe if He wants to.” (Part 1)
Heaven will reveal the effects of our modesty, or the lack thereof.
If someone came to Christ because your clothing matched your beliefs in God and His Word, it would be worth every effort to dress modestly. If our dress also encouraged other believers to be zealous of good works then it would also be worth every effort!
God has no greater desire than for us to be consistent Christians, full of faith, and zealous of His good works. Now let us do it in all that we wear!