Church of God, Carmichael, CA

Bible Humility

J. W. Byers, Original Publishing Date unknown

[Original Page Numbers]


Wedding Ring

  Another very common excuse for wearing gold is the wedding ring. With some people it would be considered a breaking of the sacred marriage vow to take off the wedding ring. Many have declared they would not take it off. Many professors of holiness stubbornly persist in wearing their ring, no matter what anyone may say or think. This is a serious matter, and should not be slightly passed by. Many a dear soul has displeased God and gone into spiritual darkness at this point.

  We have come to the place in our experience where two ways meet. Custom, tradition, and friends tell us to take one way; the Word of God tells us to take the other. We stop, reflect, and pray. If our heart is open to God as it should be, the Holy Spirit points us to the Word. If we want to please our friends or ourselves or if there is the least unwillingness within us to walk in the self denying way of the cross, we can be easily persuaded to excuse ourselves, and think that it does not make much difference.

  We see many others whom we think are good Christians, who are much older than ourselves in experience, who wear gold and dress according to fashions of the world; therefore, we conclude to take the same way they have taken. Now, dear reader, we must not thus take counsel with our own soul. If we do, we open the door to the delusions of Satan. This is a serious point, and our decision involves our highest interests. Let us decide for God and obey His plain Word.

  Every child of God should as readily ignore the custom of wearing a wedding ring as anything else that is plainly forbidden in the Word of God. If those who seem to think their loyalty to their vow depends upon wearing the ring would make sure that they had a Bible experience of salvation, they would soon find that a more sacred and stronger tie than a gold ring binds them together. In case where an unsaved [29] companion objects to a child of God taking off the ring, I would suggest a very careful and prayerful course in the matter. Take a bold, firm stand for God's Word. Explain your reason for doing as you do, and show your companion that it is no lack of fidelity on your part, but it is because you must obey God.

  There are many professors of holiness who are doing an incalculable amount of harm to others who are looking upon them for example. To many young converts the Word of God is made of none effect because some influential person fails to obey it in some of these things, thus bringing themselves and others into a state of disobedience. Oh, I would warn every professing saint to measure up to the standard of God's Word, no matter what the sacrifice or apparent cost! You cannot afford to take the chances outside of God's perfect approval. Let the life of true humility work its way through your entire being. If the desire for wearing gold is in your heart, it proves that you have not reached the humble state of grace where God would have you. If there is no such desire there, then let your outward appearance correspond with the heart and the Word of God.

  The wearing of all jewelry is equally as unscriptural and displeasing to God. In the Revised Version the text in I Peter 3:3 reads: "Let it not be the outward adorning of plaiting the hair and wearing of jewels of gold," etc.

  The wearing of pearls is also mentioned and forbidden in the text, by Paul. I Tim. 2:9. Had diamonds been worn then as they are now, they doubtless would have been placed on the list and forbidden.

Costly Array

  In the Revised Version this is translated costly raiment. It includes not only all superfluous outward adornment, but every expensive article of wearing apparel which would require an unnecessary outlay [30] of the Lord's means. In this respect, again, there might be a variety of opinion or of judgment as to what constitutes costly raiment, but no one who has reached the standard of Bible humility will find any difficulty in drawing the line for themselves or setting a good example for others who have not yet come to a true knowledge of this subject.

  Modest apparel does not signify, as some would interpret, a carelessness of our outward appearance. We should always aim to be neat and presentable, unassuming and unattractive, always being careful to maintain a perfect correspondence in every respect with the plain teachings of the Word of God, so that we may be able to appear among the poor or the rich, as necessity may demand, without any unnecessary attraction to our clothing from either class, more than that distinction made by the Word of God, which certainly implies a beautiful, easy, and graceful medium, free from the awful bondage of fashion and style.

  Hundreds of thousands of dollars are annually expended by professing Christians for unnecessary dress. In our so called Christian United States statistics show that there has been more money expended in one year for ostrich plumes than for the missionary cause. Of course, the professing Christians are not guilty of all this, but an alarming proportion of it is chargeable to them. Many professing Christians when requested to help the poor or when any need of the work of the gospel is presented to them, plead poverty themselves, when at the same time they practice real extravagance in their wearing apparel. There is not the least doubt but we all may economize in our personal expenses in this respect, and become much more able to be a blessing to others who are in need of actual necessities.

  There is a most delightful liberty here, where Christ the hidden man of the heart has the perfect control. One of the greatest sins in the religious [31] world is the idolatrous devotion of soul and body to the goddess of fashion and style. Thousands who once may have had a good experience of conversion, have been led captive by this subtle spirit of pride and are now spiritually dead or else lean and starving, and yet perhaps, in some cases, not aware of the cause. Ah, dear soul, come with me and let us take a prayerful look into the mirror of God's Word. You have forsaken God and bowed down to idols. Repent of this, ask forgiveness, and promise God all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Then apply to the cleansing fountain for a clean heart, and be filled with the Holy Spirit, so that the meek and humble Christ can dwell within and live the life of Himself in you. You have no time nor means to waste in the vain things of the world. Those things which are highly esteemed among men are an abomination in the sight of God.

  The depraved mind of the world has no power to comprehend that which is truly beautiful in God's sight. For the children of God to endeavor to appear beautiful to the eye of the world is therefore to greatly displease God. The ornament of a meek and quiet spirit will beautify the countenance, and cause it to shine forth with true heavenly brightness in the sight of God and before the world.

  "In that day shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people." Isaiah 28:5.

  "For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation." Psa. 149:4.

  "I will also clothe her priests with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy." Psa. 132:16..

  "Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness." I Chron. 16:29.

  Salvation is the only true adornment, therefore, the one which everyone must seek to obtain and that which God alone can give. This will shine forth with [32] the fruits of the Spirit in true loveliness, and cause us to greatly glorify Him in good works, which come spontaneously from the hidden man of the heart, and make us a diadem of beauty in the sight of God. A heart thus filled with God will have no room, need, nor desire for the vain, worldly, outward adornments. Beloved reader, let us seek earnestly to meet every condition of perfect obedience to the blessed Word of God

  "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." Romans 12:1,2.

  "Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time." I Peter 5:5, 6. [33]

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