Lesson 13 – THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN’S SPIRITUAL WARDROBE – Part 2
“I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels” (Isa. 61:10).
So far, we have learned much about the wardrobes (physical clothing) of men and women in the Scriptures. We have seen where prophets wore rough clothing; kings’ children wore dainty clothing; harlots wore deceitful clothing and the poor were content just to have cloth to cover their bodies. All those examples were to get our minds ready to think about our clothing as Christian women—both our day-to-day physical dress and our spiritual clothing as the bride of Christ.
First, let us notice some bad examples in the scriptures of how women dressed—things we should avoid. Isaiah is the prophet who paints the picture of the women of his day. Consider the “daughters of Zion” and what their clothing tells about their character (Isa. 3:13-26). Isaiah shows them as they really are when he describes their utterly ridiculous attire. These self-centered people (men and women) have taken the spoil from the poor of their own nation. Instead of working to have in order to give to the poor (Eph. 4:28), they have made themselves rich at the expense of the poor. Not only that, but they have eaten up the vineyard and beaten the people to pieces—grinding the faces of the poor. How are these power-hungry women dressed and how do they behave? “Moreover, the LORD saith, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet: Therefore, the LORD will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the LORD will discover their secret parts” (Isa. 3:16-17).
Notice what kinds of things these proud women wore: tinkling ornaments on their feet, cauls, round tires (like the moon), chains, bracelets, mufflers, bonnets, ornaments on the legs, headbands, tablets and earrings. They also wore rings, nose jewels, changeable suits of apparel and mantles, wimples and crisping pins, glasses and fine linen. What more could be added? There were also hoods and vails (Isa. 3:18-23). We can assume they also added perfume to all this gaudy display because Isaiah says, “And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well-set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty” (Isa. 3:24). He goes on to tell them that their men shall fall by the sword and their mighty men in war. He warns that “…her gates shall lament and mourn; and she being desolate shall sit upon the ground.”
Another account of such women describes the pillows of all armholes (Eze. 13:18-20). These women were focused on their appearance and not on the heart as they dressed from day to day. 2 Peter 2:18-19 says, “For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that were clean escaped from them who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.”
The Christian woman will be clothed modestly as we read in 1Timothy 2:8-10, “I will 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; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.”
THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN’S BEAUTY IS INWARD (1 Pet. 3:1-4). Notice that God is concerned about the hearts of both men and women (1 Sam. 16:7). “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.
THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN WILL BE CLOTHED WITH RIGHTEOUSNESS. We put on our clothes a certain way. God has shown us how to ‘put on’ righteousness. We put on righteousness BY the process of faith causing us to work and thus becoming, (not just SEEMing, appearing, or simply being thought of as righteous). God says righteousness is BY faith (Rom. 3:22). “Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ…”) so we have to use faith to become righteous; in a similar way we get to the store BY a car or by bus.
LOOK AT THE way RIGHTEOUSNESS IS BY FAITH. “By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith” (Heb. 11:7).
Actually, ALL of Hebrews chapter 11 shows the WAY faith causes us to become righteous. We are given example after example of righteous men and women who acted on their faith to please God. Faith caused the people to FEAR God, HOPE for the reward, and thus to OBEY, WHICH IS righteousness, plain and simple. For clarity, read what the apostle James says about Abraham. Abraham’s righteousness came about BY what he did BECAUSE of his faith in God’s promises (James 2:19-24).
When I want to become a doctor, (which is a state of being one) I have to DO something to become that; I’m not automatically a doctor because I enter medical school. I am not automatically a champion because I enter a race; I have to obtain the championship BY striving lawfully and winning the crown. I am not automatically righteous because I simply profess that I have faith. True faith is obtained by hearing the words of God, and then doing them.
What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works (James 2:14-18).
The righteousness, which is by faith, is not all in our heads (or God’s imagination) like the emperor’s new clothes. It’s REAL! OUR HEARTS AND ACTIONS are really CHANGED, through the process of becoming like Christ (2 Pet 1:3-11.)
The faith that comes through hearing is INTENDED to cause us to change. That transformation, when it is completed, produces Christ likeness, righteousness, completeness in our hearts. If we are the servants of sin (by sinning) then our spiritual garments are moth eaten and defiled. If we overcome sin, then our spiritual garments are white & undefiled, and we are righteous.
