How the Christian Should Dress

1 Corinthians

How the Christian Should Dress

November 6th, 1955 @ 10:50 AM

1 Corinthians 11:1-16

Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you. But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels. Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God. Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering. But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.
Print Sermon
Downloadable Media
  
Play Audio

Show References:
ON OFF

HOW THE CHRISTIAN SHOULD DRESS

Dr. W. A. Criswell

1 Corinthians 11:1-16

11-6-55 10:50 a. m.

 

 

And then us now as we begin in the eleventh chapter of the Book of First Corinthians, and may the Lord help me.  I never had such a passage to preach on in my life.  The title of the subject is How Women Ought to Dress.  Can you imagine a preacher in his right mind, with all of his faculties, getting up and preaching on something like that?  But we set ourselves to preaching through the Bible, and we haven’t skipped any part yet.   And now that I come to the eleventh chapter of the first Corinthian letter, I never had so much temptation to skip over something in my life as I did to skip over this.  But I said, "Dear Lord who helps the ignorant and the foolish, remember me."  So we’re going to start.  We’re going to start.

Now, it is divided.  All of this section here in the first Corinthian letter from the eleventh chapter through the fourteenth chapter, the letter in this middle part concerns how to conduct your service. 

They were having problems there in the church: how to do, how the women ought to do, how the men ought to do, how to observe the ordinances, how to deport yourself in the service of God in the public worship.  Now, that’s what all these chapters are about here, 11 through 14, and the first half of this concerns women’s dress. 

Now, we’re going to read it.  Then, we’re going back over it and look at it.  Then, I’m going to do my best to, as the Lord shall help me, to make a few feeble remarks concerning it.  And if you don’t have a pastor here next Sunday morning, why, you’ll know what’s happened to me. 

Now it begins, First Corinthians, eleventh chapter: "Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ" [1 Corinthians 11:1].  And that verse belongs up there at the end of the preceding chapter.  Now, he starts:

 

Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you. 

But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God. 

Every man praying or prophesying, with his head covered, dishonoureth his head. 

But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven. 

For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. 

For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 

For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. 

Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man. 

For this cause ought the woman to have power over her head because of the angels. 

Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord. 

For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God. 

Now, judge in yourselves: Is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered? 

Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him? 

But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering. 

But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God. 

 [1 Corinthians 11:2-16]

Selah.  Amen.  End.  Finis.  Q. E. D.

 

 

Now, the next verse, he starts talking about the Lord’s Supper. 

All right.  Now, we’re going back and look at it and see what Paul has to say.  First, he starts off with a word of commendation.  He says, "My brethren, my people over there in the church at Corinth, I want to commend you because, for the most part, for almost all of it, you have kept the paradoseis" [from 1 Corinthians 11:2].  You have it translated here "ordinances" – paradoseis.  You have kept all of those instructions: the rituals, doctrinal, the ordinances, the rules for the divine worship, how to care for a church in decency and in order.  That word paradoseis includes everything – all of the traditions, the instructions, the rules that he had given them. 

Now, he says, "I want to commend you.  For the most part, you have done wonderfully good, splendidly."  But then they had a little trouble there in Corinth.  But now he’s going to speak here of the most trivial thing that you could ever think of.  He’s going to talk about a woman’s headdress – what she ought to wear on her head when she goes to divine worship, when she goes to church. 

But he will do this in the most unusual way.  Before he begins talking about it, talking about that problem there in Corinth – before he begins, he will start off with some great doctrinal foundation upon which his rule for the practice of the people is based.  "I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God" [1 Corinthians 11:3].  Now, he starts off with a tremendous doctrinal principle before he begins to apply it to that little old triviality of how a woman ought to dress and especially what she ought to have on her head when she goes to church. 

Now, may I pause there and point out also a great principle here in the Bible?  And it is this: that to God, there apparently are no trivialities.  In God’s sight, there’s not any big and there’s not any little.  It is just all under God’s eye and in God’s care.  The Lord has as much care about the insignificancies and the trivialities and the inconsequentials of the life of His redeemed as He has about all the big, overwhelming things that storm us in life.  To God, they’re all alike.  Up and up and up or down and down and down, it’sjust the same with Him. 

