Modesty: Christian Women in the Presence of God

1st Timothy 2:8-12 (CSB) 8 Therefore, I want the men in every place to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or argument. 9 Also, the women are to dress themselves in modest clothing, with decency and good sense, not with elaborate hairstyles, gold, pearls, or expensive apparel, 10 but with good works, as is proper for women who profess to worship God. 11 A woman is to learn quietly with full submission. 12 I do not allow a woman to teach or to have authority over a man; instead, she is to remain quiet.

My heart sympathizes with my dear Christian sisters because of the enormous pressure this world exerts on them to convince them that their value, worth, and beauty exists solely in those attributes that are quickly passing away.

To my sisters in Christ, so much more awaits you in the presence of your Savior!

Women are called to approach God on equal footing with men (who are addressed in verse 8); women are to enter the presence of God without wrath or doubting, lifting up holy hands in prayer and not following their own desires or being covetous or greedy. However, Scripture speaks to another deeper level when addressing how women should live in holy communion with Christ, and calls on women to dress themselves “in modest clothing, with decency and good sense”. This is how the Spirit of Christ teaches women to come into and remain in the holy presence of God.

Christian modesty incorporates how one dresses into a much deeper paradigm that centers on the character of one’s inward person in the presence of our Holy God.

Here is what Scripture teaches women about entering into holy communion with Christ:

#1. Women are to commune with God through prayer

#2. Women are to lift holy hands to God without anger or argument

#3. Women are to dress themselves in modest clothing

#4. Women are to dress themselves with good works fit for worshiping God

#5. Women are to learn quietly with full submission

Jesus Christ beckons women into the presence of God on equal footing with men; we enter through the atoning sacrifice of Christ with all the boldness afforded by his blood. Therefore, women are called to commune with God through prayer.

The Spirit of Christ beckons women to lift holy hands to God without anger or argument, being cleansed from all unforgiveness, malice, bitterness, and spite by the soul-cleansing blood of the Lord. The heart that is filled with the pride of anger, strife, and contention cannot be adorned with the kind of modesty that is fit for worshiping God. Therefore, the sacrifice of Christ is necessary to both provide and teach both men and women how to forgive one another so that we may be fit to enter God’s presence.

Women who enter the presence of God are called to dress themselves in modest clothing, not boasting or demonstrating pride in their physical appearance, nor relying on the beauty of things that are passing away. Instead, the Spirit of Wisdom teaches women to enter the presence of God dressed in the kind of clothing that agrees with the virtues that adorn the hearts of those righteous women who worship God!

All of God’s children enter his presence on equal footing that is based solely on the sacrifice of our Righteous One (the Lord Jesus Christ). Scripture’s final instructions to women pertain to what women should do with the calling they have received in the Lord’s presence when they enter the Lord’s assembly. They are not called to go from their holy communion with Christ and teach or hold positions of authority over their brothers in the Church. Their calling is separate from this, and pertains to all the great work given to the Church to shed the light of Christ’s testimony abroad, serve and care for the poor, weak, and helpless, build up the body of Christ with the manifold virtues of grace that are distributed by Christ throughout the body, and extol the glories of God on high for all to see!

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