Modesty and True Holiness


Adam and Eve’s Sin of Disobedience Resulted in Fatal Consequences for All Creation.

Their sin of disobedience spread to their offspring and reigned throughout the succeeding generations, starting with the first recorded murder of Abel; it also brought about the violence and corruption of Noah’s generation; then it prompted Nimrod’s defiance against God when he designed the Tower of Babel and led the people to revolt against God;  also sin empowered the irreverent and morally bankrupt lifestyle of Sodom and Gomorrah; and although God miraculously emancipated the nation of Israel from ancient Egyptian bondage, they began to doubt God’s omnipotence and instituted the pagan worship of the golden calf, in the wilderness. 

Order, moderation, and appropriateness is not a new principle.  Because God introduced these boundaries to Adam and Eve, when he told them that they were free to eat from any tree in the garden; but do not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. So from the beginning man has deliberately jeopardized and forfeited his access to a peaceful, sin free existence. (Genesis 2:16-17).  Paul emphasizes  these points by making the following statement in Romans 5:12

Wherefore, as, one man’s sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.  Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

Someone coined the phrase “We are house guests in someone else’s universe.”*  The owner of this house has set the rules, which are a methodical and prescribed arrangement among  all elements so that proper functioning or appearance is maintained; And we must respect these rules if we want to remain an active part of this creation.  The boundaries and uniformity of this Kosmos (universe), of things visible and invisible, are ordered (arranged, styled)  by God (Colossians 1:16-18).    He dynamically (with self-directed force) sustains his universe “by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:2-3).   If anything were to disrupt God’s righteous order (change the rules), everything would fall into ruin.  He is our source of life that holds everything together. 

God created man and gave him rules to live by.  But arrogance separated man and everything under his control from the Divine covering of God; he chose to operate outside of God’s order.  But God also made restoration available, through doctrine and practice.  He gave us a 2nd chance.  So let us choose life!  To work against the will of God will be your own undoing.

*Reference: What Holds the Universe Together?,  by Lambert Dolphin-Physicist,  January 1, 1997]

Unfortunately, our current society and many of its religious institutions have not acquired a comprehensive understanding of biblical modesty (order, moderation, and appropriateness); they have distorted its meaning and limited its application to women’s clothing. It is imperative to point out that the biblical teachings on modesty are not written in coded language; the doctrine is made plain in the reading.  But you must read and analyze the scriptures using the exegesis method of scriptural interpretation. 

Even though ethnic and religious cultures have differences, the biblical principles  are applicable to them all, because the God of them all directed 40 authors, over the span of 1500 years, in what and how to compose his written word.  God, the eternal, omnipresent, and omniscient ONE, foreordained his written word to speak to all peoples, all nations, all republics, and all religions.  He scattered the language at the Tower of Babel and then gave individuals the ability to translate those same languages, so that his written word can be understood by them all. We worship a limitless God. 

After you make a closer examination of this biblical doctrine on modesty, it will be evident that God’s standard for one’s outer adornment and inner adornment of proper language, good behavior, and sound character are easily understood and attainable (Titus 2:10-12).  

Yet the Church is held to a higher standard than the world.

Because we are followers of Christ, he expects more from us. We are to be a shining light and should never partake in behavior that would prevent us from fulfilling Christ’s “great commission” (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8).  As people observe our holy lifestyle, the church will  influence their decision to enter into the Kingdom of God.  We must “let our moderation be known to all men” (Philippians 4:5)  so that we will equitably* [gentle, mild, forbearing] fulfill the spirit [not just the letter] of the law. 

[*REFERENCE: Strong’s Concordance 1933 epieikḗs (an adjective, derived from 1909 /epí, “on, fitting” and eikos, “equitable, fair”; also see the noun-form, 1932 /epieíkeia, “equity-justice”) – properly, equitable; “gentle” in the sense of truly fair by relaxing overly strict standards in order to keep the “spirit of the law.”]

Many of the Old Testament prophets had written of the kingdom of God under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:20-21).  Jesus taught his disciples to pray, “thy Kingdom to come” (Matthew 6:10) – [*see note below].   Now the Kingdom is come (Philippians 3:20-21; Ephesians 2:19).  The kingdom of God is wherever God is in control, whether in you or I, on earth (Luke 17:21). 

[REFERENCE:  Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology, click and read following title of Heavenly Citizenship]

*NOTE:  Matthew 6:10. Thy kingdom come. The word kingdom here means reign. (Matthew 3:2). The petition is the expression of a wish that God may reign everywhere; that his laws may be obeyed; and especially that the gospel of Christ may be advanced everywhere, till the world shall be filled with his glory.                                                          

Source: Barnes’ New Testament Notes

Jesus told his followers, “Ye are the light of the world.”

“A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Matthew 5:14).  The objective is not one of control, but of a harmonious co-existence that promotes the good news of salvation.

1st Timothy 2:9, is incorrectly understood by some Bible students as Paul’s specific response directed only to the culture of his time.  But careful exegetical comparison of Genesis 3:21 reveals that the issues of modesty were first addressed by God, not Paul.  Paul simply rehearsed the principles that God established, when instructing Pastor Timothy how to guide his congregation. Although the cultures in the Old and New Testaments were different, God’s principles still applied to both.  In this century, True Holiness Walnut Hills is also endeavoring to wholeheartedly obey all of the instructions that are delivered through the Scriptures.


