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More Than Skin Deep, Part 1

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey
The Truth Network Radio
August 29, 2022 12:00 am

More Than Skin Deep, Part 1

Wisdom for the Heart / Dr. Stephen Davey

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August 29, 2022 12:00 am

What does God consider beautiful in a woman? What characterizes a woman after God's own heart? Peter takes us back to an Old Testament heroine to bring us the answer.

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Jewelry my change through the centuries, but the principal warning remains the same. Women be careful what you wear. Be careful how you gain attention, careful in what you might be communicating through what you wear, don't wear your well on your sleeve so to speak right here to tell everybody how much money would God especially outside the church. That is, you represent the gospel don't demonstrate to your world that you're all about the stuff thereafter. Careful comes to choosing the closure.

I imagine there are many factors was a cost out of those clothes make me feel when I wear them how they make me look today on wisdom for the heart.

Working to see that there are some far more important yet often neglected principles to consider regarding our appearance would it help you to know what those principles are Steve and David continues through his series called for better or for worse. He has a message today that is calling more than skin deep. Here Stephen with today's lesson of your to travel back to the first century.

It might surprise you to find the Roman empire absolutely enamored with clothing and jewelry in physical strength and appeal and the latest fashion one first century historian, wrote that in the Empire. There were as many hairstyles as there were honeybees hair was waved, curled, died sometimes jet black. Sometimes Auburn Whigs were imported from Germany and as far away as India, the most popular Whigs were blonde somethings never change their added to the hair were hairbands, pins, combs made of ivory tortoiseshell over the wealthy.

They were made of gold and studded with gems you imagine when the apostles were writing these letters to the New Testament church as silks, pearls, perfumes, jewelry imported from India alone valued in today's economy to billion dollars annually. I discovered in my studies that purple was the favorite color because it was the most rare and expensive, difficult to make one purple garment would cost as much as the average person's annual income you can afford them. Diamonds and emeralds.

Opals were favorites read the pearls were actually coveted the most near the Emperor had a room in his palace were pearls were used as wallpaper just sort of demonstrated more than anybody else in his humility. Historian Klein.

He wrote that the wife of the Emperor Caligula was assassinated by the Jesus, about 16 years old, but Caligula's wife once appeared at a function dressed in a down covered with pearls at a cost today of $20 million. America didn't discover and invents glamour and glitz. In fact, early Christianity was growing inside a luxuriant and decadence world Christians were living in a world that was obsessed with the physical appearance.

Somethings never change their either women in the first century had an array of highly developed cosmetic you want to follow Elio back then there was pretty rugged. Now they were imported from all around the world that they had rouge for their cheeks lipstick a variety of colors.

Eyeliner and colors that included brown, black and green they had fingernail polish in colors that included yellow and orange their dad didn't want their daughters hearing this. I'm sorry but this is what it was happening. One author wrote that as a result of this obsession in the Roman Empire. Women were under enormous pressure to look beautiful and to stay fashionable. Obviously the first century is no different than the 21st century as it I did a little research to me.

The did a lot of googling and found that Americans now spend annually $40 billion on cosmetics slot Men are involved.

By the way were not of the fact I read this Americans shelled out last year, $1.4 billion, $1.4 billion just for over-the-counter teeth white nerves in terms of cosmetics sales worldwide the country.

Japan comes in second to America. America is the leading spender Japan comes in second none of these figures. By the way, include cosmetic surgery.

That's another category that's a 10 billion a year here in America endeavor. Last year, more than 17 million Americans got some kind of tummy tug nose job Botox face with whatever trouble is not it brings contentment factor. There are global surveys done even though the United States are red is number one in cosmetic spending surveys respond in such a way that places our country is number 23 in the quote satisfied with life category" Japan, which is second in spending on cosmetics ranks 90th in satisfied with life sponsors obsession for physical perfection is moving even more dangerous and invasive.

