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Church Clothes

by Bradley Bannister

BradBanisterOne of the most frequent things that you hear when you invite somebody to come to a worship service or Bible class is: “I’d like to but I don’t have any “church clothes”. We have this notion that there are certain requirements regarding dressing up for “church”. A dress code if you will. Is the Almighty concerned with what we are wearing? Well He is, but not in the shallow, fleshly way that we view “church clothes”. James chapter 2 makes that abundantly clear to all who will read and pay attention. The dress code for the church is way different and way more important.

In Genesis chapter 3, we see the first of mankind’s interactions with God concerning our clothing. When Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit and realized their nakedness, they made loincloths with fig leaves. We get the idea that this wouldn’t cut it from the fact that the Lord made them clothing of skins in verse 21. This illustrates a very important concept to us. Their feeble attempt to cover their nakedness was not sufficient; it was the Almighty that provided appropriate clothing for them.  Man can only muster fig leaf BVDs on his own, the Almighty gets it right! This is an external, fleshly example of a concept that has a much deeper and important spiritual meaning.

Matthew 22 tells us about a wedding feast, and everyone was invited.  A guest we read about in verses 11-13 is inappropriately attired and suffers the consequences. The type of garment talked about here, in the physical sense, was provided free of charge to the wedding guests. That was the custom in first century Palestine. A wedding guest wasn’t required to be dressed to the nines in expensive clothing they might not be able to afford. It was a required garment provided by the wedding party. All an attendee had to do was simply put it on.  This parable of course has a spiritual meaning. The Almighty is still providing the appropriate attire for His people!

Romans 13:14 tells us about the required clothing that the Almighty so graciously provides, Jesus Christ.  Jesus is all important! He is the crux of the matter, the author and perfecter of our faith! The Messiah Himself tells us in John 14:6 that there is no way to the Father except through Him! Outside of Jesus Christ there is no hope! If we are not clothed in Christ we are indeed naked! We are not appropriately attired if we do not have on our wedding garment, our “church clothes” if you will.  That means we are not acceptable to the Almighty and will be cast into outer darkness! No matter how we may reason or try to clothe ourselves in the best schemes of our own making to save ourselves, we will still be walking around in fig leaf BVDs, because we are not clothed in the garment that the Almighty provides for us. And the required garment is provided to is free of charge! We simply have to get dressed! Galatians 3:27 tells us that all who are immersed into Christ have put on Christ. This is important because, as we know, outside of Christ there is no salvation! No hope!

We are not in a fashion show when we come together for worship or Bible class. The external clothing is of little importance. In fact, James tells us it is sinful to place the finery of external clothing as a priority. The eternal is infinitely more important than the external.  We should not be concerned with what people wear to “church”. We should be very concerned if we or someone we know is not clothed in Christ! And being clothed in Christ is a 24/7 365 need.  We need to remain in Christ by walking in the light as 1 John 1:7 tells us and remain faithful until death as Revelation 2:10 tells us. Don’t place your faith in external trappings. Don’t count on man-made schemes to save you. Put on the garment of salvation that the Almighty has provided for us by putting on Jesus Christ! Otherwise we are just walking around in fig leaf BVDs.  Naked and lost.


Bradley Bannister lives in Mangum, OK


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The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 10:10