The Greek word for “modest” is “kosmos,” which means “orderly.” (1 Timothy 2:9)

Another form of the word kosmos is the verb kosmeō [(to put in order, arrange, make ready, prepare; Strong’s Lexicon G2885)], which is translated “adorn.”  Literally, women are commanded to “adorn” (arrange) themselves in modest [(kosmos, orderly)] apparel.”   The description of  the type of apparel that Paul referred to in this verse is “orderly.”  1 Timothy 2:9 says, “In like manner also, that women adorn [(kosmos; order)] themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness [(towards men), modesty or  awe or reverence (towards God), Strong’s Lexicon G127)] and sobriety [a good character]; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array…” 

Paul was teaching against elaborate and gaudy adornment that makes a spectacle of the outer man, and demeans the importance of the inner man.  This excessive outer adornment is an indication that the individual’s lifestyle is depleted of substance.  In order to be a man and woman of substance we must possess a strong character, which is consistent with possessing sound wisdom.

This Greek word “kosmios” appears in the Septuagint (the Old Testament translation from Hebrew into Greek language).  In Ecclesiastes 12:9 the word is translated “set in order” and is applied to Solomon’s proverbs. Kosmios is derived from kosmos which also means: order, regular disposition, ornament, decoration, embellishment, adorning and is used, among other ways, of the world on which we live (Matthew 13:35; Mark 16:15). Kosmos is used of modest attire and translated as “adorning” in 1 Peter 3:3.  He taught the women to decorate themselves without being excessive…without overdoing it. However, we have always used ornaments to decorate our suits, dresses, shoes, hats, purses, eye glasses, fingers, wrists, and etc.

Also note that last on Peter’s list is “or of putting on of apparel.”  Was he telling them to refrain from putting on apparel?  Of course not!  Peter admonished them (and all the churches) to decorate themselves in moderation.

Kosmos: Is also inward adornment? 

1 Peter 3:1-5 answers this question for women…

“Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning (Greek, Kosmos; order) let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit [good behavior], which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned (Kosmeo, order) themselves, [with] being in subjection unto their own husbands:”  [Emphasis is mine.]

1 Timothy 3:2 answers this question for both men and women, by writing,

“A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour (kosmos, orderly) , given to hospitality, apt to teach;  This means that our character should be in propriety and modesty.”

Titus 2:9-10 also states,  

Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again;  Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn (kosmos) the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things.

Heather Thieneman further explains in her book What’s Up With the Fig Leaves?, pp. 48 & 49, that kosmos…means “a harmonious arrangement or order.”  Out of the definition came the meaning “adornment, decoration” and [then] “the world or universe, as that which is divinely arranged.” Kosmos captures both its orderliness and its beauty.  So whether it is the earth, our behavior or our [apparel], the underlying theme of kosmos…is of being arranged orderly and adorned ornamentally.”  Modesty is a manifestation of humility.  


Modesty is Practical Holiness

Modesty is part of the doctrine of practical holiness (Hebrews 12:14).  First of all, holiness is separation to God, and it is also a righteous demeanor or conduct, and orderliness of outward appearance that identifies those who are separated from sin unto God’s purpose (1 Peter 3:3).  Therefore, practical holiness is the lifestyle of God’s church, the “ecclesia” [Greek for the called out ones] (Leviticus 20:26).  In other words, practical holiness is when God’s people applies, exercises, operates, implements, and executes the principles of holiness as is appropriate to their private and public life. 

Pastor Ray Stedman wrote the following on the blog, “[Many people] associate [holiness] with some kind of grimness or solemnity. We think holy people are those who look as if they have been steeped in vinegar or soaked in embalming fluid.” 

Dear member, you are a child of the King. You must act and dress like royalty, because you are in the family of God (1 Timothy 3:15;  Ephesians 5:1-11; Ephesians 2:19:22).   You represent God himself.  Therefore, male and female must stand with proper posture, walk with grace, keep yourself well-groomed, avoid use of worldly slang and profanity, let our conversation be seasoned with grace (Colossians 4:6),  because each one of you is the physical representation of your Father in heaven, to the world.  Therefore, we will not look like we “have been steeped in vinegar or soaked in embalming fluid.”

 A Point to Remember

 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.  For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.(Galatians 3:26-27)  

[This means that you have clothed yourselves with Christ]  

These teachings of modesty are well-established within True Holiness’ traditions and customs. We are not perfect, but will be perfected as we practice them (Ephesians 4:11-14).  Our Overseers, since 1966, has  admonished the church, concerning our practice of holiness, in the Preface of our 2018 national Book of Order,

…we should not expect the tradition of men to cause us to grow into perfection (Philippians 3:12-15; Hebrews 6:1).  To reach perfection we must follow the Apostles’ teaching in the Acts of the Apostles and their epistles. (Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 1:1; St. John 10:11), as Jesus Christ has commanded His church to do (John 17:20).  As the light of God’s Word comes from time to time this Order of Discipline and Rituals will be revised.  God’s Word admonishes his people to grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord (Ephesians 2:21; 4:15; 1 Peter 2:2; 2 Peter 3:18).  And this is what we intend to do, until the Lord returns.”

True Holiness, Lets Make a Difference

True Holiness realizes that “there is power in how we act and dress” (quote by Colleen Winner, in her article A Revealing Look at Modesty).  Therefore, modesty is not an option; it is a requirement.  It is imperative that we obey God, who created us for his glory.  Colleen Winner  expresses her concern in the following statement:

But modesty is often openly ridiculed today. It is definitely not in vogue. The world of Hollywood, fashion designers, the music industry, advertising and many publications promote vulgarities, sexual promiscuity and even violence as the norm. “Free” expression is worshiped at a great cost to us. Those who choose to behave differently are considered “inhibited”—implying there is something wrong with them. Maybe we need to recapture a few inhibitions and apply God’s commandments to this subject.

