Dress Reform in the Bible

The Bible speaks of a decline in modest dressing of those living in the last days.

Philippians 3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame.

The question is often asked, why should a Christian dress modestly if we are living in modern times? Why should both men and women be covered up?

Man Was Created in God’s Image

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:

What is God’s image? How is He covered?

Psalm 104:1 Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. 2 Who coverest [thyself] with light as [with] a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:

God is covered with majesty and honour and LIGHT as a garment.  If God is covered and made man in his image, how did He then create man in the beginning? Would not man also have been made with a covering of LIGHT at the beginning of his creation?

This sinless pair wore no artificial garments. They were clothed with a covering of light and glory, such as the angels wear. While they lived in obedience to God, this circle of light enshrouded them. Signs of the Times, Jan. 9, 1897. {BLJ 227.5} 

In other words, the sinless pair were covered from their neck, to their feet in a garment of light. You could not see their limbs.

Genesis 2:25 And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

They were naked in the sense that they wore no artificial garments – they were covered in majesty and honour – a covering of light. Man was covered like the angels are. We know this because the angels are also covered with the same garment.

The Angels

Hebrews 2:7 Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: Thou has put all things in subjection under his feet.

Psalm 8:5 For thou has made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
John 20:12 And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.

Luke 24:4 And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:

Matthew 28:3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:

After sin what happened?

Genesis 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they [were] naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.

They clothed themselves in fig leaves which was not sufficient coverage. Fig leaves as a covering were the first miniskirts and shorts the world wears today. While they were yet standing in their fig leaves however, God presented the story of redemption to them.

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

He told them about Jesus. There and then in their fig leaves they repented. After their change of heart, God then covered them as the fig leaves were insufficient.

Genesis 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

God had to make coats of skin for them as their fig leaf loin coverings were not enough. To even reveal their legs was nakedness;

Isaiah 47:2 Take the millstones, and grind meal: uncover thy locks, make bare the leg, uncover the thigh, pass over the rivers. 3 Thy nakedness shall be uncovered, yea, thy shame shall be seen: I will take vengeance, and I will not meet thee as a man.

David’s men where ashamed when their garments were cut off up to their thighs;

1 Chronicles 19:3 Wherefore Hanun took David’s servants, and shaved them, and cut off their garments in the midst hard by their buttocks, and sent them away. 5Then there went certain, and told David how the men were served. And he sent to meet them: for the men were greatly ashamed. And the king said, Tarry at Jericho until your beards be grown, and then return.

In heaven, the covering of light will be restored to the redeemed;

Revelation 3:4 And they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy.

Revelation 6:11 And white robes were given unto every one of them;

In the bible, uncovering or nakedness is also a symbol of sin. We are warned in Revelation to keep watch lest we be found naked in the spiritual sense.

Revelation 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

Our Nakedness Is Our Shame

Christians are to dress modestly regardless of which period in history they live in. If God is the same today and forever and does not change, then should the degree of covering change also?

2 Timothy 2:9 I will that therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety.

In like manner as men dress modestly, so do women. This is what the transgressors of God’s law have done ever since the day of Adam and Eve’s disobedience. They have sewed together fig leaves to cover the nakedness caused by transgression. They have worn the garments of their own devising, by works of their own they have tried to cover their sins, and make themselves acceptable with God. But this they can never do. Nothing can man devise to supply the place of his lost robe of innocence. No fig-leaf garment, no worldly citizen dress, can be worn by those who sit down with Christ and angels at the marriage supper of the Lamb. Adam and Eve both ate of the fruit, and obtained a knowledge which, had they obeyed God, they would never have had, –an experience in disobedience and disloyalty to God,–the knowledge that they were naked. The garment of innocence, a covering from God, which surrounded them, departed; and they supplied the place of this heavenly garment by sewing together fig-leaves for aprons. This is the covering that the transgressors of the law of God have used since the days of Adam and Eve’s disobedience. The fig-leaves represent the arguments used to cover disobedience. But the nakedness of the sinner is not covered.  Had Adam and Eve never disobeyed their Creator, had they remained in the path of perfect rectitude, they could have known and understood God. But when they listened to the voice of the tempter, and sinned against God, the light of the garments of heavenly innocence departed from them; and in parting with the garments of innocence, they drew about them the dark robes of ignorance of God. The clear and perfect light that had hitherto surrounded them had lightened everything they approached; but deprived of that heavenly light, the posterity of Adam could no longer trace the character of God in His created works.  ELLEN WHITE

Posted on July 24, 2009, in Dress Reform and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. As a woman I can say that the pant (I think they should be called leg tubes) is terribly immodest. Perhaps moving toward a burka type style would be more appropriate. In this one area I believe our Muslim friends do have a point.

    • Sabbath Sermons

      Deut 22:5 The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so [are] abomination unto the LORD thy God.

      Pants are an abomination to God. Women having long hair and no hat or burka is not an abomination to God. The bible says women should have long hair and that is given as her head covering. The muslims have no point in burka’s.

  2. Most women I see wearing pants/slacks/trousers look TERRIBLE!
    Pants-wearing by women in the “Christian” world began in the mid-1700s when dancers began shortening their skirts. Previously women in “Christendom” never wore pants (called in English “drawers” from being drawn on, and in French “culotte” from “cul” rump, backside + “otte” a diminutive form) at any time. The legs were protected from chill, if needed, by stockings of varied length.
    At the first pants on women were thought quite risque at best and more like lewd, being associated with women of low morals, actresses, dancers and prostitutes.
    As time went by the more avant-garde of the upper classes, who could flout customs with some degree of impunity, began adopting the underclothing of the women of little virtue.
    Early women’s pants were not seamed but were open to the waist, where they were supported by a waistband or tie. But by the 1920s open pants had nearly disappeared. Skirts could rise with less resistance from the conservative elements.
    Today the skirt has disappeared, leaving only the pants. But recently skirts have begun to reappear for everyday wear.

  1. Pingback: 10 Reasons Why Satan Wants You To Wear Pants « Sabbath Sermons

  2. Pingback: Dress Reform in the Bible « Sabbath Sermons of the Australian …

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