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        Christian Clothing                                                                    (PDF version here)


Scripture Standards for Dress and Conduct



7. Conclusion

We know from the Word of God that our bodies must be clothed, that they must be covered according to the will of God expressed in Scripture and taught by nature itself, and that women must be clothed distinctively from men. We must therefore, in love to God and our neighbours, endeavour in the strength of Jesus Christ to set a holy example in wearing only such clothing as we know to be pleasing to Him. “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s” (I Cor. 6:20). That the man may not wear dainty, effeminate styles of clothing, and that the woman, created for the domestic sphere, ought to be covered with modest long dresses (or equivalent garments such as skirts and blouses), is seen in Scripture, the example of our godly forebears, and from the light of nature itself. “The purity of the heart will show itself in the modesty of the dress, which becomes women professing godliness”,[1] observes Matthew Henry. Moreover, far from procuring any advantages and dignities that pertain to men alone, the woman who behaves and dresses like a man loses that comeliness, those graces and benefits peculiar to the tender sex, that are too rare in these times.[2]

These things should be carefully weighed up by those whose hearts’ desire is to please their Lord and Saviour. If we love God because He first loved us, let us demonstrate our heart’s love for Him and, being clothed with the imputed righteousness of Christ, let us put off the body of sin and live in holiness, as doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving our own selves (James 1:22). Instead of succumbing to the wiles of our adversary we must believe Him to be faithful who promised to our father Abraham so long ago, “That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life” (Luke 1:74, 75).

But are you an unbeliever, still in slavery to sin and Satan? Are you afraid to die and meet Jesus, your Maker, as Judge? Then come to Him for safety from the wrath of God; come now and be reconciled, be justified by faith in His blood and not by the law which you have broken (Gal. 3:11). Faith alone will justify and sanctify a man, so that he may say, “Surely . . . in the LORD have I righteousness and strength” (Isa. 45:24). God has graciously chosen multitudes to be saved through His Son, and none who comes to Him will be cast out (John 6:37). So may the Lord pour out His Holy Spirit upon this generation, plucking sinners as brands from the burning, converting them from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 26:18). Then will the tide turn on the curse of doctrinal liberalism and theological scepticism, and men will look to Mount Zion, to the Church of the living God and sing,  


   Great is the Lord, and greatly he is to be praised still,

Within the city of our God, upon his holy hill.


   Mount Sion stands most beautiful, the joy of all the land;

The city of the mighty King on her north side doth stand.


   The Lord within her palaces is for a refuge known.

For, lo, the kings that gather'd were together, by have gone . . .      


   Walk about Sion, and go round; the high tow'rs thereof tell:

Consider ye her palaces, and mark her bulwarks well;


   That ye may tell posterity. For this God doth abide

Our God for evermore; he will ev'n unto death us guide.


 (Psalm 48:1-4 & 12-14, Scottish Psalter, 1650)


[1] Matthew Henry on Prov. 7:10, Commentary, vol. 3, p492.

[2] John Chrysostom: “But if any say, ‘Nay, how can this be a shame to the woman, if she mount up to the glory of the man?’ we might make this answer; ‘She doth not mount up, but rather falls from her own proper honour.’ Since not to abide within our own limits and the laws ordained of God, but to go beyond, is not an addition but a diminuation. For as he that desireth other men’s goods and seizeth what is not his own, hath not gained any thing more, but is diminished, having lost even that which he had, (which kind of thing also happened in paradise:) so likewise the woman acquireth not the man’s dignity, but loseth even the woman’s decency which she had. And not from hence only is her shame and reproach, but also on account of her covetousness” (Homily 26, On the Veiling of Women).

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