Saints, we are in a struggle to live a righteous life,  in “this untoward generation” (Acts 2:40).  Sin is a spiritual condition that controls our mortal bodies through our minds (Romans 12:2; Romans 6:5-11). Sin plagues all of Adam’s descendants, some of whom the word of God describes as 

lost” (2 Corinthians. 4:3), 

“blinded”  (2 Corinthians 4:4), 

“dead” (Ephesians  2:1), 

“enemies of God” (Romans 5:10), 

“Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God…” (Ephesians. 4:18),

children of wrath (Ephesians 2:3),

godless (1 Peter 4:18), and

wicked (Psalm 1:5).  

In this unregenerate state, the carnal person cannot comprehend, nor is able to “put off” the soulish workings of sin. [1 Corinthians 15:44–46] 

“It [the body] is sown a natural [Greek: psuchikos, English:  soulish] body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural [Greek: psuchikos, soulish] body, and there is a spiritual body. And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul [Greek: psuche, soul]; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit [Greek: pneuma, spirit]. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural [Greek: psuchikos, soulish]; and afterward that which is spiritual.”

But, saints of God, we who are regenerated by the Spirit, are knowledgeable of the devices of sin (Psalm 37:7; Psalm 12:2; Jeremiah 18:12) and clearly understand that these devices are enemies of God.  Therefore, members in True Holiness are exhorted to…

“…put off concerning the former conversation [manner of living] the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed [regenerated] in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man [holiness], which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24) [Emphasis mine]. 

If anyone is experiencing difficulties comprehending these teachings,  you must pray for the Holy Ghost to “guide you into all truth” (John 16:13:), as you study and meditate on God’s word.

True Holiness practices the instructions that were given to Suffragan Bishop Titus, in Titus 2:1–8, that the selected male and female elders (Greek: presbuterous, means elder, trans. aged) of the church are to teach the young men and women to be modest, as they observe their public and private lifestyle and teachings.  Why use this method?  Because personalized instruction (group or individual) is more effective than public congregational exhortation, where individual questions are not convenient, nor encouraged.  Titus was to teach the selected, qualified elders to lead by being an example; not in word only. 

I want to share the following with you.

(from your Senior Pastor)

I remember when my neighbor was searching for a better way of life…she was tormented and wanted peace.  It took me about a year to get her to submit to the word of God.  She finally agreed to come to my home for instruction and later to my church.  My husband and I were overjoyed. 

After she and I visited my pastor at her home, she agreed to a Sunday when she would attend.  Needless to say, she received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost.  This was so new to her, that she began being a witness to her family (a very large one) of what happened to her.  A change in her lifestyle became evident.

I invited her and I knew she had no clothing that was modest for public worship and my pastor was aware of it.  So I said nothing and nothing was said over the pulpit, because it would take time to help her upgrade her wardrobe.  Yet  her appearance was not provocative.  However, some well-intentioned, but ill-advised, female in the church cornered my neighbor after a service, outside of the building, away from me, without my knowledge and told her that she was dressed inappropriately. 

This embarrassed my neighbor.  She was already convicted, by the examples she saw in the church services. But she, nor I, could  change her adornment overnight…she simply could not do any better at the time.

When it was time for the next service, I then found out what had happened.  She told me that she would not return to church until she had better garments to wear.   Of course, by the time I found out what had happened, it was too late to convince her otherwise.  She never returned and her life began to spiral downward again. 

She was my guest, she had not yet joined, and I should have been the one to counsel her, because I knew her and her limitations.  Or, do you think I should have told her not to come to receive of the Lord, because she was not acceptable?  Of course not!

When Suffragan Bishop Titus was sent to the Islands of Crete by Overseer Paul, the churches were already formed, but also out of order.  Paul did not send Titus there to shut down services or to put out the young men and women who need to learn how to be modest.  He told Titus to get them in order.  The 2nd chapter of Titus reveals the systematic instruction that was outlined for him, to train the people how to present themselves to God, in the spirit of humility.  Systematic instruction was required. 

But before this could be established. the letter to Titus,  in 2nd chapter,  recorded that the elders (who were carefully chosen by Titus) needed to receive instruction first.  From this we see that a church that is already well-established, the system of instruction should already be in place to inform new members!  To do otherwise is to be “out of order.”

How many new members have been run away from the church over something like this?   They disappear and in some cases we don’t know why?

This can be avoided when we observe the directives that Overseer Paul gave Suffragan Bishop Titus. Wisdom must be used when instructing the unlearned.  Many of them are babes in the Lord  or new to our customs and traditions (Hebrews 5:12; 1 Peter 2:2).  Don’t make yourself a stumbling block.  Follow your pastor’s instructions.

Practical Holiness Distinguishes the Kingdom of God from the Worldly Kingdoms.

People will often come to a false conclusion about True Holiness, when they see one of our members violate a biblical holiness practice.  Therefore, it is important for all True Holiness members to faithfully practice biblical doctrines, so that the reputation of your church is not damaged.  Or be prepared to give an answer for any circumstance that requires an exception.  

That is why Paul warns the church to separate ourselves from those who are a bad example of biblical doctrine and practice.  Paul taught that if a member was not walking in obedience to what the Spirit was saying, and keeping the traditions that God taught Paul, the congregation was admonished to “withdraw” from such disobedient members of the church.  Please note that Paul was talking about disorderly church members, not those outside of the church! (2 Thessalonians 3:26).

A Point to Remember

Clothing is a language that tells who you really are.  Does your  appearance say any of the following?

