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The Beauty of Holiness

Kameron DeVasher

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Kameron DeVasher

Director of Sabbath School & Personal Ministries, Michigan Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church

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  • September 13, 2014
    11:00 AM
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2:02 Today we will be looking at the Biblical concept of how we adorn ourselves from Scripture. Before we begin any study of God’s Word, of course, we begin with a word of prayer and then we’ll dive right into our study. Let’s bow our head.

02:15 Heavenly Father, thank so much for another Sabbath day. Thank you that we can be here together as a church family and now as we turn our attention to the study of your Word we ask that you would send the Holy Spirit to teach us all things as you promised you will for we pray it in Jesus’ name. Amen.

02:37 Please turn to Ezekiel 28:12 speaking of the great controversy we’re going to dive to one of those texts that gives us a behind the scenes look of the fall of Lucifer in the beginning of what we now see in our lives as this great struggle between good and evil; between Christ and His enemy. We see the Lord’s description of Lucifer. We can tell that it’s Lucifer since it is speaking about things that would only apply to him. Ez. 28:12 Scripture reads “Son of man, take up a lamentation for the king of Tyrus,” —and again this is talking to the power behind the earthly power— “and say to him, Thus says the Lord God; you were the seal of perfection full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.” —notice this is speaking after the fact, saying you were those things; implying that now you are not. But in the beginning you were the seal of perfection full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.

03:47 “You were in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering,” —notice the order and the sequence of the list. All the things listed are in little groups of three— “the sardius, topaz, and diamond, the beryl, onyx and jasper, the sapphire, the turquoise, and the emerald, with gold: the workmanship of your timbrels and your pipes were prepared for you on the day that you were created. You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you;” —some versions say for I ordained you, I set you apart for this particular position and post— “you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, ‘till iniquity was found in you.”

04:38 And it lists off several different ways that this creature, this Lucifer, this great exalted one, was perfect. And it mentions perfect in wisdom; perfect in beauty. And it outlines actually how he was ordained. Adorned and how he was ordained to ministry. It lists off and mentions the timbrels and pipes. His voice was melodious. He had this beautiful voice; beautiful on the outside; full of wisdom but according to Scripture, “iniquity was found in you.”

05:09 Ez. 28:16 “By the abundance of your trading you became filled with violence within, and you sinned: therefore I cast you as a profane thing out of the mountain of God: and I destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the fiery stones.” —Here was the heart of the issue; verse 17— “Your heart was lifted up” —was he in an exalted position already? Yes, the Lord had ordained him to this covering cherub. Of course your picture in your mind goes to the Ark of the Covenant with those two angels that cover the Shekinah glory, that work right in the very presence of God. He was set to that post but apparently, his heart was lifted up even farther. 

05:52 “Your heart was lifted up” —why? — “because of your beauty,” —in this context is it wrong for Lucifer to have been beautiful? No, God Himself had established beauty. God loves beauty. But what happened with this individual? The position, all the different perfections, all the wisdom, all the gifts, and yes, the outward appearance had gone to his own head; and it says— “you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor: I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, that they might gaze at you.”

06:30 This is Lucifer as the covering cherub appointed to a particular position in the courts of Heaven. Apparently, he was dressed beautifully by the Lord’s Own doing. Compare that now not to Ezekiel 28 but to Exodus 28.

06:49 Exodus 28 when the Lord established the priesthood on the earth. Notice some striking parallels between Ezekiel 28 and Exodus 28. God now is setting Aaron and his sons apart for the position of priests. In Aaron’s case the high priest, the representative of the people before God. Ex. 28:1 “Now take Aaron your brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister to me as priest, and Aaron’s sons, Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. And you shalt make holy garments for Aaron your brother” —and it has two purposes— “for glory and for beauty.” —Were these suppose to be drapes that had no color? No, no, no —be beautiful for glory and for beauty. Specifically dress them. He set them apart and dressed them. Skip down to verse 40 we see it repeated.— “For Aaron’s sons you shalt make tunics, and you shalt make sashes for them, and you shalt make hats for them, for glory and beauty.” There was a particular uniform they were to wear for glory and for beauty. On this uniform there was a thing called the breastplate. 

