Preface by Pastor Dave Carroll, Senior Pastor, Sharon Baptist Church, Hampton, Va.
In the following blog post you will find a compelling article entitled "Does It Matter What I Wear?" The short answer to that question is a resounding yes, it does matter! The leadership at Sharon Baptist church has never been of the persuasion that we tell you how to dress and what to wear. The only exception to this being for those who are in leadership roles and those who participate in the services from the platform. Rather, believing that the head of each home and individuals sole liberty should dictate our dress standard for both men and women. I believe the principals outlined in the blog post will assist in helping you to understand, it does matter what I wear.
Speaking the truth in love,
Is God concerned with what I wear? Like many areas in our lives there is not a definitive clothes prescription listed in the Word of God (i.e. Polo on Monday, Dress Shirt on Tuesday etc.). However, that does not mean that God is not concerned for with what we wear. Though we do not find specifics when it comes to clothes in the Word of God we do find principles in the Bible that address this important subject. Out of these principles we should deduce how we live our lives for the glory of God. These principles then can be applied to determine what is proper dress and what is not. Let’s look at an example of a principle that is easily discovered in the Bible to understand how this works. Consider the following verse:
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. Galatians 6:7
This principle often called the ‘law of sowing and reaping’ and can be seen to apply both in positive and negative aspects. The principle states that what we reap is what we have sown. Notice the next verse that demonstrates this principle in action:
For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. Galatians 6:8
Simply put, what is sown is what is reaped. We find in the book of Hosea the Word of God has more to say concerning this principle.
For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up. Hosea 8:7
Here we understand further that we reap more than we sow. The nation of Israel had "sown to the wind" and now they would "reap the whirlwind." So often we do not think about the effects of sowing and reaping in our lives. This simple example shows us how these principles apply to our lives today even as they did when God had them penned. With that mind what does the Bible have to say about our dress?
Let’s look at just a few verses:
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. I Samuel 16:7
This important verse tells us something about man and also something about God; both of which are important for us to note. We find that God sees both the inward man and the outward man; not only how we look but also the condition of our heart. Man, on the other hand judges based on what we see; the outward appearance. It is important then for us to understand that the world is paying attention to what we wear.
In the book of Exodus, we find these important verses concerning Aaron and his sons:
And for Aaron's sons thou shalt make coats, and thou shalt make for them girdles, and bonnets shalt thou make for them, for glory and for beauty. And thou shalt put them upon Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him; and shalt anoint them, and consecrate them, and sanctify them, that they may minister unto me in the priest's office. And thou shalt make them linen breeches to cover their nakedness; from the loins even unto the thighs they shall reach: And they shall be upon Aaron, and upon his sons, when they come in unto the tabernacle of the congregation, or when they come near unto the altar to minister in the holy place; that they bear not iniquity, and die: it shall be a statute for ever unto him and his seed after him. Exodus 28:40 -43
What can we understand about our dress from these verses? Certainly, God is not calling us to wear girdles and bonnets. We find from this verse though, that there was an expectation by God for the priests to dress a specific way. He specified that they should be covered up. The books of Exodus and Leviticus resound with the message that we cannot just approach God any way we feel like it. God is holy and therefore calls His people to be holy as well even in their dress.
Notice the next verse in I Timothy 2:9:
In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
Before you are tempted to say this only applies to women, understand that the principle spoken of here is that of modesty. Yes, this verse is specifically directed toward women, but does that mean God does not expect us all to be modest? No, I believe there is a principle of modesty listed here. To be modest means- Properly, restrained by a sense of propriety; hence, not forward or bold; not presumptuous or arrogant; not boastful; as a modest youth; a modest man. (Webster's 1828 Dictionary) The question could be raised do you dress to be the center of attention?
Still looking in the Word of God we find this next verse often overlooked when it comes to dress but notice what is written to the church at Corinth:
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. I Corinthians 6: 19,20
For those who are born again we understand that God dwells in us. Our bodies are the “temple of the Holy Ghost.” Knowing this, Paul urges us to “glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” The truth of the matter is we do not get to just choose what we wear based on how we feel, because the Bible declares we are God’s. We are bought with a price. We must glorify God not only in the inward man, but the outward man as well. The question then arises, How are we clothing the temple of our bodies? Is the glory of God part of our decision-making process when it comes to what we wear?