This “clothing” with righteousness must be our hearts, minds, and actions, not just an imaginary righteousness that supposedly exists in the mind of God. There are lots of ways to prove it, but notice that:
- Scripture cannot conflict with itself or make itself meaningless (Mark 3:25; John 17:17) and the scripture is not pointless or vain (Isa. 55:11).
- Too many other scriptures become false, meaningless or pointless if this “clothing” is an imaginary righteousness. A handful, out of many of these, is: Titus 1:2; 1 John 4:17; 1 John 3:7; Matt. 25:31-46, etc. Therefore, this “clothing” cannot be something imaginary like the fairy tale about “The Emperor’s New Clothes.”
At this point some sister may feel she has been silent long enough and she will say, “But all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God,” referencing Romans 3:23 or Romans 5:12. It seems some people who want that crutch cannot abide the thought that Christians must, or even can, stop sinning. This is not about whether we have ever sinned or even about how bad our lives were before we became a Christian. This is about what we do after we repent, put off the old man and get the new mind (Rom. 6:6; Eph. 4:22-23; Col. 3:9-10).
The Lord said,“…HE THAT DOETH RIGHTEOUSNESS IS RIGHTEOUS, EVEN AS HE IS RIGHTEOUS”(1 John 3:7). That is how we put on righteousness and wear it. Some do not want to do what is necessary to wear the name of Christ and thus inherit as a true child. It’s much easier to continue in their comfortable sins and believe that God will just see them as righteous when they are not. Like the foolish emperor in the fairy tale, they believe that an imaginary “garment” of righteousness “covers” up the ugly sin underneath. It can’t be that way if 1 John 3:7 is true. “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous.”
We see David, Job, Isaiah, Malachi and the apostle Paul looking in that glass talked about in James and beholding themselves, not being satisfied until they behold the image of Christ. How is it possible to have any more beautiful and encouraging examples?
- Psalms 17:15—As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.
- Job 29:14—I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem.
- Isaiah 61:10—I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.
- Malachi 3:3—And he shall sit as a refiner and purifer of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness.
- Ephesians 4:24—And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
This robe of righteousness and Christ likeness is possible for each of us to attain, not through our own power, but through the power of God, who is able to change us.
For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen” (Eph. 3:14-21).
WOMEN OF THE WORLD, AND SOME WHO PROFESS CHRISTIANITY, HAVE GARMENTS THAT ARE MOTH EATEN. “Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten” (James 5:2). We should connect 2 Pet 1: 3, Rom 10:17 and 2 Tim 3:15-17 to show that the faith that comes through hearing is INTENDED TO CHANGE US—that’s its purpose. That change, when it is completed, is Christ likeness, righteousness, completeness. If we are the servants of sin (by sinning) then our garments are moth eaten and defiled. If we overcome sin, then our garments are white, undefiled, and we are righteous. If we are the servants of sin (by sinning according to our own lusts and pleasures) then we have NOT put on righteousness, and our garments are moth eaten, defiled, and filthy.
THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN’S GARMENTS ARE SCENTED WITH MYRRH, ALOES AND CASSIA. “Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. All thy garments smell of myrrh, and aloes, and cassia, out of the ivory palaces, whereby they have made thee glad” (Psa. 45:7-8).
THE CHRISTIAN WOMAN WILL WEAR THE WHOLE ARMOUR OF GOD. We see the language of battle applied to fighting against sin in this passage. Notice that the word stand is used for those who prevail or overcome. There will be a battle and conflict, but the Christian woman has genuine hope to win the fight if she puts on the armour called for in Ephesians 6.
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, THAT YE MAY BE ABLE TO STAND AGAINST THE WILES OF THE DEVIL. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, THAT YE MAY BE ABLE TO WITHSTAND IN THE EVIL DAY, AND HAVING DONE ALL, TO STAND. STAND THEREFORE, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints” (Eph. 6:10-18).
WHAT GREATER HOPE AND JOY CAN WE HAVE THAN THE FULFILLMENT OF THE PROMISES IN Revelation 3:18? “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.”