  • I’m rebellious against authority.
  • I’m a female.
  • I’m a male.
  • I’m confused about my gender.
  • I’m godly.
  • I’m respectful.
  • I don’t care about myself.
  • I’m lazy.
  • I’m on my way to church to worship God.
  • I smoke cigarettes.
  • I’m involved in the “hip hop” culture.
  • I’m a child of the King.

We serve God with our inner man as well as our outer man, and this includes the way we behave and dress (I Corinthians 6:20).

We will not find a formal dress code  in the Bible, but we will find principles which we are to use to make sound judgments concerning our behavior and outer appearance.  

Throughout the decades, our society has become desensitized to the shame of public  nudity, because there is so much of it displayed in all parts of our society, including our churches.  They do not embrace God’s teachings on the subject.  They are not annoyed when they see magazines in the supermarkets and television programs boldly display public nudity and scantily clad celebrities, and visuals of lustful and licentious behavior.  That is why True Holiness must keep themselves  purged from worldly practices, to put a difference between clean and unclean, holy and unholy (Ezekiel 44:23; 1 Timothy 1:9).  We must adorn ourselves appropriately and live soberly, righteously and godly (Titus 2:12).  

Both Men and Women Should Adorn Themselves Modestly. 

Many religious leaders in the United States do not include men when teaching about inner and outward modesty. Most of  the exhortations of today about trappings of immodesty are directed more so toward women, even though the Bible makes no distinction between male and female in this doctrine.  There are  more references to the adornment of women, because men struggle more with visual temptations.

Since the Bible does not specifically give an answer as to why sexual temptation is a greater struggle for men than for women, we can look to biology/physiology for insight. Physiologically, men typically have a much stronger sex drive than women. Men naturally think about sex more often and desire sex more frequently than women do. Especially when sexual intercourse has not occurred recently, the male body has a greater desire for the release that sex provides. This is then compounded by the fact that men are far more easily stimulated by sight than women are (which also explains why men are far more prone to look at pornography). Simply the sight of an attractive female is sometimes enough to trigger a male’s sex drive. If a sexual thought is not immediately forsaken (with God’s help), it can become a cascading river of sexual temptation, very difficult to resist.

Again, let it be said, the male sex drive is a fact, not an excuse. If a man gives in to sexual temptation, he has no one to blame but himself. First Corinthians 10:13 declares, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” If we do not take advantage of the divinely provided “way of escape,” we are without excuse. Sexual temptation can be powerful, and sexual sin is among the most devastating (1 Corinthians 6:18). But, with God’s help, sexual temptation can be defeated. This is equally true for men and women.” []

Recommended Resources: 
Every Man’s Battle with Workbook: Winning the War on Sexual Temptation One Victory at a Time;  by Arterburn, Stoeker, & Yorkey
Click Sex Drive: How do men and women compare?;

Therefore, the Bible teacher needs to take a closer look at what the entire Bible says concerning appropriate male and female inward and outward adornment.   That is why I use the phrase “biblical modesty,” which is the comprehensive teaching concerning the holiness lifestyle.  Although the fashions for men and women are different from generation to generation, both genders should avoid any style that sends a rebellious message. 

When two people are standing near each other, such as at a bus stop or in a grocery checkout line, the observer should not have trouble identifying the man from the women.  But men, especially young men, adorn themselves and wear their hair in feminine fashion.  Young and old females cut their hair like men and dress and walk like men as well.  This is gender confusion that demonstrates what they think about themselves and affects how they relate to others.  Our society is replete with these examples; they have become common. 

Church of God, take a firm stand and boldly model holiness in this society, before our children, grandchildren, and the community-at-large are persuaded to turn to this degradation.  We must train our children how to walk and talk the way God designed them to.  Many say that they are acting normal,  they have walked that way since they were four years old.  That is why God told us to train them in the way they should go, so that our next generation will not become what they practice.  Start to adorn your girls with femininity and your boys with masculinity.  Teach them that there is a difference between the two.  Parents are confused about this issue because they refuse to embrace God’s law of modesty (order), which will empower them to resist the devises that Lucifer used to control Eve in the Garden.  Don’t listen to that devil.  Remember what happened to Adam and Eve and their children???

“Sadly, parents who experiment with their children’s gender identity [or are not involved in their education]  ignore important facts. Human anatomy and physiology clearly reveal that males and females are different, and the Scriptures reveal that God made males and females different for profound reasons (Matthew 19:4; Genesis 2:18, 24). God instructs parents to train their children for their future roles (Proverbs 22:6). [If you neglect to train them, society will.]  However, Bible prophecies state that at the end of the age, misguided leaders would “call evil good, and good evil” (Isaiah 3:12; 5:20).   

[Article: Gender Confusion!; (Church of the Living God); Monday, March 17, 2014]

When a society ceases to honour God, the result is manifold sins (of divers kinds; many in number; numerous; multiplied). The church of God should remember Soloman’s warning in Proverbs 14:34 that “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” 

Heather Thieneman, the Author of “What’s up with the Fig Leaves?” explains biblical modesty in the following:

“Men cannot see our hearts; men can only see our actions which should reveal what is in our hearts.  They know the tree [by] its fruit (Matthew 7:15-20).  We cannot ultimately have a good heart and bad actions or a bad heart and good actions.  Both are oxymoron and both obscure Christ’s work in us and tarnish the glory that our Father in heaven should be receiving.  A modest heart should and will display itself in modest [behavior] and dress.

Modest dress is a manifestation, first of all, of [inward] humility.  A proud person seeks to be noticed, delights to be the center of attention, contrives to be the focal point of admiration.  A modest person is not greedy for attention for himself, but is generous in giving appropriate attention to others and, above all, seeks to have attention turned to Christ. 