08:31 Ex. 28:15 “You shalt make the breastplate of judgment artistically woven according to the workmanship of the ephod you shalt make it; of gold, blue, purple, and of scarlet thread, and fine woven linen, you shalt make it. It shall be doubled into a square; a span shall be its length, and a span shall be its breadth. And you shall put settings of stones in it,” —so, apparently it was golden; this thing that was going on top, a square, a breastplate; but in it should be stones notice, in little groups of threes, the types of stones— “the first row shall be a sardius, a topaz, and an emerald. The second row shall be a turquoise, a sapphire, and a diamond. ” —the third row is different than the one seen in Ezekiel— “And the third row a jacinth, an agate, and amethyst. And the fourth row a beryl, and an onyx, and a jasper” —for the exception of that third row, honestly I’m not sure why the difference. There is a striking similarity down to the types of stones, the sequence of stones, the number of them and the rows. This priest was to be dressed basically the same way as Lucifer was dressed in the courts of Heaven. Lucifer, of course, was appointed to an holy position, an holy office just as the high priest was to be appointed here on the earth. But look at verse 36.

10:04 After it describes more of the clothing, the whole thing in Exodus 28 is about the clothing he’s supposed to wear but notice the one thing in all the chapter that is big and bold and in all caps. Ex. 28:36 “You shalt also make a plate of pure gold, and engrave on it, like the engraving of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD.” —the purpose of the priest was to represent God before the people and to represent the people to God, a mediator. So all of this glory and all of this beauty that the clothing represented was not to show off the priest but it was to show forth the glory of God. So it literally had in big letters HOLINESS TO THE LORD. This is not something we are to take home, and wear it, and flaunt it like o, yeah do you notice my high position? Do you like my clothes? Look at those stones— no, no, no! The purpose was to serve a holy function and get the people’s mind not onto them but onto the Lord. But of course, we recall what happened to Lucifer in that same position? It went to his head; corrupted his wisdom for the sake of his beauty.

11:15 When Christ wanted to come to the earth —of course, all the priesthood represents Jesus Christ. When Christ came to the earth, he did not come dressed in this way. In fact, we go to the book of Isaiah and it shows us exactly how he came, what was his physical form?  Yes, it was human but beyond that what do we know about his physical makeup? 

11:38 Isa. 53:1, 2 a rhetorical question is asked “Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he” —prophetically speaking of Jesus Christ to come, he — “shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and” —notice it’s not a big blossoming beautiful tree, a bush or shrub but a tender plant in fact, — “as a root out of a dry ground: he has no form nor comeliness; and when we see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.” —Does that mean that no one liked Jesus? No, but why did they like him; because he was so gorgeous and splendid and handsome and good-looking? No. It doesn’t say that he was grotesquely deformed or anything like that: but apparently, his beauty was not an outward appearance that you could say o, look at him! He must be the Son of God! Look at his bearing! His grandness! No, no, no. Apparently, he had no beauty, no form of comeliness that we should desire him; but, people of course did desire him. He is the Desire of Ages. What was so desirable about Christ? It was his character. Who he was on the inside shining out. And if we go to the book of Philippians, the apostle Paul uses that Christ-like humility as the template for Christian thinking, for Christian attitude.

13:15 Philip. 2:5 we are instructed “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus:” —and it describes what is that mind of Christ— “Who, being in the form of God,” —Christ is God, yes? Yes, of course!— “did not consider it robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation,” —Christ did not come seeking to be the biggest, the best, the brightest; he didn’t want to have a reputation in fame, it says he made himself of no reputation— “taking the form of a bond servant and coming in the likeness of men: and being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”

14:27 So looking at Christ in his humility, his condescension, even though he had every right to be praised for being God, he let it go, he stepped down, took the form of a common man, and then within that became obedient to the death on the cross. And Paul says you see that Christ? let that mind be in you. That’s how we’re supposed to think.  

14:52 Go back to the book of Genesis. I want to give you a few examples in the Scriptures of times when God’s people have had to recalibrate their mind to be more like Christ’s. Interestingly enough, time and again we see that the outward adorning, the outward appearance is a downfall that needs to be corrected. Apparently, it gets in the way of true walking with Christ in Christ-likeness; for example, Jacob in Genesis 35.

15:24 Genesis 35 Jacob has a recommitment with himself and his household to the Lord. If you recall, God is trying to establish the nation of Israel and He comes to Abraham and promises that his descendants Isaac and Jacob would be a great nation. Jacob’s name would later be changed to Israel. Thus, his sons would be the children of Israel and his descendants would become the nation of Israel. And we would think ah, Abraham was always faithful; but there were times when he had shortcomings, Isaac the same way, Jacob now we see it as well.  