I find that in God’s created universe, the same great principles that shape our globe are the identical principles that shape a drop of water, a raindrop.  The same minute and infinite care that you will find in God’s vast, immeasurable solar systems, you will find in God’s electronic world: the electron and the neutron swinging around a nucleus.  You don’t find any difference in God’s handiwork in the infinitesimal than what you find in the infinite – the vast and the immeasurable. 

It’s the same thing about God’s care and work and supervision of us.  No matter what it is – how you dress, for example, and what you wear – it comes under God’s eye and God’s supervision.  So, when Paul starts out here to talk about this thing, he starts off on a great doctrinal principle.  "First, I want you to know," he says, "that the head of every man is Christ; the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God" [from 1 Corinthians 11:3].

Now, he has an order there: God, Christ, the man, and the woman.  Well, you look at that and say, "That’s a hard thing, now."  Well, no.  First, this man here that he’s going to talk about has to be a Christian man.  He’s a man who is subservient to Christ, obedient to the Lord.  He’s a Christian.  Then, this woman here who belongs to that man, who is his wife, that woman there is not degraded by belonging to that man just like the man is not degraded by belonging to Christ. 

The man is elevated.  He finds his noblest perspective and his greatest faculties in the Lord Jesus Christ.  So a woman will find her dignity and her place in the family, in the social order, and in the community according to the worth and merit of her husband.  For her to follow and love a great and good and worthy man does not degrade her no more than for the man to love and follow and be obedient to Christ.  So he has that order here: "The head of the man is Christ; the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God" [from 1 Corinthians 11:3].

Now, having laid down that great principle, then he begins about this thing in the church there in Corinth.  Now:

 

Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head. 

Every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even one as if she were shaven –

as if she’d cut off her hair –

For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered. 

 [1 Corinthians 11:4-6]

 

Now, there were two great pieces, parts, in primitive worship in those ancient Christian churches.  One was prayer and the other was to witness – to testify, to speak for the Lord.  Here it is translated "prophesying."  That’s just a little simple word called phēmi propheō, "to speak out," to speak out – not silently, but to speak out – to testify, to witness, we would say.  Now, in the church there in Corinth – that ancient, primitive group – they had those two things mostly: they prayed together, and they encouraged one another in witness and in testimony. 

Now, universal in the ancient Greek world: every woman who had any dignity and any social acceptability, when she appeared in public, she wore a shawl around her shoulders; and when she stepped out into the street and into the public view, she pulled a corner of the shawl over her head and was covered.  That was the social, acceptable thing to do universally in the ancient Greek world.  And if it was a shame for a woman to shave her head – and there’s not a woman in the world anywhere but that if she cut off her hair would be abjectly ashamed.  She would feel it.  If it is a shame, he says, for a woman to cut off her hair and to shave her head – if that is a disgraceful thing – then, says Paul, in that Greek world in which you live, it is likewise a disgraceful thing for a woman to go uncovered [1 Corinthians 11:5].  That was universal in that day and in that Greek world.  And for the woman to appear without her head covered was to proclaim her shame.  She was a disreputable woman. 

Now, Paul says that when you Christian women appear, you are to appear according to the conventionalities of your sex and of your day and of your time.  And when it is the custom for the woman to cover her head – and to have her head not covered proclaims her a disreputable woman – she is not in Christian liberty to be flagrant of that social custom, but she is to abide by it. 

Now, he continues.  As for a man, that rule does not apply to him. 

 

For a man ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man. 

For the man is not of the woman; but the woman of the man. 

Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.

 [1 Corinthians 11:7-9]

 

Now, the first thing I see there is that Paul believed the Genesis record literally.  It wasn’t an allegorical fable.  It wasn’t an idle campfire tale repeated by all those Bedouin tribes – not to Paul.  It was the Word of God.  Paul believed that the Genesis record that God created man in God’s image [Genesis 1:27] and that God created the woman out of the man [Genesis 2:20-23] – Paul believed that word by word, syllable by syllable.

Now, he says here – and it’s a marvelous thing – he says:"Forasmuch as the man is the image and glory of God" [1 Corinthians 11:7].  These scientists sometimes scare us.  They want to frighten us with their supposed learned infidelity.  I read this week.  I read this very week – I’s looking through a book, and it happened to be placed in my hands.  And the author of the book was a great astronomer, and he was talking about how the universe looked out there if you stood on Saturn or Neptune or Pluto or way on one of those stars.  And he was belittling the fact that in some of those places, the earth would appear as an infinitesimal, tiny speck of dim light that arose above the horizon of the planet on which you happen to be standing – maybe two degrees – and then went down again, and maybe appear once every so often in a stellar cycle. 