One author wrote an article for the Smithsonian magazine I read most of it where he catalogued forms of cosmetic surgeries that are not growing more mainstream and dangerous friend since in New York he wrote women are having their toes surgically shortened and strengthened with metal pins so they can fit into 3 inch Jimmy Choo's stiletto heels by pronouncing to write okay, how do you know any any race is not worth the surgery for think about it in China. By the way were beauty pageants were outlawed or for you. Note years they call it spiritual pollution there now taking place throughout the country and because of this, the desire to be taller.

In fact, taller women are considered more beautiful a procedure and is becoming popular. That country were shin bones are severed and metal inserts are implanted so that 3 inches of new bone can be grown. It's a dangerous operation and it's filled with risks of the formation but you gain 3 inches of height women throughout Asia are having surgeries on her narrow eyelids to make them around her more almond shaped skin lightening products in Africa are surging in profits. The author concludes this is a secular magazine Smithsonian go there for your devotions, but he says this is there is a global quest for bodily perfection, and it has generated a pathological obsession with our bodies.

The red that I couldn't help but think of the apostle Paul.

Paul wrote that the unbelieving world is marked by their devotion to their belly. He calls it really is a metaphor for the body.

In other words, whatever has to do with the body they worship. Worship the Bible doesn't endorse a disregard for healthy body. It it it it doesn't encourage us to misuse it and mistreated a benefit Krispy Kreme somewhere in there. Unfortunately, it doesn't tell us of the body doesn't matter, but the apostle Paul. He strikes this balance and this is all international images were to set the stage. He writes to Timothy is writing, by the way today when gymnasiums were in every city, everybody and membership scale ready with their he said this bodily discipline is only of a little profit but godliness is profitable for all things it holds promise for the present life. But for the life to come. First Timothy four aided in other words, Paul makes it clear that physical exercise has some value is not as important as spiritual exercise, and he knows that we can lose side of the fact that the body is to be the priority and the obvious reason he gives is that the body is impermanent. In fact, you're going to get a new body. One day it's going to be permanent and by the way, it will be perfected still be you. But perfected, and the mortal. In the meantime, the Christians face the same struggle with balancing physical appearance with spiritual development. We all have the desire to look as good as we can with the potential for obsession and imbalance doesn't automatically go away just because you become a Christian. It takes a revolution in our way of thinking a transformation by the renewing of our minds so that we can uncover what is truly good and acceptable to God like I won't ask for sure hands but if I asked you to raise your hand. Although it will do it daydreaming that this don't do it but I asked you to raise your hand if there was something about you physically is one thing that you would change if you could then cause any money you do it.

Many of you would change at least one thing I think we always ran some of us would raise too handsome on their two hands.

Some people would change their complexion, something will change the size of their nose for waste that would be taller so the shorter Sony center so will be larger. Someone like blonde hair like modern air. Some of us would like hair. Unbelievers are the only ones who struggle with the way they look at the apostle Peter is about the challenge the way we think. In fact, is gonna say that we better demonstrate the uniqueness of the gospel of one of the ways we demonstrate the uniqueness of the gospel is we are not obsessed with the physical were not all caught up with our bodies.

Let's go back to first Peter chapter 3 if you been with us. We arrived in chapter 3, Peter is writing to wives first get the man eventually is writing to converted women. In this context, many of them newly converted no doubt in the early church there married to unbelieving husbands. They it's always imply that they came to faith in Christ and their husbands didn't. In fact, the way Peter describes their unbelief or disobedience is that they are now obstinate. They they not only are our unbelievers. They don't really want to hear about it and it's created difficulty. You can imagine. Maybe you're living it right now and if they come out of a culture that I've spent time describing it's a culture like ours that worships youth that worships physical strength that worships the body that just go to a museum and look at the statues going back to the early centuries.

The reason, or no close it. It's the worship of the perfect body for battered these women in the church are saved out of that kind of of decadent world of of fashion and obsession with physical perfection this here with the spirit of God through Peter Estes is picking up where we left off. We've arrived at verse three. Your adornment must not be merely external braiding the hair, wearing gold jewelry putting on dresses, but let it be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.