Another enlightening example is found in Exodus 19: 10,11. Notice what is said to the children of Israel in preparation for God coming down upon Mount Sanai.
And the LORD said unto Moses, Go unto the people, and sanctify them to day and to morrow, and let them wash their clothes, And be ready against the third day: for the third day the LORD will come down in the sight of all the people upon mount Sinai.
Here we see clearly that God demanded outward cleanliness in His presence.
In II Samuel 12:20 in similar manner we find these words:
Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat.
This incident was in respect to the judgement God rendered toward David as a result of his sin with Bathsheba. He fasted and prayed begging God to spare his child. But God in His perfect judgment took the physical life of the child. Once David understood that the child had died the Bible gives us the above comment. Notice David understood it was not proper for him to go into the house of the Lord dressed inappropriately. Insomuch, he “washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel.”
Lastly, tying all of this together I Corinthians 8:13 should be mentioned.
“Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.”
This strong statement by Paul is very telling. Paul is speaking of the principle of offence. The background for this statement was specifically about meat that was sold in the shambles which had been offered to idols. Typically, this meat would be discounted because of its use. And yet Paul says “if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth…” Think about the sacrifice of giving up all meat for the purpose of not offending. The truth of this statement is simply this, none of us are islands unto ourselves. What we do and say affects and teaches those around us. If I as a leader lower the bar of dress, I am non-verbally teaching others to do so as well.
What are some questions we can ask ourselves concerning our dress in light of God’s Word?
It is clear from just these few verses, that yes it does matter what I wear. Giving God glory in our inward man, let us then also dress our outward man for the glory of God!
- James Grandinetti, Community Outreach Pastor, Sharon Baptist Church
Just what is Easter? There are always lots of things going on, dressing up for Easter Sunday service in our new Easter outfits, big dinners with relatives or at church, even Easter egg hunts for all the children. But, just how much of all this and anything else that may take place to celebrate Easter really honors Christ? Why do we have all this confusion anyway?
1. THE FIRST MENTION OF EASTER
Easter is only mentioned only once in the Bible, and this is in connection with the Spring Festival of the pagan or non-Christian world long before the time of our Jesus Christ. It had nothing to do with Him or His resurrection. It was to celebrate Spring, the coming of new life after the long winter.
2. THE EVENTS CONNECTED TO EASTER
Every year in April, and very near to the same time as the Spring Festival, the Jews celebrated the Passover. This was a celebration of their deliverance from Egyptian bondage. It was also at this same time of year Jesus was crucified, buried, and rose again. In A. D. 325, the church council of Nicaea met and decided that Christians would hold Easter each year as the celebration of the resurrection of Christ. It would always be the first Sunday after the first full moon after equinox, or March 21. This can be as early as March 22 or as late as April 25.
3. THE CHRISTIAN MEANING OF EASTER
As Christians, and by that, I mean those who know Jesus Christ as our personal Savior and Lord, we should not concern ourselves with celebrating the day of Easter. We celebrate an event on Easter. Jesus arose from the dead, proving Himself to be the Christ, the Son of God. Yes, He arose just as He said He would, and He ascended into heaven where He has prepared a place for us to go and be with Him. He will soon come again and take us to live with Him forever. Let us use Easter today as an advertisement and opportunity to tell the world what Easter means to us.
Jesus Christ came into the world to die as a sacrifice on the cross for our sins, and He did just that. He was killed by crucifixion, nailed to a cross. They took His blood-soaked body down from the cross and buried Him in a tomb cut out in a rock cliff. They rolled a large stone over the entrance and set a Roman guard there to make sure that no one stole His body away. Everyone thought that He had failed in His mission to earth. But, it was through His death that His mission was accomplished, and three days after He was buried, He arose from the dead. That is what Easter is all about! God providing salvation through His son, Jesus Christ in order that mankind might be saved.
Acts 12:4 "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given amoung men, whereby we must be saved."