Well, he was making fun of this planet and of the concern and seriousness about which mankind looks upon themselves.  And they take that – that astronomical infinitesimal thing we call the earth and the little creature on it called man – and because of his great, immeasurable size all around him, that makes this, oh, that the man nothing at all and that God would look upon him is absolutely ridiculous. 

Now, this is the truth of the Lord: God created an ocean [Genesis 1:1, 6-7, 9].  That’s right.  God created these planets [Colossians 1:16], and that’s right.  God created these vast, immeasurable stellar distances [Isaiah 44:24; Zechariah 12:1], and that’s right.  But there’s not a single one of them that bears in it the image of God Himself!  Not a one.   Not a one.  If God has created five million oceans, they’re still just bodies of water!  If God created five hundred trillion universes, they’re still just great masses of material, molecules of finite stuff!  That’s all!  They can’t love God.  How could an ocean love God?  A planet can’t think God’s thoughts after Him.  How could a planet think God’s thoughts?  An ocean, a mountain range, a star couldn’t make up a decision to love and follow God. 

The Bible says, and it is the truth of the living Word, that God made in His image and in His likeness the soul of a man [Genesis 1:27].   And a man can love God [Matthew 22:37].  However the great universe may be around us and about us, above us and beneath us, it is the man that God made that God loves [Psalm 8:3-9; 1 John 4:19].  His care, His soul, His hands, His heart are ever toward us [Psalm 139:1-18; Luke 12:6-7].  We are in His image [Genesis 1:27].

And the woman is the glory of the man [1 Corinthians 11:7].  If he is a king, she is a queen.  She reflects his dignity and his affluence and his social standing.  All that he is will be reflected in her.  That is the Word of the Lord.  God made it that way, and it is wonderful and blessed and precious according to His infinite will. 

Then He says, "For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels" [1 Corinthians 11:10].  And, dear people, I have looked high and low, up and down, back and forth.  I have sifted through everything I know to sift through, and I still don’t know what that means, and I don’t know what to tell you.  I don’t know what to tell you.  There are three hard verses in the Bible, three hard ones that tax the scholarship and ingenuity of every theological scholar that ever lived, and this is one of them:"For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head" [1 Corinthians 11:10].  That very word "power," exousia, is a strange term to use.  The covering for her head was a sign of power, her authority, and she ought to have that exousia – the covering on her head – because of the angels, because of the angels [1 Corinthians 11:10]. 

Some fellows study that.  They say, "Well, that means the pastor of the church, and the officers of the church, and the deacons of the church."And some others say, "No, the word ‘angel’ means messenger" – that’s what it means literally, "messenger" – and on account of visitors in the church.  And others say it means the angels just like the angels of glory.  When you come together in the church house, why, the Lord is there invisibly, and the angels are there invisibly.  So on account of their presence, the woman ought to be dressed just as she ought to be dressed. 

It’s the same kind of an idea as if she were in the presence of the court of England.  She would have to be dressed just so in order to be presented to the queen or the king.  So when we come to church, we ought to be dressed just so because we are appearing before God and Christ and the angels.  That’s all I know to say about that.  That’s all.  And uh, let’s go on.  Let’s go on real fast.

"Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.  For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God" [1 Corinthians 11:11-12].

He says, "Now, don’t get to quarreling about the man’s place and the woman’s place.  They have equally a place where they complement one another.  They are made for one another.  They are like two hemispheres that bleed white when you pull them apart."  There is a harmony in the nature that God has made, the nature of the world.  There is a harmony in the nature of grace.  God made it.   Jesus Christ was born of a woman.  He was made of the seed of the woman [Genesis 3:15; Galatians 4:4]. A man had no part in the making of the Lord Jesus Christ [Luke 1:34-35; Matthew 1:18-25]. 

And they mutually complement one another.  You can’t have a man without a woman, and you can’t have a woman without a man.  They are all, he says, one in God [1 Corinthians 1:11-12]. 

Then he turns back to that: "Now, judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?" [1 Corinthians 11:13] – without a covering on her head.  "Does not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?" [1 Corinthians 11:14].The only men who ever wore long hair, for the most part, were Greek fops and those English cavaliers, and they were accepted by the people as dandies and effeminate.  Men don’t have long hair.  It’s a shame unto them.  They just don’t wear long hair.  God never made it that way. 