A proud person will flaunt his wealth, his intelligence his beauty, his achievements and one way that wealth and beauty in particular can be flaunted is by the way a person dresses.  In addition a proud person will wear whatever he wants without caring how it affects other people.  If others find it a temptation or a shock, that’s their problem.  A humble person imitates Christ by putting others before himself, by being willing to deny himself for the good of others.

Moderation avoids extremes and finds the safe, middle ground, it’s not too little and it’s not too much.  It’s not rags and it’s not riches.  It’s not austere and it’s not flamboyant.”

Therefore, biblical modesty refers to the mind, body, and soul. 

For True Holiness members, the Bible is our ultimate authority for what we say, how we dress, how we act, and how we live our lives (2 Timothy 3:16).  The Scriptures teach that  “a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.” (Proverbs 17:27), and modest  communication is “speech with grace, seasoned with salt” (Colossians 4:6), and the outer man is modest when he adorns himself respectfully (1 Timothy 2:9-10; 1 Peter 3:4-5). 

Stylish clothes and attractively arranged hair styles are not wrong.  As a matter of fact, it is necessary to have a admirable appearance, because it demonstrates that you know your purpose, the type of person you are, and that you are a child of a wealthy King.  But in comparison to the adorning of the outer appearance, Peter taught (1 Peter 3:3) that the inward adornment should be given more attention, because it is the inner man that governs the outward man. 

That which is “proper for men and women professing godliness” is that which is befitting, decorous, suitable, and becoming.  Modesty is not only about the clothes you wear or how you fashion your hair, it is also the adorning of your inner man with holiness, which is evidence of the quality of your entire life; which is pleasing and acceptable to God (Romans 12:1). 

A woman professing to be godly would never knowingly adorn (decorate) herself in a way that excites lust in another person or attracts improper or lustful attention to herself.  The immodest female becomes complicit in the other’s sinful thoughts and unwanted advances.   In like manner, a man of God would never wear garments such as tight pants that reveal his genitals, muscle shirts, and elaborate hair carvings and effeminate hair styles, and unisex clothing, because this is the appearance of those who want to attract those of inordinate affection (Colossians 3:5), and the egocentric (2 Timothy 3:2),  and  the rebellious.  All of this is vanity.

Rebellion  manipulates and recruits the sympathizers; It is a movement.

Rebellion [aka uprising, or insurrection] is a refusal to obey an or established disorder. It refers to the coordinated resistance against an establishment.  In this study, immodesty is mankind’s rebellion against God.  However, this “rebellious movement” was devised by the Devil. 

All those who knowingly fight against the teachings of modesty are influenced by Lucifer’s spirit of vanity (Isaiah 14:13; Revelation 12:9).  In other words, they have adopted the same behavior Lucifer demonstrated, just before God “cast” him out of heaven.  The following is a paraphrase of Ezekiel 28:17:

his …heart became proud on account of his beauty, and he corrupted his wisdom because of his splendor

He was puffed up because of his heavenly authority, and his pride made him rebellious against God (Proverbs 16:18).  I will use the vernacular of our time, “he got the big head,” to emphasize the extent of his vanity.  That means Lucifer had an exaggerated sense of his importance or status in the heaven realm,  which caused him to think  he was capable of overthrowing his creator, the Most High God.   It is also important to note that he seduced one-third of the angels into rebelling with him, and they, too, were cast out of heaven (Ezekiel 28:12,15; Luke 10:18; 1 Timothy 3:6). 

How will you influence others by your example. 

Don’t make yourself a hindrance to those looking for holiness.  When you consider Lucifer’s expulsion from heaven, you can see how dangerous it is to rebel against God?  The saints of God need to take off the world and put on God’s word, not only for your own salvation, but also for others who need to see your testimony.

Jesus said that Lucifer (aka Satan) is the ruler of this world (John 12:31; 16:11).  And Apostle Peter warns the church that he wants to destroy as many people as he can (1 Peter 5:8).  Satan influences individuals and entire nations with cunning devices that leads them into the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, ungodly demeanor, arrogance, and pride.  He covertly corrupts them (1 John 2:16; Revelation 12:9). 

I Samuel 16:7 reads, “People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 

Do you use this scripture as a defense for your impropriety?  Are you saying,  “Don’t judge me?

What they have done is take this Scripture [among others] out of context. Very often, I have heard this scripture used as an excuse from those who wear immodest clothing.  One pastor said, “My jeans have nothing to do with my salvation.”  Others say, “God is too big to be concerned about what I wear;  He has more important things to do than to worry about what I am wearing.”  When a member of a congregation saw me in a store, she emphatically greeted me (without me inquiring about her lifestyle), “I am not bound!”  I believe she felt condemned… Condemned by what?  It must have been the reactions of the general public and the men folk  

In Samuel 16:1-7, God spoke concerning Israel’s choice for a king.  “But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”    In this passage of scripture, God tells Samuel the reason why Saul was rejected from being king.  

However, is it really acceptable to argue that when we are in public or come to worship service, all that matters is the condition of the heart?  Of course not!  From careful study it is clear that both the inward and outward man must be prepared for worship.  We must never forget, that the inward and outward conditions of the worshiper are judged by God (John 4:24), whether in the public or church.  Therefore, when we gather in the public place to worship the Almighty God, we must present ourselves with reverence and put on our best behavior and our best appropriate garments (Exodus 19:10-14).  God demands that we cover our nakedness.

And yes, man does look on the outward appearance, too.  Your immodest clothing is a distraction during worship and you disrespectful God.  Romans 12:1–2 implores us not to be conformed to this world’s way of thinking; rather, our inner man must be transformed…How?…by the “renewing of our minds. 

Especially in the church! 