- Pastor David Carroll, Senior Pastor, Sharon Baptist Church
Discreet-wise in avoiding errors or evil and in selecting the best means to accomplish a purpose: cautious: not rash.
Such a strong word that I would dare say is missing greatly in our society today! Although the word discreet is only found 3 times in the Bible and the word discretion is found 9 times, it does not lessen the impact of such a great word and characteristic which we should have.
Proverbs 19:11 says "The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression."
We need discretion, wisdom to choose the best reaction, in order to put away anger. Anger can get the best us of at times and it is not a pretty thing. There are so many situations that arise in our lives where we surely need discretion to prevent us from going off on someone or giving them a piece of our mind. In fact, we need discretion in every area of our lives. We need discretion to guide us in how we speak, in our actions and reactions, and in our daily life decisions. Where we go, what we do, what we listen to and what we look at will be greatly affected by whether we have discretion or not. Discretion could keep us from many conflicts between one another but we have to choose rightly.
The second part of this verse says, "and it is his glory to pass over a transgression." When is the last time someone did wrong toward you and you were happy to just forgive them? That is what can happen when we are right in our heart and life with our Saviour. No, it does not mean that we are devoid of feeling and emotion but it does mean with the help of the Holy Spirit that we can have joy and delight to forgive because we can remember how much we have been forgiven. But how can we really get to this and be discreet men and women of God? Proverbs 2:11 says "Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee." If we go back and read the verse prior it all makes since as to how we can have discretion in our lives. Proverbs 2:10 says "When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto they soul;"
Ah ha!!! There it is! Discretion comes from the wisdom and knowledge we allow to penetrate our hearts and minds from God's Word. Regardless of whether it is easy or hard, discretion comes when we accept and apply it. Wisdom defined is the quality of having experience, knowledge and good judgment. This verse tells us then, that if we receive knowledge and then delight in those truths; then discretion shall preserve thee.
The opposite also could be said. If we are receiving God's Word and not choosing to accept it then we will be lacking discretion. Sadly many lack discretion. Some lack discretion because they have totally chosen to reject Jesus and His payment for their sin on the cross of Calvary. There are others that have received a great amount of knowledge, teaching, and instruction and have trusted Christ as their Saviour, yet they pick and choose what they will obey. According to this verse they also lack discretion.
We have seen that wisdom must first enter in and we must choose to apply it but then we also saw that discretion shall preserve us in verse 11. Have you ever had something preserved? It is kept, it is also protected. It takes time to preserve something and there is a certain process to follow. It is also the same with discretion. The first step is gaining the wisdom of Jesus Christ and his death, burial, and resurrection for the sins of the world. Then accepting this by placing your faith and trust in Him and Him alone for your salvation to enter into Heaven one day when you leave this earth. As we then seek the Lord and ask for wisdom we can receive it of Him. The Bible tells us this in James 1:5 "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." But if we are receiving wisdom and knowledge of the things we need and then not applying it, again, there is no discretion in the matter. If all we ever do is come to Church and read our Bibles and never apply it, what have we learned, what have we read, and what good is it?
Think about it. What if you had a flat tire, you pull over, get out of your car, pull out the spare tire, sit it down and get back in your car and just sit there! You have the knowledge and the resources to change the tire but you are not applying it. What good is it doing you?
The Bible says in James 4:17 "Therefore To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." Therefore, if we know what the Bible says and we are not doing it, we are sinning. I would venture to say that application is the most important part of the entire process. What if you heard the Gospel, that God loved you so much that he sent his only Son Jesus to die on the cross for you; that he was buried and three days later rose again and now he is in Heaven. You also understood that he desires you would put your faith and trust in Him alone and what he did on the cross to take you to Heaven and ask him to be the Lord of your life. The fact is that if you received this wonderful message but walked away not accepting it then the Bible says you would die and go to a place called hell.
John 3:36 "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."
Here you can see the great impact and destruction that can come from not applying the spiritual truths you are receiving! I would say then, if we are hearing the truth, taught week in and week out, but still are not applying what has been taught we are most miserable! This is especially true if we are Christians. I understand the battle between the flesh and the spirit and that it is a daily struggle. Yes, we will fail at times but we must not stay down. Seek forgiveness from the Lord and press on seeking to please him.