Peter is essentially delivering some life-changing truth that will free women, single or married younger old and meant to by application from focusing on the physical from being bound to the body and it is a hard taskmaster. The Peter begins by saying we challenge you regarding your notice uses the word adornment in my translation, the word he uses for adornment is the Greek word, cause loss, which gives us our cosmos trip. We just literally take it that way. Transliterated to refer to the ordered universe also gives us the word cosmetics, which refers to the ordered or the ordering of the face with it means and Peter highlights three kinds of of ordering of the physical braided hair wearing jewelry and putting on dresses. I not be careful here Peter isn't forbidding anything. He's prioritizing things he's not forbidding things. There are people that go to this text. There are denominations that go to this text and then come to the conclusion that a woman cannot let her hair down in public either braided or lose they take their cues from this text.

Others take from this text. The fact that a woman cannot wear jewelry public like I was talking to my older brother a couple of days ago, wishing him a happy birthday and I was happy because he is older than me and that's how I could wish him a happy birthday. I was happy but at any rate, he told me about ministry trip he took to Romania shortly after Josh SQ was killed the dictator and on the inside they found that the church and, indeed, been growing the evangelical church but it was facing struggles and a lot of them like the churches in America over interpretation of Scripture, and he said what what struck him was that they were embroiled.

The large churches. He was in in in division over whether or not a woman could wear a wedding band and in public and in this text was at the heart of the debate and he said churches were literally splitting over whether or not a woman could wear a wedding ring meant. Of course as well. They had come to believe that Peter's forbidding any kind of jewelry and wedding never jewelry those wedding bands are forbidden. What we apply this first consistently as Bible students. If Peter is forbidding a woman from braiding her hair and wearing jewelry is forbidding a woman from wearing a dress which I doubt he's doing right. I think the words are telling the word Peter uses here for braiding occurs in the New Testament.

Only in this verse is not a reference to hairstyle as much as it is a reference to the activity of braiding of the time that it took. This isn't just a couple of pigtails and out the door.

Just look at some of the pictures that come from the first century of the braiding. The extensive braiding this kind of braiding. Peter refers to took hours of time each day.

Hours of attention, and in Peter's day. It had become a public iconic statement of leisure and wealth. It was a way of sort of showing off it set you apart again. Peter's not forbidding it ease that concern you know about pigtails is concerned with priorities here notice. Further, the word he uses for wearing gold jewelry to work for wearing again is rare, found only here that they can be translated putting around. It's a broader picture.

This isn't just a gold ring. This is actually an ostentatious display of wealth effect. Isaiah we will turn to for the sake of time, but in earlier chapter, he gives us, rare look into the use of jewelry and other ornaments women war in the early centuries talked about the practice that included wearing expensive bells jewels on her sandals. What women wearing jewelry around her ankles wearing multiple bracelets on the wrists and upper arms and next wearing finger rings, nose rings, dangling earring in other words, you don't just see this woman coming you. Here are coming.

Isaiah's description and Peter's description as well is of a woman who loads it on to get attention. Men do the same, though jewelry my change through the centuries, but the principal warning remains the same. Women be careful what you wear. Be careful how you gain attention, careful in what you might be communicating through what you wear, don't wear your wealth on your sleeve so to speak, don't show all this, especially in the church right here to tell everybody how much money we've got it, especially outside the church. That is, you represent the gospel don't demonstrate to your world that you're all about the stuff thereafter. So be careful. Don't focus on the physical that 1/3 adornment mention you notice in the text. The anniversaries putting on dresses doesn't mean you can't wear dress but the media can't wear beautiful clothing affect Peter by doing only to say this is the side is not telling Christian women to look unkempt. You do your best to look in no unattractive claim in their churches believe that in certain ways. One or two colors in this plane as it can be is not is not suggesting that he isn't forbidding braiding hair jewelry is nice close but but what Peter's going to do it is because setting it all out.

This is gonna redefine beauty is gonna tell us what true beauty is is good until the women in the assembly.

The true beauty is more than skin deep. The world ever get past the skin. True beauty is beneath that the Peter was on the Telus what and how will givers for but let it be the hidden person of the heart before we dive in and let me just make a counter to the word for heart here is card Dia gives us our word cardiology.