This bears repeating…All immodest women (whether in behavior or appearance) must understand that not only are they a distraction in the church, but they are competing against God for glory, attention, and honor.  A modest woman stands out among the wicked crowd and acquires great favor. And therefore, the worshipers are comfortable while she exercises her anointed gifts.  This is not a distraction, glory to God!  However, when the man of God  turns his head immediately after noticing an immodest woman, there is still a chance that he already has stumbled in his mind.   This distraction hinders the Spirit from “having His way in the service” as the old saints used to say.  However, a married and unmarried godly man will find the godly woman honorable, because she is adorned properly.

It is [evident] that men are stimulated by sight more than women are and that immodest clothing can place temptation before them.  Even advertising executives understand the power of the exposed human body; because they don’t use bathing beauties dressed in parkas and mukluks to sell  products on television and magazines. 

References: (2013 – 2018,  Bible
Are Leggings Modest?  | 

Romans 13:14 says, But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ [your inner man should clothe itself with the the Lord Jesus Christ] , and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.

Colossians 3:12 says, Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;  [clothe the inner man with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience]

Galatians 5:13  For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.

Whether in the church or outside of the church, men and women should not wear tight clothes that show the shape and anatomy of their bodies…You are revealing your nakedness.  Also low-cut blouses, micro-skirts, mini-skirts, shorts, sleeveless blouses and dresses, tight garments, transparent or onion-skin-thin garments are sexually suggestive. 

Some men and women musicians are dressing like worldly musicians.  Men wear trousers under their buttocks and they wear pins in the ears, nose, mouth, and eyebrows; the man’s hair is long and effeminate, such as hair bundled into a pony tail or hair bun.   And, of course, it is against the word of God for the female’s hair to be cut into a short-boyish-cut or half of the head shaved, or styled into a sultry look.

Although genetics plays a large part in how rapidly the female’s hair grows, the length that God has granted you should be styled and dressed differently than a man’s.  Or else, how will anyone know the difference?  We should celebrate our differences, because that is God’s design.

Many styles that have creeped into the church (whether men and women) are of the Rastafarian religion and its social movement, which denigrates the Lord Jesus Christ and worships the Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie, as their messiah. The Rastafarian lifestyle usually includes ritual use of marijuana and the wearing of one’s hair in dreadlocks(, Rastafarianismfastfacts)  The Scriptures tells us to have no  fellowship  with the unfruitful works of darkness (Ephesians 5:11).  Why?  Because we can be mistaken for them.

True Holiness, there is a “woe” to those who exposes their nakedness that tempts others to lust

Consider the following that was published by the Word Internet Bible College.  Click the “Study the Bible with us” iBible Study Iconcon to read the entire article, when you have more time.

Note the Biblical teachings of Matthew 18:7 and Luke 17:1. Matthew 18:7 states: “Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!” By exposing our nakedness to those of the opposite sex to whom we are not married and who are not a God-approved exception, we are tempting them to lust after us with their eyes, thoughts and imaginations. Even if they resist lust, we are still tempting them to sin.

Some naïve Christians claim that if we expose our nakedness to members of the opposite sex for some supposedly “good” non-sexual purpose, it is not our fault if these other people lust after us. But this is just as silly as the idea that if a 17 year old girl who does not have a father or a mother and has a physical problem which prevents her from bathing herself, God approves of her 18 year old brother bathing her while she is naked. Recently I heard a similar ridiculous example: Some people suggested to a Christian friend of mine that God approves of an unmarried young man sleeping in the same bed as an unmarried young woman with whom he is sharing a flat. These people said this practice was right as long as the couple did not have sex.

Our exposed nakedness can trap or cause others (male or female) to fall.

Read God’s command in Romans 14:12-13: “So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.” We put a stumbling block, trap or possible cause to fall before others when we expose our nakedness to those who can be tempted to lust after us in their thoughts and imaginations.

A Point to Remember

Clothing Communicates: When you come before God to worship, do not approach him as if he is ordinary!  Present yourself in the best way possible for you.  Consider how we reverence the kings and queens of this earth with special protocol, when we meet them.  Shouldn’t God receive more respect?  After all, God is the King of kings and should be reverenced as such.

When you choose your garments for work, church, or just shopping, add the following to your modesty guidelines:

What is inappropriate fashion, for women?

  1. The nature of a woman makes her much more prone to the temptation of vanity, to show off her body.  As a woman, will this clothing encourage a man to think lustfully about me?  (Romans 14:7-8, 12-13, I Corinthians 10:23; 8:13)

  2. Slacks and jeans reveal the shape of the thighs, pelvic area and buttocks, and  the underclothing. 

  3. Does your garment prevent gender confusion?   Only rebellious, prideful humans have distorted and blurred that distinction. Part of the reason for clothing is so that men will look like men, and women will look like women. No confusion, no guessing, no misunderstanding. (Deuteronomy 22:5)… Even at a distance.

  4. Dresses or skirts that are tight fitting and form to the shape of the thighs, pelvic area, buttocks and bosom.

  5. Short dresses, skirts.  They expose the upper thigh of the female.  

  6. Slits up the sides, back or front of skirts or dresses that are designed to expose the thigh and sometimes the buttocks 

  7. Tight fitting knit tops that form to the shape of a woman’s bosom.

  8.  Avoid low-cut tops. 

  9. Sleeveless clothing that is cut to reveal the full shoulder, often including several inches of the back of the shoulder.  Your underarms, and the parts of your breast or back are displayed.  When your arms are lifted and stretched, a person can see inside your blouse.   The same is true of a short sleeved blouse which has very large or loose sleeves. 

