What Good Are Clothes?

I gleaned this from one of the blogsites I frequent and thought I would pass it along. It is quite good and gives an interesting perspective on why we don’t endorse going around naked in public—aside from the fact that some of us ought NEVER, and I do mean never, be naked!

You can also catch the entire sermon in transcript or audio format here:

By John Piper © DesiringGod.org

What does it mean that God clothed [Adam and Eve]? Was he confirming their hypocrisy? Was he aiding and abetting their pretense? If they were naked and shame-free before the Fall, and if they put on clothes to minimize their shame after the Fall, then what is God doing by clothing them even better than they can clothe themselves? I think the answer is that he is doing something with a negative message and something with a positive message.

Negatively, he is saying: You are not what you were and you are not what you ought to be. The chasm between what you are and what you ought to be is huge. Covering yourself with clothing is a right response to this—not to conceal it, but to confess it. Henceforth, you shall wear clothing, not to conceal that you are not what you should be, but to confess that you are not what you should be. One practical implication of this is that public nudity today is not a return to innocence but rebellion against moral reality. God ordains clothes to witness to the glory we have lost, and it is added rebellion to throw them off.

And for those who rebel in the other direction and make clothes themselves a means of power and prestige and attention getting, God’s answer is not a return to nudity but a return to simplicity (1 Timothy 2:9-10). Clothes are not meant to make people think about what is under them. Clothes are meant to direct attention to what is not under them: Arms and hands that serve others in the name of Christ, “beautiful” feet that carry the gospel to where it is needed, and the brightness of a face that has beheld the glory of Jesus.

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4 thoughts on “What Good Are Clothes?

  1. PB and J says:

    i saw an interesting argument about how looking at a rabbinical interp of eden fall. it basically said that leaves were a representation of good works. so by eating the fruit they disobeyed which made them feel shame. which made them need to work to repair the breach. which made them want to cover themselves with leaves. (ie good works) however, God killed an animal and used the leather to clothe them. this was because blood sacrifice was and is always necessary for covering of sin.

    kinda interesting take i think.

    peter

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  2. pasturescott says:

    I never thought of it that way. I like the spiritual truths it points to. Man has always tried to hide behind his works for divine fulfillment. So sad! Again, the issue is ‘who reigns?’ and man’s fall from his intimate place with God happened even before the bite of fruit. When man questioned God’s authority, he came out from under it, gave his rule to another and made for himself a ‘living hell’…Thank God for the Second Man, Jesus Christ, who came to create a new race–separate from Adam’s race–a race of the redeemed who will forever be under His eternal reign. His is the yoke that is easy. His burden (to follow) is light compared to the awful consequences of Adam’s rebellion and race. Hallelujah for the Cross! Praise the One who died and Lives again! Great God, our Savior, Redeemer and Lord…

    Bless you, Peter!

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  3. Jen says:

    “Clothes are not meant to make people think about what is under them. Clothes are meant to direct attention to what is not under them: Arms and hands that serve others in the name of Christ, “beautiful” feet that carry the gospel to where it is needed, and the brightness of a face that has beheld the glory of Jesus.”

    Wow..that’s a great statement! I wish more Pastors would preach this to the Christian women of today!

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  4. pasturescott says:

    Here, here, Jen. BTW, love your website and I encourage all my readers to link over there. Loved the “about me” and I wish you well with the gardening. So glad you are a “happy housewife.” What a legacy to leave, my sister!

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