It's it's the seat of who you are as a man thinks in his heart, your heart doesn't think their hearts are muscle with pumping but it represents the seed of who you are. The man thinks in his heart so is he is a lot of debate you know about asking Jesus in your heart in a log. It was as terrible express.

I was a great expression.

You're asking Jesus to come into the very seat of who you are represented by your heart. In biblical terms, the heart of the believer represents the regenerated nature. That's the place for the Holy Spirit in his inner private work of grace is is bringing about what we call the fruits of the spirit that demonstrates itself outwardly.

One author writes it is in the hearts were true beauty becomes real and long-lasting than the Peter's contrasting that he's not a play on words ease contrasting the physical world because Moss with the spiritual world.

The card Dia he's he's drawing a contrast between cosmetics and the card Dia that which is external and that which is internal, that which is physical and that which is spiritual. He's he's basically telling women to focus on their heart to get dressed up from the inside out. First and foremost to spend more time grooming their heart than the groom their bodies to spend more time spiritually and physically.

Just what should we be developing in the privacy of our hearts.

Peter is giving these women to qualities. Notice verse for a gentle and quiet spirit, gentle spirit. This is a word that could mean gracious, you might write that on the margin.

Your Bible or considerate. It's a word that refers to kindness, as opposed to being demanding bodily gentleness is in the list of one of the fruits of the spirit right.

Galatians chapter 5 the fruit of the spirit includes this word which means this is it for women only. This is just a feminine quality but masculine quality will get to men. Eventually this text audience will be packed with women. Sure, sometimes were gentlest translated me.

You might pick that up in your memory and you might remember Jesus is called me. Matthew 1129 meekness doesn't mean doormat that's on this word gentleness does not mean weakness. It's actually a word that refers to power under control its emotion under control so Peter is in recommending that women become doormats the best door open to abuse. Worse isn't suggesting that women can't share their minds or their opinions.

In fact, Jesus was known by the same quality definitely spoke his mind share his opinion, but the Lord was never out of control. He was intentional. That's going to the next Peter as the second quality.

He has a quiet spirit. She's quiet and all the men said wisely.

Nothing that with this means especially in church come and be quiet. No doesn't mean she never makes noise. The word Peter uses is it is a word that relates to peace. She is literally at peace.

This is a unique Christian distinctive out there in the world.

A woman is not at peace with who she is. The gospel allows you to understand your identity is in Christ, and when you understand who you are in relation to the gospel of Christ that can give you a settled confidence. You belong to him is made you the way he's made you is crafted uniquely by his creative hand in your at peace and in a NL multivolume Greek dictionary known to seminary students in here siblings Kittle describes this word as someone who calmly bears the disturbances created by others without creating disturbances themselves have someone who calmly bears the disturbances created by others without creating disturbances themselves. And when you think of the immediate context here. This inequality is is critical and totally dependent upon the Holy Spirit and years of believing wife she's married to an obstinate man who cares nothing about the gospel as we learn he wants nothing to do with it and in the midst of that obvious distressing turmoil. She has a sense of peace things around her are you know like like war times, not to mention the culture, but she has settled confidence of her acceptance with Christ there. There's turmoil everywhere, and she has this sense of graciousness and confident an old proverb puts it this way, a woman whose smile is by then his expression is glad as a kind of beauty. No matter what you wear or how she looked. This beauty is more than skin. This is an undeniable work of God spirit. It is so unusual that Peter implies that the unbelieving husband won't be able to ignore the fact that there's something different about her. He's caught up more. She seems to be at peace.

It's amazing how much we can communicate about Christ and his gospel by our actions and by the way we present ourselves. There's actually quite a bit more for us to learn from today's passage, but we don't have time to continue will stop here and resume this lesson on our next broadcast Stevens in a series called for better or for worse. Today's lesson is called more than skin. This series became the basis for Stephen's book with that same title, and it's available today at a very special price.

Call us at 86 648 Bible to learn how you can get a copy will also find it on our website which is wisdom online.org I'm Scott Wiley and I hope you be able to join us next time. As we bring you wisdom


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