Sermon:  A Modest Heart

Summary:  God desires modesty in his people, which begins in the heart and is in 
turn expressed in appearance and demeanor.  A Christian should be committed to modesty 
because it was demonstrated in our Lord, and because it is a positive reflection of the 

Know:  Modesty is a matter of a changed, holy heart, which reflects itself in outward 

Feel:  The desire to evaluate modesty for self

Do:  Evaluate the condition of your heart, is it modest, or does it need work.  Evaluate 
how modesty (or immodesty) is reflected in you appearance, your wardrobe, hair, and other 
aspects of your appearance.  Identify ways your appearance can reflect the honor, dignity, 
beauty, and holiness of God.

Scripture Reading:  James 4:4-7

Text:  1 Tim 2:5-10, 1 Pet 3:1-4

1.  Modesty.  What does that mean?  Should we be modest?
2.  Not hear or preach a lot of sermons about modesty
	a.  I have 3 topical concordances and indexes
		- Looked up Modesty
		- Two of the three had no entry under modest
		- Nave's Topical Bible the only one that did
		- Topic that is talked about less and less
	b.  Difficulty is not in saying we need to be modest, but in describing and 
	     illustrating modesty in a sermon
	c.  ILL:  Man I knew named Alvie held up a string bikini as an illustration
		- Yes, it was shocking
		- Many found it offensive
		- The message was lost on those who needed to hear it
	d.  One man suggested doing a modesty "fashion show"
		- It was intended to be humorous
		- Hopefully this lesson will be better than a fashion show
3.  This will be my attempt
	a.  To so several things
		- To care for you
		- To articulate what God has to say about this
		- To commend those who are modest
		- To instruct those who have difficulty with it
	b.  This is timely, especially in this time of year
	c.  When we live, act, and think as God desires, it is his delight
	d.  Don't you want to be God's delight?
4.  Read Texts: (1 Tim 2:5-10 & 1 Pet 3:1-4)
	a.  They both seem to be aimed at just women.  Why?
	b.  But I believe the principle applies to all.  
		- Synonyms for Modest:  Humble, small, restraint, decent, demur, 
		   chaste, virtuous, undefiled
		- These are characteristics we all are to have
	c.  Therefore, instructions concerning modesty apply to all of us

I.  Modesty begins in the heart (1 Pet 3:1-4)
	A.  v.4 - Says let it be the hidden person of the heart
		1.  Adornment must not be merely external
		2.  It has to do with who you are on the inside
	B.  ILL:  Take a closer look at this
		1.  How do you define immodesty?
			a. Growing up, people often began to use measures
			b. How short was too short, how little was too little?
		2.  At camp, at Harding, York, had objective standards
			a.  Shorts simply not allowed at Harding until after 4
				- What about "skorts?" - They often short as shorts
				- Guys used to say the girls bending the rules
			b.  At camp - 4 inches above the knee
				- Could use a ruler
				- Had an objective standard, no argument
				- You had to go an change if too short
		3.  Does the Bible have an objective standard of modesty?
			a. No, not in terms of styles or inches
				- Won't find in the Bible where it says 4 inches
				- No objective dress codes in scripture
			b. What is modest and immodest has been subjective
				- Because of time - What was immodest 100 years 
				  ago may no longer be so
				- Because of culture - Every woman in here would be 
				  immodest in the Middle East
		4.  Perhaps seeking Biblical objective standard is wrong question
			a.  Just simply look at what the Bible says
			b.  Does the Bible define modesty or immodesty?
			c.  Does the Bible give any principles?
			d.  Issue not so much what as it is why - In the heart
	C.  Passages give description through which we can define modesty
		1.  v.4 - Modesty is imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit
			a.  Modesty begins in the heart
			b.  Simple definition:  Modesty is humility expressed in dress
		2.  What about immodesty?
			a.  It also begins in the heart
			b.  It is the opposite of modesty
			c.  Simple definition:  It is an expression of arrogance
				- It shows the absence of humility
				- It's purpose is to draw attention to yourself
	D.  Modesty boils down to the intent of the heart
		1.  What is your motivation for dress?
			a.  Is it to reflect the grace and beauty of womanhood?
			b.  Is it to reflect the honor and dignity of manhood?
			c.  Is it to reflect a humble, precious heart?
		2.  When you get dressed, ask yourself these questions:
			a.  What statement does you clothes make about you?
			b.  Whose attention am I desiring in the way I dress?
		3.  When you go shopping for clothes, ask these questions:
			a.  Are my choices governed by a modest heart?
			b.  Is God a part of my decision as to what to buy?
		4. **A modest heart will affect what you put on your body...

