What Should I Wear to Church?

Is there some kind of dress code?

Yes. The code is wear some clothes.

Believe it or not, folks in some churches have an issue with what people wear to church.

On the one hand, some folks think a suit & tie or a dress/skirt & blouse should be standard fare. The thinking is,

If we’re required to wear our best when coming before a dignitary or royalty, then we should wear our best before God at church.

This is a very good point.

Another group of folks sees that nice jeans and t-shirts are acceptable (and encouraged!). They see God as a loving Father who accepts them as they are in Christ– forgiven because their clothing is the righteousness of God in Christ.

And this is another very good point.

This is not an either/or issue. It is a both/and issue. We can have people wear suits and ties and others jeans and t-shirts because our God is not one-dimensional.

God’s glory is multi-faceted. He is not only the King of Kings and Lord of Lords before Whom we wear our very best; He is also our Father before Whom our suit coat and tie are not required.

Do we want to present a one-dimensional God or do we want to display the glory of God in his multi-faceted beauty?

The glory of the Gospel is most evidently displayed when we come together as one with the diverse nature of our personalities, hair styles and colors, smiles, and clothing.

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

If God is Good, Why is there Evil, Pain, and Suffering?

It’s the age-old question. “If God is good and all powerful, why is there pain, suffering, and evil in the world?”

All kinds of evil, pain, and suffering you go through can color the lens by which you approach this question.

Loss of job, cancer of any stripe, death itself, financial debt, watching friends or family suffer, floods, homelessness, orphans, the list can go on and on.

We do not think much about pain and suffering, until, that is, pain and suffering affects us personally.

Pain and suffering only makes us sit up and listen when it’s personal.

So when we go through a traumatic experience of any sort, we ask, “If God is good…” We think, “God can’t love me and he can’t be all powerful since he’s letting me go through this!”

There is a myriad of answers to the question of pain: God brings pain in our lives for His glory, to teach us, to mold us into someone better, to help others, among many other possible answers.

But the most important thing that we must remember when pain becomes personal:

We are not left alone in our suffering

Scripture tells us that Jesus, Who is God by the way, was tempted in everything that is common to man:

“Therefore, He (Jesus) had to be made like His brethren in all things, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.18 For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.”

During a hurricane, which tree feels the full force of the storm?

The tree which never falls but stands firm until the end.

Jesus stood firm to the end–the end that is death–even the death of the cross being forsaken by the Father. He did this so that WE would never be forsaken, but fully and gloriously accepted and loved by the Father. Jesus is the one in whom we must trust because He has gone through the greatest pain and suffering anyone has ever gone through–standing firm to the end.

Jesus did this for us and in our place. To the end.

You are not left unto yourself, that is, if you trust Jesus. Trust Jesus and rest in His finished work on the cross.

For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

17 Therefore he had to be made like his brothers in every respect, so that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. (ESV)

17 For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18 as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (ESV)

God has twisted together his glory and our good

“We glorify God by working out our own salvation. God has twisted together, his glory and our good. We glorify him by promoting our own salvation. It is a glory to God to have multitudes of converts; his design of free grace takes effect, and God has the glory of his mercy; so that, while we are endeavoring our salvation, we are honoring God.

What an encouragement is this to the service of God, to think, “while I am hearing and praying, I am glorifying God; while I am furthering my own glory in heaven, I am increasing God’s glory!”

Would it not be an encouragement to a subject, to hear his prince say to him, “You will honor and please me very much, if you will go to yonder mine of gold, and dig as much gold for yourself as you can carry away”? So, for God to say, “Go to the ordinances, get as much grace as you can, dig out as much salvation as you can; and the more happiness you have, the more I shall count myself glorified!”

Thomas Watson, A Body of Divinity (Banner of Truth: 1890, 2000), 13–14.

(HT: Peter Cockrell)

The kingdom of heaven is where God is glorified, not just a place that happens to be up high

The kingdom of heaven is where God is glorified, not just a place that happens to be up high. And we too can work very hard at seeking a higher ground and being better, but if our greatest goal is our own betterment, then we are self-worshipers and idolaters.

And if we strive, the purpose of striving cannot really be to reach God, since He is already here with us.

Read more here.