16:00 Gen. 35:1“Then God said to Jacob, Arise, go up to Bethel, and dwell there: and make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from the face of Esau your brother.” —why would he have to flee from Esau? Because he had lied, and cheated and stolen the birthright. Which the Lord was going to do in His own way, but Jacob decided to do it in his own way. Now he had gotten himself in trouble. He’s on the run. He’s not being faithful to the calling of God; but, now he wants to make right; and God says, come let’s start over build me an altar.

16:30 Gen. 35:2 “Then Jacob said to his household, and to all that were with him, Put away the foreign gods that are among you,” —apparently Jacob had allowed the worship of foreign gods in his own household. He was not being faithful to the Lord; but now he’s going to make it right. He says to his household that’s it put away the foreign gods that are among you— “purify yourselves, and change your garments:” —interesting that a change of clothes had something to do with their spiritual recommitment to Christ; interesting. He goes on to explain— “let us arise, and go up to Bethel; and I will make there an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and has been with me in the way which I have gone. So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods which were in their hands, and the earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem.

17:35 Notice, he didn’t just bury them and they were all there to see. He hid them so that they can’t be found. Not temporary like we’re going to put them down for the holy day then when the day is over you can get your foreign gods and put your earrings back on. No, no, no, no! They were buried. They were hidden. They were going to be left there as they went forward with the Lord. This is a change of garment, permanently. We see the same thing in the next book. Go to the book of Exodus 33.

18:04 When those children of Israel became the nation of Israel the Lord called them out of Egypt, brought them to Mt. Sinai, spoke to them in person, giving them His 10 Commandment law. While they were at the foot of the mountain they were to meditate on that law, reflect on the God who gave them that law, see how they had fallen short, how they needed His power in their lives. They were supposed to meditate on the law of God to fulfill its regulation while Moses was on the mountain receiving the instructions for the tabernacle. Of course, if you recall, in Exodus 32 as soon as Moses was gone out of their sight they said come, make us gods: of course, had the golden calf incident.

18:55 The Lord, not surprisingly, did not look favorable on the golden calf incident. We find here, as the dust settles on this, they’re starting to move forward, an interesting command of the Lord. Ex. 33:1-4 “Then the Lord said to Moses, Depart, and go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt, to the land which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, To your descendants I will give it: and I will send my angel before you; and I will drive out the Canaanite, and the Amorite, and the Hittite, and the Perizzite, and the Hivite, and the Jebusite. Go up to a land flowing with milk and honey: for I will not go up in your midst; lest I consume you on the way: for you are a stiff necked people.” —So, He said I’m going to continue leading you, but from a distance. You just head that way, I need to —as a parent I can understand this a little bit more. Why don’t you go over there for a minute. I’ll be over here (exhale). Ex. 33: 4 “And when the people heard this bad news, they mourned: and no one put on his ornaments.” Why? It tells us in verse 5.

20:10 Ex. 33: 5 “For the Lord had said to Moses, Say to the children of Israel, You are a stiff necked people: I could come into your midst in one moment and consume you: now therefore take off your ornaments, that I may know what to do with you.”  Here again, the children of Israel are having to recommit and realign themselves with the Lord. And He says take off those ornaments. Let’s start from the very beginning. Let’s start from scratch. Be my people again.

20:39 Ex. 33: 6 “So the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments by Mt. Horeb.” It says the same thing in the K.J.V. and in the N.K.J.V. but what is not made explicit is what the Hebrew, original language implies in its verb form when it talks about “they took them off” or “they stripped them off” because the impression is given o, they had a high day; a day of repentance of sack cloth and ashes. They took off their ornaments for that day and when they left they picked them up again. No, no, no. Many, many Bible translations take the sense of the Hebrew word more literally here. And I’ll give you some examples. Ex. 33:6, N.A.S.V: “the sons of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments from Mt. Horeb onward.” N.L.T: “So from the time they left Mt. Sinai the Israelites wore no more jewelry. R.S.V: “The people of Israel stripped themselves from their ornaments from Mt. Horeb onward.” E.S.V: “Therefore the people of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments from Mr. Horeb onward.” G.N.T: “After they left Mt. Sinai the people of Israel no longer wore jewelry.” Consistently, the Bible translators look at this and notice that in the Hebrew language it is not a onetime event or a high day but this was a permanent change that the people of God would be peculiar for this reason.