"But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering" [1 Corinthians 11:15].  Paul is appealing to nature itself there.  He is saying that even nature made it for a woman to have a covering on her head.  Her hair is more luxurious and more beautiful and more capable of being gloriously adorned and arranged than a man’s hair. 

All you look for in a man is just does he have hair, does he not.  It could be pink or green or anything else.  Doesn’t matter about a man’s hair.  Does he have it or does he not?  That’s all, and it doesn’t matter much either way.  But a woman’s hair – ah!.  Is it turning gray?  Then it must be dyed.   Is it brittle?  Then it must have brushings and oil rubbed into it and, oh, all of those things.  And that’s fine; that’s fine.  The glory of a woman, Paul says, is her hair – her beautiful hair [1 Corinthians 11:15]. 

Then he cuts off all discussion: "Now, if any man seem to be contentious . . ." [1 Corinthians 11:16].  If he doesn’t like this – if he’s quarrelsome and querulous and cantankerous and obstreperous and incorrigible, why, just tell him we don’t have custom strains in the church.  If any man seem to be contentious, and he doesn’t like this, then he just going to have to reconcile himself because that’s the way it is.  "We have no such custom, neither the churches of God" [1 Corinthians 11:16].

Now, the remarks that I’m going to make.  What was the trouble there in Corinth?  This was the trouble.  The preaching of the gospel of Christ in the ancient Roman world was the most subversive thing that the civilized earth had ever heard.  The new ideas of the Christian faith were overwhelming and absorbing.  Those new ideas were such as the earth had never, never heard before.  Those Christians were taught to look upon themselves, to look upon God, to look upon their neighbors, to look upon their families and children, to look upon everything in a new and a different light.  Old things had passed away for them with old will, and all things had become new [from 2 Corinthians 5:17]. 

For example, think how it first appeared to them and to their ears when they first heard the doctrine of equality [Ephesians 6:9; Colossians 4:1], a world that was half slave and half master; when they heard the preaching that an emperor was as accountable to God as a slave [Romans 3:19; Philippians 2:10-11]; when they heard the preaching that, in Christ, there wasn’t any barbarian, there wasn’t any Scythian, there wasn’t any Greek or Roman, there wasn’t any bond or free, there wasn’t any male or female [Galatians 3:28].  We were all accountable unto God for himself [2 Corinthians 5:10].  And we are just one in Christ [1 Corinthians 12:12-14], and we’re brothers and sisters in Him [Matthew 12:-50]. 

Think how that thing must have sounded.  Think how it must have dawned in the heart and soul of a barbarian when he thought, "I’ll never have entrance into Roman citizenship.  I will never have a mighty entrance into the commonwealth of Greek literature, but God loves me, and I’m an heir of the King.  And even in my barbarous and untutored speech, I can command the ear of the Most High."  Think what this gospel must have meant to him. 

Think what it must have meant to the slave when it dawned upon him as he was galled by his chains and as his soul sank into hopeless sadness.  Think what it meant when he thought and remembered that he was a citizen, free in the kingdom of God, and the Lord had rescued him, and the Lord had redeemed him, and the Lord hadn’t forgotten him [Ephesians 6:5-8]. 

And think what this gospel meant to women – to women, downtrodden women.  She was no longer, according to Christ, a man’s tool.  She was no longer a man’s toy.  She was no longer a man’s slave [1 Peter 3:7].  But she was, in Christ, a soul accountable for herself [John 8:11], and she was elevated and raised up. 

I say, think how those new ideas appeared to those people when they first heard them.  For every idea of the Christian faith was subversive to the principles upon which the ancient, ancient heathen world had been built. 

And, now, to apply here to these women, especially.  In the Greek world, no woman could be initiated into the mysteries of the Greek gods, not a one.  Just like no woman can be initiated into the Masonic Lodge – the woman is shut out – so it was in the mysteries of the ancient Greek religions.  The woman was shut out.  And in some of those great faiths that almost overwhelmed the ancient world, like Mithra, which is an unusual thing – a name to you.  Yet there was a time when it looked as if the entire world would follow Mithraism – the god Mithra that I don’t have time to describe.  No woman could worship Mithra.  She was shut out altogether. 

