“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.  Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.  I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.  In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;  But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.  Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.  But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.  For Adam was first formed, then Eve.  And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.  Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety” (I Tim. 2:5-15).
It is that time of year again when, as the temperature rises, people’s clothes begin to grow shorter, tighter and thinner. Thoughtful and sincere Christians, however, will always seek to glorify God even when the culture in which they live manifests very little concern for decency and modesty much less godliness.
Some try to justify and argue for immodest clothing by appealing to Adam and Eve’s nakedness in the garden (Gen. 2:25). However, Adam and Eve were man and wife. The Husband and wife have a right to one another’s bodies (I Cor. 7:3-5). It was appropriate for them to share each other’s bodies for it is within the holy bonds of matrimony that the bed is undefiled (Heb. 13:4). But those who dress immodestly are giving away a gift to those outside the marriage compact that was designed especially to fulfill a purpose only for a husband or wife in marriage.
Genesis 3:21 makes a very simple and matter of fact statement regarding man’s nakedness: “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” However, this statement is very profound. It is made in the context of Adam and Eve’s sin and God’s judgement upon them because of their disobedience (Gen. 3:1-19). When they had sinned, they knew that they were open and naked before the eyes of Him with whom they had to do and tried to hide themselves from Him in shame (Gen. 3:7-10; Heb. 4:13). But sin cannot be covered by hiding from God. Both in order to remind them always of their transgression and to make a covering for their sin, God made them “coats of skins.” But to secure these “coats of skins,” animals had to die. Life had to end. Blood had to be shed.
The penalty for their sin was death for God had said in the day that the forbidden fruit was eaten they would surely die (Gen. 2:17). But God, in His great love and mercy, substituted the animal’s death for man’s. This is the beginning of the sacrificial system pointing toward the final, ultimate substitutionary sacrifice of God’s Only Begotten (Heb. 9:11-14). These coats of skins the Lord made for them were a constant reminder of their need for redemption, a need for a complete covering of their sin. The death of these animals was the result of their sin, Their blood was upon them. Now, as Christians, we put on Christ (Gal. 3:26,27) who was slain as a lamb from the foundation of the world (I Pet. 1:19,20; Rev. 13:8) Whose sacrifice does, indeed, cover our sin when we put Him on. His death is a direct result of our sin.
When we think about our clothing, it should be no less a reminder of our sinful condition and need for sin covering and redemption as it was to them. Adam and Eve attempted to hide their shame with an “apron.” But God made them coats. Christians today should remember this as they pick out the clothes they intend to wear. It is to these historical facts that Paul alludes when he writes to Timothy concerning modesty (I Tim. 2:4-15). He reminds them of the need for man’s salvation (v. 4) and the price paid by Christ’s sacrifice (v. 6). He requires men to be holy (v. 8) and women to adorn themselves with shamefacedness and modest apparel(v. 9).
Eric L. Padgett