By Ronny Milliner
Nakedness is shameful. Isaiah 47:3a says, “Your nakedness shall be uncovered, Yes, your shame will be seen.” Nahum
3:5b reads, “I will show the nations your nakedness, And the kingdoms your shame.” Notice the parallelism in both of these verses where “shame” is parallel to “nakedness.” The prophet Micah wrote, “Pass by in naked shame, you inhabitant of Shaphir” (Mic. 1:11a). The New Testament book of prophecy records, “Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame” (Rev. 16:15b). The exposure of the nakedness of Noah was a shameful incident in his life (Gen. 9:20-27).
In spite of this clear teaching regarding the shamefulness of nakedness, many folks today do not hesitate to engage in this sin. We want to notice three types of nakedness in our age.
The Nakedness of Pornography
Did you know that adult bookstores in our country outnumber McDonald’s restaurants three-to-one? There are more than 1,000 different pornographic magazines. The Playboy Channel services nearly 20 million homes. During one year’s sale of six million video cassettes 20 percent of them were pornographic. One “daily-a-porn” service has more than 220,000 calls a day. Pornography in our country is a $6 billion-a-year business.
Surely no one will deny that pornography is based on lust. Such lust is licentiousness and “those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal. 5:19-21). Such “passion of lust” is not to be a part of the Christian’s life (1 Thess. 4:5; Rom. 13:13). Jesus warns us of this sin in Matthew 5:28, “But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.”
In this matter it would do us good to be like Job. He said, “I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman? . . . If my heart has been enticed by a woman, Or if I have lurked at my neighbor’s door, Then let my wife grind for another, And let others bow down over her. For that would be wickedness; Yet it would be iniquity worthy of judgment. For that would be a fire that consumes to destruction, And would root out all my increase” (Job 31:1,9-12).
The Nakedness of Immodesty
God had a great concern for the modesty of his priests under the Law of Moses. In Exodus 20:26 he said, “Nor shall you go up by steps to My altar, that your nakedness not be exposed on it.” In Exodus 28:42 the requirement was, “And you shall make for them linen trousers to cover their nakedness; they shall reach from the waist to the thighs.” Penalty for disobedience on this point was death (Exod. 28-43).
We who are Christians are God’s priests today (1 Pet. 2:5,9), and he is just as concerned for our modesty (1 Tim. 2:19-10). Many Christians who may recognize the shame of the nakedness of pornography, fail to recognize the shame of the nakedness of immodesty. Because they are briefly dressed and not completely naked, they do not think such passages apply to them.
These brothers and sisters need to learn that nakedness is not necessarily complete nudity. The Hebrew word erom is defined, “naked, either as without clothing or stripped of the outer or peculiar garment designating brethren to prove that there is an indwelling of the Holy Spirit. They give human testimony, the evidence of experience, to affirm that they have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The passages of Scripture are misinterpreted and human testimony is invalid, subjective evidence.
Consider Adam and Eve. When God came to speak to them after their sin they hid themselves. God inquired as to the reason for this action. Adam’s reply was, “I heard your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself” (Gen. 3:8). This statement was made after they had sown “fig leaves together and made themselves coverings” (Gen. 3:7). Men take note! Here was a man clothed in what would probably be similar to modern swimming trunks and yet he said he was naked. Women are not the only ones that can be guilty of immodesty.
Or look at the case of Peter in John 21:7b. The passage reads, “Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment (for he had removed it), and plunged into the sea.” M.R. Vincent commenting on the verse said, “NAKED. Not absolutely, but clothed merely in his undergarment or shirt” (Vol. 1, p. 512). Yes, we too can be considered naked though partially clothed. And remember that nakedness is shameful.
The Nakedness of Spiritual Uncommittedness
The church at Laodicea was guilty of the sin of lukewarmness (Rev. 3:15-16). Jesus describes them in this condition as being “naked” (Rev. 3:17) and advises them to buy “white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed” (Rev. 3:18). Later in the book, he says, “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame” (Rev. 3:16). What are these garments? Revelation 19:8b answers, “the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. “
There are Christians who would be quick to condemn pornography and the sisters for their short dresses who themselves are also guilty of nakedness. They are not out trying to teach the lost, restore the erring, encourage the weak, or help their neighbor. Their “righteous acts” are brief and as far as God is concerned they are naked. These ones also need to buy the “white garments.”
In Luke 8:26-39 we read of the story of the demon-possessed man of Gadarea. This man was said to be one who “wore no clothes, nor did he live in a house but in the tombs” (Lk. 8:27). Jesus healed the man by casting the demons out of him and into a herd of swine. After his healing he was said to be “sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind” (Lk. 8:35). Are you in your right mind? Don’t be guilty of the sin of nakedness.
Guardian of Truth XXXII: 9, pp. 257, 279
May 5, 1988