  10. Sheer and translucent fabric clothing that reveals the underclothing or shape, size and movement of what ought to be the hidden parts of the female. 

  11. The woman’s hair should be long – as long as God allows it to grow. It should be neither shaved nor shorn (vs. 6). 

  12. Just because it has to be modest, does not mean it can’t be fashionable. However, flamboyant accessories should be avoided.

  13. Sexy clothes attracts passion.  You might get more attention than you anticipate.

  14. Unlike the past culture, over growth of facial hair on women can be confusing these days.  Men who are taking artificial female hormones look very much the same way.  So removal of excessive hair on any part of your face is suggested, including manly looking eyebrows.

What is inappropriate fashion for men?

  1. In times past, in Western culture, wearing a hat indoors was a sign of disrespect, but even today it applies to church services. 

Other cultural examples: Members of the military are allowed to wear hats as part of their uniform during official ceremonies; hats are removed for the National Anthem, passing of the Flag and funeral processions, outdoor weddings, and dedications.

  1. The scriptural reason for removing one’s hat is  in 1 Corinthians 11:7 the apostle Paul says, “man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God.”  1 Corinthians 11:3 & 4 reminds us that “But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.  Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.”

  2. Does your garment prevent gender confusion?   Only rebellious, prideful humans have distorted and blurred that distinction. Part of the reason for clothing is so that men will look like men, and women will look like women. No confusion, no guessing, no misunderstanding. (Deuteronomy 22:5).

  3. Men should cut their hair and keep it short.  The Scriptures do not give us an exact length, but biblical principles teach that men should look different from women.

  4. Always wear a shirt in public.

  5. The nature of a man makes him much more tempted by seeing a scantily clothed woman.  Don’t forget that some women are also tempted when they see a man dressed in revealing clothing.

A Point to Remember:   

When selecting clothing for the day, consider the following factors:

    • God’s law
    • How we affect other people
  • The church (I Peter 1:15-16; Romans 12:2)

The Beauty Industry vs. Biblical Modesty

 “Once we’re dissatisfied with our all-important looks, advertisers sell us on “the core belief of American culture”: that any and every physical part of us can and should be improved and upgraded, even re-created. (Indeed, the women advertising these products are themselves “re-created” to the point where their photos barely resemble their real selves.) And their products will do just that. “True beauty,” the cosmetic industry tells us, “comes from within: from within bottles, jars, compacts, and tubes.” Quote from Gila Manolson,

Some men and women have unhealthy obsessions with the size and shape of their bodies.  They are consistently obsessed with their physical appearance, to an unreasonable extent.  They choose to do eccentric and unhealthy things to recreate themselves, because they believe that their bodies are not thin enough, their stomachs aren’t flat enough, their lips aren’t full enough, or in some cases, not thin enough, their hair isn’t long or short enough. Yes, we all must be concerned about maintaining good health, but within reason.

In today’s society, women and men are looking for the best method that will totally change their looks.   They have an unrealistic self-image that they cannot obtain naturally.  So many men and women use reconstructive surgery, body piercings and mutilations, facial paintings to recreate or distort their appearance.  Yet, after doing all of this, they are still dissatisfied.  Why? Because they are obsessed about it.  And these procedures will not make the obsession go away.  They will only increase unto more unwholesome and ungodly actions.

The advertising industry, families, and peer pressure have collectively contributed to this obsession, probably starting early on in their lives.  We are all products of this society, young and old, and each one of us has experiences that have contributed to our inadequacies and negative feelings of self-worth.   Nevertheless, it is without question that it is important for each one of us to love ourselves and feel good about who we are.  So how do we accomplish that?

True Holiness, let us use the word of God to define who we are.  To do otherwise, makes your beauty vain.  Let us proclaim like David, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).   

Paul told the saints “to adorn themselves in modest apparel” (1 Timothy 2:9).  None of us, male and female, will exaggerate (or be obsessed with) our appearances, when we come to realized that our true beauty proceeds from within us.  Let us dress up on the inside, then we will display an honorable decorum for our outward appearance.  Proverbs 31:25-26 perfectly describes beauty that originates from within, “Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.  She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.”

Beauty is Scriptural

God is called “beautiful,” “glorious,” “majestic,” and “full of splendor.” These are qualities inherent to the nature of God and qualities in which his people delight (Zechariah 9:17).  It is to be desired. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says,  “He hath made every [thing] beautiful in his time…

The Scriptures speak of beauty and “handsomeness,” in a positive way.  The examples are Queen Esther (Esther 2:7);  Sarah, wife of Abraham (Genesis 12:11-20); Moses (Exodus. 2:1-2);  Job’s daughters (Job 42:15); Rachel, Jacob’s first wife (Genesis 29:17); Abigail, wife of Nabal (1 Samuel 25:3); Tamar (2 Samuel 13:1) ;  Solomon’s wife in the Song of Solomon (Solomon 6:4);  Joseph was “handsome and good-looking” (Genesis 39:6);  King Saul (1 Samuel 9:2); King David (1 Samuel 16:18); Absalom, David’s son (2 Samuel 14:25);  Adonijah, David’s son (1 Kings 1:6); and Ahab (Psalm. 45:2) are a few examples.

Beauty can attract…it is Noticeable.

Is beauty only in the eye of the beholder?  The scriptures teaches us that beauty is a positive thing and is to be desired.  It also teaches us that beauty and humility are connected and should not be separated.  So to be truly beautiful without humility is not beauty. (1 Peter 3:3-4 )

Beauty is noticeable; and nothing is wrong with that.  Yet each one of us is attracted to it in different ways; and that is a good thing!  Because of this attraction, men will choose their spouses and the women will be obliged to say “Yes, I will marry you, or…, I will not marry you,” if the attraction is not strong enough.  We all like to look at good looking people and things.  Even though someone or something is beautiful or good looking, we do not all have a special attraction to that person or thing.  And that’s a good thing!