But this new faith – this Christian religion, this doctrine of Jesus liberated her from her fetters.  It elevated the woman.  It gave her a place equal with all mankind as she appeared before God and as she worshiped the Lord [Luke 8:1-3, 10:38-42]. 

All right.  This is the thing that happened.  Under that unusual and marvelous doctrine of the elevation of motherhood, the elevation of the wife, the elevation of the girl, the elevation of the bride, the elevation of the woman – under that strange and unusual but marvelous doctrine of God’s care for a woman as such, why, some of those women there in Corinth said, "Listen, we’re not bound by conventionalities any longer.  We are absolutely free.  We shall cast aside all of the old customs, and we’re going out and live according to the liberty and we’re going to dress according to the freedom of our new faith in the Lord Jesus Christ." 

And Paul writes here, and he says, "No.  A woman is still a woman even though she becomes a Christian.  And whatever the conventionalities according to the day and the time and the civilization in which you live, you are to observe those conventions even though you are a Christian woman." 

And when you go around this world, those conventions are so different.  Take this thing of trousers and skirts.  In some countries men wear skirts and the women wear trousers – those big loose things like they wear in the Orient.  In other places, the men wear trousers and the women wear skirts.  And for one to be dressed in one country, indecorous as far as being dressed properly in another country.  Paul says that according to the Spirit of Jesus, the woman is to dress according to the customs and the conventions of the social group, the society, the order, the civilization, in which she lives [1 Corinthians 9:19-23].

You’re not to flout it because of your freedom in Christ [Galatians 5:13-14].  You’re not to disassociate yourself from it, but you are rather to be bound by it according to the customs of your day and your time.  If it is the custom, according to the world in which you live, for a woman to wear a headdress when she goes out in public, the Christian woman ought to wear a headdress when she goes out in public.  If for her to cast that headdress away would be to proclaim her disgraceful – a woman of shame and of social outcast – she ought not to cast away that headdress flouting that custom among the people.  We ought to dress according to the social group in which we live. 

Now, may I briefly say a word about dressing according to the social custom of the day, the age, the culture, the civilization in which we live?  Dress is always symbolic – always.  Even those few, few tribes in the world who do not wear clothes, you will find that they wear something.  There are little old social customs and social traditions that guide them.  That is the exceptional tribe, an infinitesimally small percentage of mankind.  The great host of mankind, and, I say, even including them, will wear clothes. 

I say, it is symbolic.  Clothing is symbolic of our fallen state.  There’s not anybody in this earth but that is ashamed of his nakedness.  I am not saying he is ashamed of all of the parts of his body.  There’s not anybody in this earth but that is ashamed of a part of his body, his nakedness.  He is identified with the soil and the ground out of which God took him and back to which God is sending him [Genesis 3:19].  And, I say, in the beginning, as of now, and until the Lord comes again, there will be a covering for the human body [Genesis 3:21; James 2:15-17].  It is a sign and a symbol of our sin, of our shame, of our nakedness [Revelation 3:18].  Adam and Eve made themselves little aprons of fig leaves [Genesis 3:7] when the Lord came to visit them in the cool of the evening [Genesis 3:8].  That sense that Adam and Eve responded to in covering themselves is a universal response to our self-consciousness.  Clothing is a symbol of our fallen state. 

Clothing is a symbol of our sex.  We are made different.  A man is made thus and so, and a woman is made thus and so.  And anywhere in the world that they live, there is clothing for a man, his body and his build; there is clothing for a woman, [her] body and [her] build.  And it is ridiculous, silliness, and inanity to try to escape the great barrier of God that He placed between how a woman is made and how a man is made.  Their clothing proclaims the difference that God created in His workmanship in the two [Deuteronomy 22:5]. 

Clothing is an emblem.  It is a proclamation of a man’s station, what he does.  A soldier is dressed in a certain way and gradations in their soldiering.  A miner is dressed in a certain way.  A minister is dressed in a certain way.  There are ways for a minister to dress.  If I had a beautiful wedding down here in one of these beautiful chapels or in this great auditorium, and I came dressed out in a football uniform, the people would say, "Our pastor has lost his reason.  He is mad!  He has no sense of what is apropos, of propriety."  If I were up here in a bathing suit, I’d be so self-conscious I would nearly die.  You can’t escape those things.  They are God-made.  The way you dress is a part of the way God presents you in life.  There are times to dress one way, times to dress another way. 

