Dressing in Holiness

Allison Fawley   -  

I have been thinking about how God made the universe with a perfect Order that He structured into all of Creation, and how it can be seen in every part of our lives. The order that was perfect before Adam and Eve ate of the fruit in the Garden, but after that moment of disobedience was twisted and distorted by sin. I am continuously reminded of God’s promise to us that He will again restore the original Order, but until then, I know we are to be made ready for that perfection by the suffering and brokenness of the present world.

I often ask myself what living in a holy and pure way looks like practically. What would it look like if every aspect of our lives pointed to Christ’s redemptive work in our hearts? What if every outward and inward thing about us gave God glory? How we spend “free time”, the music we listen to, the movies we watch; even down to the way we dress and clothe our bodies. What would that kind of outward holiness look like?

Colossians 3:5: “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on the earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. … in these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.”

The “new self”, also called the new nature. We know how the new nature behaves- but what does it look like? I mean literally: how does the New Nature show in our physical nature?

It’s not a question many of us probably think about often. I don’t know about you, but I think I tend to separate my two “parts”, my spirit, and my body, when it comes to how I live. Allison Fawley April 27th, 2023 Although the two “parts” of my being are certainly distinct, they are both part of one person- me! Is it not double-minded of me to think that I can get away with glorifying God with one part of me and not the other?

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 lays it out quite plainly:

“Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”

The fallen world we live in is all about the physical: doing whatever will most please the flesh, what will satisfy physical wants in the here and now. As believers, I think one of the strongest tools we have to witness Christ’s redemptive work is through our bodies.

1 Peter 1:14-16 says, “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

We can bring glory to God in our bodies, our we can bring him dishonor. We can be obedient to the call to live in a “higher”, holy way, or we can disregard God’s command that He gives us as His children.

What would it look like to be “holy in all [our] conduct”? The way we dress, the speech we use- these are part of this “all”. If we dress, talk and carry ourselves like everyone else who lives in the world does, we are not living up to this high and holy calling!

If our language reflects our arrogant, selfish nature more than Christ, we are not living as holy children. If the clothes we dress in reflect our desire to be noticed and pleasing in the sight of others more than we want to be pleasing to God, we are not living as holy children. Allison Fawley April 27th, 2023 It will be difficult to live up to the high standards of conduct that God calls us to- but He equips us to be obedient. It is not possible in our own power, but we can be holy because of God’s power at work in and through us.

“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” -1 Peter 2:9