Yet, if someone wanted to get a male or female’s attention, who is not otherwise attracted to him or her, they ought not to flaunt or over embellish their appearance…  that beauty is fleeting…. that is not  beauty.  That is a negative thing.  “Favour is deceitful (deceptive), and beauty is vain (fleeting): but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised” (Proverbs 31:30).  The fear of the Lord produces excellence in all women…and men.

What You & I Inherited: Did God Make Us This Way?

(Just a note from your Senior Pastor)

When God made the world and its universe, after each phase of creation, he said it was good.  After he made man, he said it was good, but the creation was not yet complete until he made woman.  After he made woman, God rested.  Everything was good, perfect, and complete…in order. 

While in the Garden, he told man to have dominion over the earth.  And that did not mean to recreate or to change God’s order.  Everything had its place and God established their purposes.  We should not attempt to recreate or reorder God’s plan, even when it involves our own bodies.  To attempt to change God’s order will cause confusion, not just for one person, but the confusion will affect your unborn, our community, our government, the society-at-large, and the entire world.  Just like Adam did.  

Because Adam embraced sin in the infancy of God’s creation, our Kosmos (universe, world) is corrupted.  Man decided not to keep God’s natural laws.  Therefore, sin unleashed confusion upon our bodies and our environment.  It is no longer the good that God pronounced in the beginning. 

Now we have inherited a variety of problems and challenges, which affects our biology.  Some of these are defects.  And some of them are visible.  Surgical and nonsurgical procedures (such as noninvasive cosmetic procedures) are used to improve the appearance in order to reach the standard that God created in the beginning.  And, yes, God set a standard. Just compare the physiology of the majority of people on each continent.  I believe that the best reason for corrective procedures is to improve physical health, or mental health, and quality of life. 

As our world continues, all inhabitants will be replete with disorder and confusion of all kind.  We are all adversely affected, and mankind will always need to deal with that. Many people will decide to minimize these unnatural conditions, if possible…and that should be expected.  And sometimes (if not most times) they will learn to live with it and ask God for grace…and that should be expected as well.

Women of Authority in True Holiness

Culturally, the roles of husband and wife have become obscured by popular music, dress, and unhealthy relationships.  This problem exists in many churches as well.  Regardless of your office in the church, you should always remember you have a husband to reverence and the men have a wife to respect.

In order to discourage positional rivalry between wives and husbands, and for the sake of observers within the general church, we require that female ministers and prophets wear garments that are significantly different from what men wear.   Although uniforms and ministerial robes will not be completely different from what men wear, you should arrange your ensemble in a manner that will not be replicated by men.  A possible ensemble is a robe (or full suit, when appropriate) and a matching hat.

Our customs for worship have transitioned to us  though several generations.  However, today they are modified to more accurately reflect our church’s response to the immodesty within our present-day society.  God has commission the church leadership (Ephesians 4:11) of this community of believers, to continue apostolic traditions and to establish customs that are appropriate to the times, just as Paul did, as recorded in 1st Corinthians 7:6, 12-16, 25. All of our customs should render law and order, not confusion and debate.  Therefore, the exegetical method of scriptural interpretation will encourage a comprehensive understanding of the Scriptures, including the practice of biblical modesty.

For example, we have found that Paul’s teaching about headdress was in reference to the cultural use of the veil that covered the entire head and possible portions of the face of the female, in that time.  That was their custom in that region of the world; and in their society it was considered immoral to do other wise.  In the history of True Holiness, the shepherds have not ever placed a requirement on our women to wear these veils, nor will we do so. 

If you read closely, these instructions were given to married women, cover themselves out of respect for their husbands, during worship services, and in other public places within their society.  It was regarded as a moral requirement to  cover women in this manner.  The Scriptures did not stress whether or not each of their husbands were officers in the church.  But because of their obedient and chaste wives, their husbands and fathers were well spoken of (honored and respected), because or their wives noble character, throughout the community (Proverbs 31:23).

Although the mores of our time are different, we embrace the principle that comes from Paul’s instructions to the Corinthians, which is to avoid shaming and publicly dishonoring your husband, by wearing apparel that will honor him in public and to also to demonstrate the difference  between the glory of a women and the glory of a man. 

The issue of concern to these particular women of Corinth was their headdress. As we fore-stated, there are many issues of concern today.  However, True Holiness makes no spiritual requirement concerning wearing a particular style of headdress, accept for our women who are in authority (those who pray and prophesy in the services), whether married or unmarried. 

Other types of head coverings for women in general, within our church and in our current society-at-large, are women wearing “church hats,” which are worn in our formal worship services, which is supported by biblical teaching of female modesty (recognition and order).  This spiritual and cultural practice helps the women as distinguished worshippers, as they make a royal presentation to God.  Therefore, members should not refrain from wearing “church hats.”  For they are a type of attire that will always set you apart from the undisciplined, and make you distinctly feminine and dignified.  As your hair is your glory, so is how you dress it (1 Corinthians 11:15).

It is our teaching, for society’s sake, that all of our women in our congregations, should dress in modest, dignified, and beautiful ensembles when entering into the church for worship. You are demonstrating to the world how to humbly “Go before the Throne of Grace” to worship (Hebrews 4:14:16), as we acknowledge the presence of the Sovereign God.

Click on the articles below that answer specific questions: 

Are Leggings Modest? Article 

The Truth About Modesty Video

Making a Difference: The Bible Speaks to Gender Confusion

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