Return to Class Topical Index


TITLE: Modesty
: 1 Timothy 2:9-10
: God requires us to be decent and appropriate in our actions and behavior.
: What?
: Same


Rule Writing Problem

  1. Many have tried to write the rules here.

    1. How short is too short? How tight is too tight?

    2. What does this passage teach?

  2. Paul places some stipulations on women.

  3. Study Colossians 2:18-23 (See file – Writing Rules)

Side Issues - "Immodest apparel" is NOT:

  1. Jewelry and makeup – Gold, short hair, pearls

    1. If these are wrong, so are clothes

    2. 1 Peter 3:3 "putting on of apparel"

    3. NOT: jewelry, make-up, bathing suits, and shorts

  2. Expensive – Anything costly, showy, worn to get attention

    1. How much is too much?

    2. Must we wear rags from a second hand store?

  3. Motive – "Wore it just to show off."

    1. Get into judging motives. Matthew 7:1

    2. We must not judge intents of the heart.

  4. Opinion – Personal taste, likes, dislikes, opinion

    1. Issue is not what I like or don't like

    2. Colored shirts on preacher, women in pants, etc.

  5. Question is: Is this dress sinful?

Modest = Two Aspects

  1. Decent

    1. Not too ________ (fill in the blank) skimpy, short, tight, low, etc.

    2. Neat, clean, well arranged, groomed, adorned

    3. See Revelation 21:2; 1 Peter 3:5; Matthew 25:7 (trimmed lamps)

    4. Custom, culture will set standards (See section below)

    5. ”Be not the first by which the new is tried.
      Nor the last to lay the old aside."

  2. Appropriate

    1. Consider the occasion

    2. Bridesmaid, play tennis, work in garden, worship God, funeral, repair sewer leak under your house

    3. Formal wedding vs. Hobo party

This command is more than clothes:

  1. Behavior - conduct, manner of life, "conversation" (same word in 1 Timothy 3:2 – bishop must be of “good behavior” - decent, orderly, well ordered life)

  2. Morals - choices must be decent and appropriate

  3. Recreation - movies, TV, music, sports, games

  4. Lifestyle - house, car, material things

  5. Church - services, buildings, programs, equipment

Custom and Culture

  1. Webster - Frequent or common use, or practice; a frequent repetition of the same act; hence, way; established manner; habitual practice.

    1. Good customs – attend church, clean language, modest dress

    2. Bad customs – divorce at will, profanity, immodest dress

    3. Church does not set the custom – but we follow the customs

    4. Illustration 1: Quakers, Amish – stuck in the 19th century – today they “stick out” for their odd dress

    5. Illustration 2: Years ago – red porch light = prostitute; Christians did not use red lights on their porch

    6. Illustration 3: Years ago – men ALWAYS took off their hat (cap) in any public building (bank, grocery store, church building) – Not so today

  2. Society is constantly changing what is acceptable

    1. I have a photo of me in a plaid double-knit suit (very wide tie and wide lapels on the suit) [You should see the ladies hair dos.]

    2. John 18:39 – custom to release a prisoner at Passover

    3. John 19:40 – wrapped body of Jesus as was the custom of Jews

    4. 1 Corinthians 11:16 – We have no such custom

  3. We must adjust our values to our world – our society

    1. Russia vs. USA; customs in different countries – follow their culture

    2. “When in Rome – Do as the Romans do.”

    3. Greetings: Shake hands, bow, kiss on cheek

    4. Visit a home: Take off shoes, bring hostess a gift

  4. Draw the line at “sinful” - violation of commands of God

    1. Nudity – wrong; polygamy – wrong

    2. Same sex marriage – wrong

    3. Drink Vodka at a wedding


1. In all of life we must be decent and appropriate.

2. Christians must be modest.

Return to Class Topical Index