22:08 Child Guidance, p. 423 (CG  65:423.5), “Of how little value are gold or pearls or costly array in comparison with the loveliness of Christ. Natural loveliness consists in symmetry,”—I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed that but natural beauty scientist can study this out and verify it; we think things are beautiful when they’re symmetrical, when there’s a perfect arrangement and a proper alignment, we find our eyes relax ah, that’s beautiful. Natural beauty, loveliness consists of symmetry— “or the harmonious proportion of parts, each with the other; but spiritual loveliness consists in the harmony or likeness of our soul to Jesus.” —the more like Jesus we are, the more spiritually beautiful— “This will make its possessor more precious than fine gold, even the golden wedge of Ophir. The grace of Christ is indeed a priceless adornment. It elevates and ennobles its possessor and reflects beams of glory upon others, attracting them also to the Source of light and blessing.”

23:17 Apparently, one of the downfalls that happen —there’s nothing wrong with diamonds and sapphires. And there’s nothing wrong with gold inherently— when used to deck the self, we become the end of the glory. God wants to see us be a conduit for His glory. The people will see the character and see the beauty of God, instead of the beauty we put on. The symbolic representation of God’s people who have developed a Christ-like character vs. those who claim to be Christ’s but actually are representatives of Satan’s character is seen in the book of Revelation.

23:53 We’ve seen this before but let’s review it in Rev. 12:1, God’s faithful people are likened to a woman, symbolically represented by a woman, interestingly enough the faithful and the unfaithful, also; describing the arraignment, the clothing or adornment, how they’re dressed. “Now a great sign appeared in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and her head a garland of twelve stars” —notice these are all beautiful, light, simple, and natural things that she’s adorned, clothed with. Compare that picture of the faithful with Rev. 17:4. Here the anti-Christ beast is also depicted as a woman, the unfaithful church, and to describe unfaithfulness, look at the language that is used— “The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication.” A striking contrast between the two women of Revelation: one faithful, simple, pure and holy; the other adorning oneself with these fine, expensive clothing, costly pearls, decorative ornaments, and the cup of abominations, representing what later would be called the wine of Babylon.

25:38 Honestly, in my experience, I have noticed among my friend-group of my age, when people want to demonstrate their rebellion to God they begin to dress like Rev. 17. They post it on social media. One of the saddest times for me to be on one of these places, like Face Book, is on Friday night hey, I’m at this concert and I’m drinking this and I’m dressed like this and I’m partying. It’s all the different things they want to demonstrate that they’re separating. That’s exactly what the symbolic language is used in Rev. 17. But every time God’s people want to get right He says clear off those adornments, be simple, be pure, be holy to reflect the character of God. Powerful thought. 

26:29 Our purpose, in life, is to glorify God by beholding and becoming like Jesus Christ. I’m going to say it again: our purpose in life is to live a life to glorify God by beholding and becoming like Jesus Christ. Let me show you some examples in the Bible of people who when they saw Christ realized their need. Job is a powerful book. There is a whole sermon series on Job that might get preached sometime. Job 42, of course, you should read all the forty-one chapters that come before it. In Job 41 the Lord speaks to Job. In Job 42 Job speaks back, his personal testimony here. Job 42:1 “Then Job answered the Lord, and said, I know that you can do everything, and that no purpose of yours can be withheld from you. You ask, who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?” —because at this point if you know the context of Job he’s been going through this difficulty and he questions God; and he has these complaints. He doesn’t ever curse God and die; but he definitely has some strong words and now the Lord had asked him who do you think you are to come and address me? And Job realizes he’s way, way out of his league. Job 42:3— “You ask, who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?  Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand; things too wonderful for me, which I do not know. Listen, please, and let me speak: You said I will question you, and you shall answer me.” 

28:24 Job 42:5 “I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear” —I’ve heard of you— “but now mine eyes see you. Therefore I abhor myself.” —Before he was proud and boasting, at least confident, and then the Lord comes and says who do you think and swoosh —He just exposes Himself and Job’s like awe! I’m so bad. I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes. Looks similar to the book of Isaiah 6. 