Proverbs 23:12 states, "Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge."
It first has to begin in our heart. If we have no desire to serve the Lord from our heart it will not happen or it will happen for a time but will soon fade away. Our hearts must be broken by our own sins and the sin around us in this world. We must see the great love our Saviour has for us and really grasp who He is and what He has done for us. When we do this our hearts WILL be affected. Then what we hear and learn from Gods Word we will take and apply it.
2 Peter 3:18 tells us, "But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen."
We are to be growing in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Growing is a process and once we have hit a certain “mark” we continue growing. A baby does not crawl forever. As they grow, they learn how to pull up and eventually they learn how to walk. Itis a process of learning and growing just as applying knowledge is. We learn and we apply those things God is teaching us. As we mature some He then teaches us and shows us something else. We then apply those truths and grow. 2 Peter 1:3-10 talks about this growth and about the process of "adding to our faith." 2 Peter 1:3 tells us that we have been given ALL things that pertain unto life and godliness through the knowledge of him. But that passage continues stating that we must apply that knowledge. We must be diligent and add to our faith. Note that in order to add to our faith we must first have faith! Faith In what? Again, as with earlier, it all begins with faith in Jesus Christ and that His death on the cross paid for our sins; trusting in Him and Him alone to take us to Heaven, placing Jesus as the Lord of our lives. Only after that saving faith can we then have something to add to. Growing and adding to our faith is, or should be, a process that occurs the rest of our lives on this earth. Being a man or women of discretion is not just a one time thing we accomplish today and do not have to worry about it again. No, it is a daily process in applying and living out the truths from Gods Word.
Let it not be said of us as is stated in 2 Timothy 3:7, "Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth."
- Shannon Grandinetti, Women's Missionary Fellowship Director, Sharon Baptist Church
What a wonderful time we have had already at Sharon Baptist Church with the start of revival services. We encourage you to go back and listen to the uploaded audio files following each days service. We will have services all week at 7:00pm EST. We invite you to come and join us!
Here are some notes from the first morning service yesterday:
II Corinthians 13: 5-11
"Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates. Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates. For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong: and this also we wish, even your perfection. Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction. Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you. Greet one another with an holy kiss. All the saints salute you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen."
How does someone examine themselves? What are some evidences we can look at?
Here are some words to help us examine ourselves, whether we be in the faith:
I. Commencement - Start of His work in your life.
Can you go back to a time when God started or commenced His work in your life? Is there a time and a place when you personally trusted in Jesus Christ as your Saviour? The Holy Spirit works in the life of a believer in six ways at the commencement of His work in your life:
1. Convicts you of Sin.
2. Convinces you of being Lost.
3. Converts you.
4. Confirms your Salvation.
5. Conforms you to the image of Jesus Christ.
6. Comforts you.
If you cannot say for sure that God has commenced His work in your life please call us and we would be happy to show you from the Bible how you can know Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour. Please contact us using the contact page on this website or call 757-838-0340. Additionally you can visit www.SharonBaptistHamptonVA.com/salvation.html
II. Confess - Jesus Christ to others.
Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
One of the greatest evidences as to whether you are in the faith or not is whether you confess Jesus Christ to others. The Christian wants others to know Jesus Christ as their Saviour.
III. Changes - Take place in the life of the believer.
II Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."
Someone who is in the faith will have a "new attitude." They will desire to be like Jesus. They will desire the truth of God's Word. The Bible says, "he is a new creature: old things are passed away."
IV. Continue - Will continue with the Lord through their life.
Acts 2:42 "And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers."
I John 2:19 "They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us."
V. Communicate - The Gospel to others.
Galatians 2:2 "And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain."
VI. Contend - Contend for the faith.
Jude 3 "Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints."
Someone who is in the faith will contend for the faith. "Stand up, stand up for Jesus ye Soldiers of the Cross!"
Let us examine ourselves and see whether we be in the faith or not!
- Dr. Dan Knickerbocker, Evangelist
Listen to Sunday's Service here:
Sharon Baptist church is an independent, fundamental Baptist church located in Hampton, VA.
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