And, then, my last thought, and it’s according to the Word.  We always are to dress, we who are Christians, we always are to dress in keeping with our Christian profession.  We are not to dress in such a way as some people dress.  We are not to deport ourselves in some ways as some people deport themselves. 

A woman who goes out into the public and dresses in such a way and deports herself in such a way as to call attention to things about her that are sacred between her and somebody to whom she would give her soul and heart and life and body is to be cheap.  It’s to be public.  It’s to belong to everybody who would like to look and to share, and that is not in the will of God [Matthew 5:28].  You are to dress according to your Christian commitment in the Lord [1 Timothy 2:9-10]. 

When you come to church, there’s a certain way you ought to dress.  When you go out on the street, there’s a certain way you ought to dress.   When you appear in public, there is a certain way you ought to dress.  And, as Paul says, even nature itself placed on the woman a glory in her hair [1 Corinthians 11:14-15]: a covering as though in that itself there was to be a modesty about her, a retirement about her that made her doubly sacred and doubly precious to those who knew her intimately and loved her with heart and soul–not cheap, not public, not everybody’s property, not on a calendar – but you, sacred to God and to somebody to whom the Lord has given you in faith and in love. 

Dear people, that’s the best I can do.  May the Lord be gracious to us and teach us how to walk with decorum, how to dress with acceptability, how to speak in the Spirit and the heart and the language and the patience of Jesus, and how so to give our lives to Christ that in public, in private – here, there, wherever God shall send us – He shall have us and glorify His name through our dedication. 

Now, as I said long time ago, I felt in my heart that if I try to preach the Book – maybe make a lot of mistakes in interpreting it, maybe very feebly present it where it ought to have been presented powerfully and wonderfully – but I felt if I’d do my best to read the Book and to preach its message, no matter what the subject, that God would honor it and bless it – that it all was inspired.  It belongs to Him.  It’s His revelation for us.  And no matter what the word or what the message of that particular day, if it was of God and if I had been faithful the best I could in reading the Word and trying to present it to the people, God would honor it.  So, as every other time, we’re praying again: "Lord, as we tried faithfully to honor the Word and to present the Book, Lord, seal it now: somebody give his heart to Thee, somebody put his life here in the fellowship of the church.  ‘Pastor, here’s the whole family of us.  Here we come, and here we are.’"

I asked Deacon Shepherd, "How many joined the church this morning?"  He said seven joined at this eight-thirty service, and one was a family – precious family came.  You, if God bids you, you come.  "Here I am, pastor, loving the Lord in my heart, best I know how, giving my life to His Word to be obedient, to be in the church with you to work and to pray."  As God shall say, as God shall lead, you come, you come, while we stand and sing. 

HOW THE CHRISTIAN SHOULD DRESS

Dr. W. A. Criswell

1 Corinthians 11:1-16

11-6-55

 

I.          Introduction

A.  They were having problems in the church

B.  Chapters 11-14 concern how to conduct your service

C.  First half concerns women’s dress

 

II.         What Paul has to say

A.  Begins with a word of commendation(1 Corinthians 11:2)

B.  Doctrinal ground for practical instruction which follows(1 Corinthians 11:3)

1.  The order – God, Christ, the man, the woman

C.  Praying, testifying two main parts of primitive worship(2 Corinthians 11:4-5)

1.  Appear in public worship as also according to established custom

a. Among Greeks it was custom for women to appear in public with head covered

D. Paul believes Genesis, word by word(1 Corinthians 11:7-9)

1.  The woman the glory of man

E.  Don’t know what verse 10 means

F.  Don’t quarrel about man’s place and woman’s place(1 Corinthians 11:11)

G.  Even nature made it for a woman to have a covering on her head(1 Corinthians 11:13-15)

H.  He cuts off further discussion(1 Corinthians 11:16)

 

III.        Observations

A.  The trouble in Corinth – the preaching of the gospel the most subversive thing the civilized earth had ever heard

1.  Christian religion released flood of new ideas

a. Equality before God – what it meant to the slave, the woman

B.  In Greek religion, women excluded from the mysteries – not so in Christ

1.  So some laid aside convention

C.  Paul says a woman is still a woman, and should observe the conventions

D.  Dress is symbolic

1.  Of our fallen state

2.  Of our sex

3.  Of place, station

4.  Of character, sentiment – becomes Christians to dress in keeping with spirit of Christ