29:01 The prophet Isaiah has a direct encounter with the Lord and notice the strikingly similar response to Job’s. Is. 6:1 “In the year that king Uzziah died I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphims: each one had six wings” —these are the angel hosts, watch what they do with their wings in the presence of God— “Above it stood seraphims: each one had six wings with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.” Even the sinless angels come before the Lord and cover their face and cover their feet. “And one cried to another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. And the posts of the door were shaken at the voice of him that cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. So I said, Woe is me! For I am undone” —apparently, he went in with some sense of confidence, some sense of self-worth but he comes in the presence of God and he realizes I am nothing compared to this!— “Woe is me! For I am undone because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.” 

30:34 Similarly, when John the Baptist saw —not in outward adornment, as we’ve already seen— the character of Christ in Christ himself, what was his response? John 3 when people started to see John with Jesus and his ministry was becoming more and more popular. People started asking about it. Aren’t you concerned that you’re going to lose your ministry? Aren’t you concerned that you’re not going to be as popular? Look at his beautiful, pithy, succinct response; that should be the prayer of us all. John 3:30 “John declares He must increase, but I must decrease.” When he sees Christ he realizes it’s time for me to step down, and time for Christ to be exalted. 

31:33 In the devotion book The Faith I Live By, p. 111 (FLB 4-15) we find this statement, fascinating. Rhetorically it asks, “What is justification by faith?” —I thought we were talking about clothes and adornment? What does this have to do— “What is justification by faith? It is the work of God in laying the glory of man in the dust, and doing for man that which it is not in his power to do for himself. When men see their own nothingness, they are prepared to be clothed with the righteousness of Christ.” —powerful thought! What is justification by faith? It’s coming to God and realizing who you aren’t in contrast to who He is. In that moment whatever self-sufficiency, this is not only for women and their adornments, this is for men too: pride, position, power, whatever the thing is, whatever the status, whatever the outward attraction that people might have to you or you might put on so other people would be attracted to you. All of it when it comes to Christ is completely unraveled. And that is justification by faith: the work of God in laying the glory of man in the dust.

32:52 Thus, when we see these great principles it makes much more sense when we go to the practical counsel of the apostle Peter and the apostle Paul. 1 Peter 3 the apostle Peter writes not arbitrarily, not as a man of his time, not as a chauvinist, not anything like that; but built on Biblical principles he gives this sound counsel.

33:19 1 Pet. 3:3-4 “Do not let your adornment be merely outward” —“merely” if you have a N.K.J.V. you’ll find it there and you’ll also see it in italics. That means it was inserted by the translators to make the point more clear. In this case, it makes the point more muddled. Take that word out and notice what it says— “Do not let your adornment be outward” —and he gives a few examples, arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—“but rather let it” —my question for you if you’ve ever diagrammed a sentence back in 5th grade: what is “it” here? “it” is a pronoun talking about adornment. Should Christians be adorned? Yes, absolutely! How?— “Rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.” —Think about that.

34:40 God wants people to be adorned and beautiful not with the outward adornment but with the inward character of the life. Again, this is the apostle Peter but now let’s go to the apostle Paul. Notice the harmony that they had; the unison with which they spoke about this issue. 1 Tim. 2:1-10 “Therefore I exalt, first of all supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all who are in authority; ” —here’s the reason why— “that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.” —his goal is: we want to live our entire lives as godly and peaceful as possible.— “For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour. Who desires all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. For which I was appointed a preacher, and an apostle (I’m speaking the truth in Christ, and not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.” —verse 8 he wants everyone to live godly lives. That’s his premise there. Let’s make it more practical. He first speaks to men then to women.— “I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.” —humble, prayerful, godly men to be praying for other people. That’s the kind of men that we need. 1 Tim. 2:9— “In like manner also, that the women adorn themselves” —does the Bible tell us that women should adorn themselves? Yes! How?— “that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly clothing; but (which is proper for women professing godliness) with good works.”

37:02 Reminds me, the language almost strikes, of Jesus Christ and the Sermon on the Mount where he exhorts us, Let your light so shine before men that they might see your —fine clothes? No. Your high position? No— that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who’s in Heaven. The purpose of the Christian life is to glorify God by becoming more like Jesus. 