II.  A modest heart governs your appearance  (1 Tim 2:8-10)
	A.  Your inner person will be reflected on the outside
	B.  This passage is often misunderstand concerning modesty
		1.  Text is specifically not about underdressing, but overdressing
			a.  Costly garments, pearls, gold, braids
			b.  We usually do not think of overdressing as immodest
			c.  Problem:  Can flaunt who is wealthy, and shame poor
			d.  Note about braids:
				-  Need understand cultural context
				-  Braided hair was very elaborate, took many hours
				-  Average women did not braid, only richest did
				-  Problem not braids, but association with worldly 
		2.  But this is not a blanket condemnation of enhancing appearance
			a.  Text says to "adorn" yourself properly
				- What does it mean to "adorn"
				- Definition:  To decorate, make attractive 
				- Text does not say "Thou shalt not adorn thyself"
			b.  There are approved examples in the Bible of adornment
				- Prov 31:22 - Prov 31 woman wears fine clothing
				- Esther 2:8-12 - Esther did 12 months of beauty 
				- Song 1:10 - Woman in Song of Solomon adorned
				   with jewelry
			c.  This is not a condemnation of enhancing appearance
		3.  But the principle of modesty also applies to underdressing
			a.  This too can be a form of pride and arrogance
			b.  It calls attention to self as well
				- Hey, when you look good, you want people to see
				- Problem is when people see too much
			c.  Applies to both guys and girls
				- The girl that wears shorts or skirts too short
				- The guy working out wears shirt 2 sizes too small
				- Guy that wears no shirt, girl that wears tight clothes
				- Undergarments showing, etc. etc. etc.
	C.  ILL:  Who inspires your dress?
		1.  Watching a fashion show...
			a.  Fashion models, shows, reality shows, etc. popular
			b.  Fashion designers are NOT governed by modesty
			c.  They are the polar opposite of what we are talking about
				- They reflect a flamboyant, grandiose, pride, strut
				- They use nicer words, like sassy, feisty, & audacious
				- They often project a clearly false humility
				- Whether over or underdressed, price tag usually 
			d.  Next time you go to the mall, remember that 
		2.  Someone has suggested to me that Christians may be ignorant
			a.  They would not dress the way they did if they knew effect
				- If they knew in detail what guys were thinking
				- If they knew how guys devour you with their eyes
				- If they understood the struggle their Christian friends 
				  have with lust
				- If they understood how Satan is using them as bait 
				  to entice young men to sin with their thoughts
			b.  I have heard Christian guys in private talk about struggle
				- At Harding, guys talk about struggle they have
				- Struggle with keeping minds pure when female 
				  friends dress in tight clothes, revealing clothes
				- Put a strain on relationship with female friends 
				- Girls buy clothes that were in, were clueless
		3.  My sister - Shopped at the mall, young teen at the time
			a.  Found outfit, highlighted things that shouldn't be 
			b.  She couldn't believe how "good" she looked
			c.  Said, "Don't I look good in this?"  Dad said, "Yes, that is 
			     why you are not getting it."
			d.  It not hit her the effect it have on boys
				- She wanted to be attractive
				- But she didn't want boys to see her as an object
		4.  She has since then learned what modesty means
	D.  Appearance should be governed by a modest heart
		1.  Question:  Who inspires your dress?
		2.  Remember we are not of the world
			a.  People of the world will act worldly, I expect it
				- I am not shocked when they dress worldly
				- I am not self-righteously judgmental
				- I treat them as Christ would
			b.  Problem is when Christian people adopt their values
				- We are ambassadors, sent to the world
				- We are aliens - Yes, we are different
				- No, we not self-righteous, but gracious and holy 
		3.  Need to do modesty checks - graciously
			a.  Ask for modesty checks
			b.  Receive them graciously  

III.  Modesty is about the Gospel
	A.  How is this connected to the Gospel????
		1.  In context there is a theological, doctrinal foundation to all of this 
		2.  v.9 - "Likewise" points backward
		3.  v.8 - "Therefore" is a conclusion to what came before
		4.  What came before?
	B.  (1 Tim 2:3-7)
		1.  As Paul so often does, he prefaces his instruction with an 
		     appeal to the Gospel
		2.  Jesus, the mediator, gave himself as a ransom
		3.  THEREFORE - Be modest
			a. Modesty a reflection of our own death and resurrection
			b. We died to the world and its values
			c. Pride and arrogance replaced with humility and joy
			d. This is reflected in our very appearance
	C.  Jas 4:6 - God opposed to proud, but gives grace to the humble
		1.  When we obey the Gospel, the old man dies
		2.  Along with sensuality, immorality, etc. pride dies
		3.  The new man is raised up, we walk in newness of life
		4. Means that we exhibit, love, humility, kindness, true beauty
	D.  This is reflected in all of life, even in our appearance
		1.  Not only need to do modesty check, but a heart check
		2.  Am I reflecting my own pride and arrogance
			a.  Does my appearance say, "hey look at me?"
			b.  Do I strut my stuff?
		3.  Or, do I reflect the grace and beauty of our Lord?
			-  This is where real attractiveness is at

1.  Through the Gospel, we become attractive in the right way
	a.  First, through being adorned with "proper" clothing - Do Modesty check
	b.  Second, through the "hidden person of the heart" - Do Heart Check
2.  Have you obeyed the Gospel?  (inv)
3.  If you have, then you are being transformed from the inside out
	a.  You are no longer of this world, its values, fashions, etc.
	b.  Your citizenship is in Heaven, and it will show in your appearance


Small Group Notes:  A Modest Heart

Summary:  God desires modesty in his people, which begins in the heart and is in turn 
expressed in appearance and demeanor.  A Christian should be committed to modesty because 
it was demonstrated in our Lord, and because it is a positive reflection of the Gospel.

- What is the loudest or most unusual outfit you have ever seen?

Explore: 1 Tim 2:5-10, 1 Pet 3:1-4

1.  According to these passages, what would constitute immodest apparel?  Are the other kinds 
of immodest apparel that might not be directly addressed in this passage?

2.  What are the problems with immodest apparel?

3.  Does this passage condemn any kind of enhancement of personal appearance or person adornment?  
If not, then what constitutes proper and acceptable adornment?  How are these kinds of adornment 
superior to others?

4.  Modesty is obviously about more than merely outer appearance.  List and discuss the ungodly 
attitudes, character, virtues, etc. that are connected to immodesty.  Also list and discuss the 
attitudes, virtues, etc. of Christian character that are connected to modesty.


5.  Evaluate your own daily appearance, including your wardrobe.  In what ways are Christian 
character reflected in your appearance?   In what ways might un-Christian character be reflected 
in your appearance?

6.  What are some ways you can do a modesty check?  How is doing a heart check part of doing a 
modesty check?

7.  What did you learn from this lesson?  Did anything surprise you?