37:34 Again, Child Guidance, p. 424 (CG 65:424.2 ) Those who have a Christ-like character “will have no need to be adorned with artificials” —By the way, I was flipping through a magazine the other day, not at the checkout stand, I was stuck in an airplane, they put you there for a few hours and they give you a thing that you can go shopping with. It’s almost like they want money. I was flipping through all the things and I was comically shocked, if it wasn’t so sad it would be funny, of how many artificial things they sell you to put on you; both men and women to change your appearance. I didn’t even know these things existed. Apparently, you can have fake hair, fake eyes, fake teeth, fake body parts, top to bottom whatever you don’t like you can change. You can put different color eyes. Different color nails. You can do all kinds of different things to put on a persona of someone that you want to be and they charge you money for it. If everyone got everyone of these things, they’d be a whole different person; but that’s not the person God designed you to be. God wants us to be beautiful. He wants us to be adorned with His Christ-likeness that shines from the inside out. Again, those who have a Christ-like character— “will have no need to be adorned with artificials, for these are always expressive of an absence of the inward adorning of true moral worth. A beautiful character is of value in the sight of God. Such beauty will attract, but not mislead.” —if I were still single and I was looking for a spouse. Ah, this person is attractive. Then we get home and it’s like whoa! All of a sudden the hair comes off, the face comes off —who are you? It’s misleading. It’s attractive but misleading. It’s false. It’s a vapor. But according to this, such beauty of Christ-like character will attract, but not mislead— “Such charms are fast colors; they never fade. The pure religion of Jesus requires of its followers the simplicity of natural beauty and the polish of natural refinement and elevated purity, rather than the artificial and false.” One more reference; this from a little devotion book called Lift Him Up, p. 305 (LHU 10-18),

40:12 “God, who created everything lovely and beautiful that the eye rests upon, is a lover of the beautiful.” —Sometimes, I think Christians say well I guess I can’t adorn myself!  So I’m going to show how —your goal is not to be as ugly as possible! Nor is your goal to be as artificial and decked. Your goal is to be as Christ-like as possible in all things— “God, who created everything lovely and beautiful that the eye rests upon, is a lover of the beautiful. He shows you how He estimates true beauty. The ornament of a meek and quiet spirit is in His sight of great price. Shall we not seek earnestly to gain that which God estimates as more valuable than costly dress or pearls or gold? The inward adorning, the grace of meekness, a spirit in harmony with the heavenly angels, will not lessen true dignity of character or make us less lovely here in this world.”

41:08 I think there’s a fear that a simple, humble, pure life will be less attractive to those around us; but, Christ came to live an example that beauty from the outside is not what draws genuine; but, it’s the character from the inside. Let me close with one text; a personal testimony of the apostle Paul. Often times, we look at this particular topic and we say yep, he’s talking about women again. No, no, no. This is talking about people. Paul struggled with it, too. His issue, was not wearing of jewels, I assume not, he never mentions it; but the pride of life, and the position, the power, and the prestige, the fame that could have been his. 

41:54 Philip. 3:3-4. “For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. Though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he might have confidence in the flesh, I more so.” —if you think you have prestige and status, I have more than you. We can go toe-to-toe on this issue. He explains how. Philip. 3:5-6 “Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.” —He’s like I have all the credentials, all the bona fides. If you want to have someone that you should be in shock and awe about, it’s me. Philip. 3:7-9 “But what things were gain to me,” —I use to think those things were valuable. Those were my possessions, my status— “what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet, indeed, I also count all things loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith.” —think about that. Justification by faith is the work of God of laying man’s glory in the dust. Paul experienced it. He said, I could have counted all of these great accolades but I count it all as nothing. In fact, I count it as rubbish compared to knowing Christ. Philip. 3:10 “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, be conformed to his death. If by any means I may attain to the resurrection of the dead. Not that I have already attained, or already perfected: but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for Jesus Christ has also lay hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended: but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind,” —which he just listed all the greatness, all the pomp, all the status— “forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” —and he says in verse 15 the same thing he had just said in chapter 2, Let this mind be in you— “Therefore, let us, as many as are mature, have this mind: and if in anything we think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.” 

45:16 It’s a powerful thought to think like, to be like Jesus Christ— by the way could Christ have gone and put up status and prestige and power? Absolutely, he was God Himself. But he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death. And we’re told, Let that mind be in you. Don’t have the mind of Satan who looks for himself and looks to all these great things that God has given him and for opportunity to boast. Don’t seek for outward. Don’t seek for the tactile; but the inside, for that character that only comes from seeking Christ.

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