As Seventh-day Adventist Christians, should we wear jewelry? YES, I believe we should! But wait a minute. I'm talking about a different kind of jewelry, jewelry that is so beautiful that it will sparkle and dazzle the eyes of the soul. But this jewelry I'm talking about is different from the jewelry we're used to seeing, because it's invisible! It's the jewelry with which God adorns the souls of His children. He wants us to have it on! He tells us, Get up and shine. Lighten up the world with this shining invisible jewelry that I will give you! This jewelry cannot be purchased with money, and it cannot be worn by a non-Christian. In fact, the only way you can wear it is to ask God to decorate and adorn your heart with His shining, invisible jewelry. We'll talk more about that later.
Now, if you are really into wearing this invisible jewelry, chances are that you will come to the point where you realize that regular worldly jewelry will lessen the gleaming of the precious invisible spiritual jewelry. Most likely, you will realize that you don't want God's jewelry to have to compete with the world's jewelry, so you will choose to wear God's jewelry alone.
I have heard some people say that it's legalistic to not wear jewelry, or to teach that Christians shouldn't wear jewelry, because it's focusing on non-essentials. Let's examine this charge. Is it legalistic to teach that Christian's shouldn't wear jewelry?
First, let's define legalism. Legalism is “ strict conformity to the letter of the law rather than its spirit.” It is the effort to strictly follow the law, without the ability to actually keep it! It is the effort of man to make himself acceptable to God, in his own strength. It is placing human “righteousness” higher than God's righteousness, just as the devil exalted himself above God.
How do we receive a right standing with God, and obtain His righteousness? Only through faith in the gift of Jesus is this possible. Only through His self-sacrificing death can we be made righteous, and receive eternal life. Jesus wore a crown of thorns so that we one day may wear a crown of life. We cannot place this crown on our own heads. To crown ourselves would be to usurp the authority of our God. Our crowns must be placed on our heads by the nail-scarred hands of Jesus Himself.
The golden crown of life that God will give to the redeemed will sparkle with jewels. Jewels are designed to be a reflection of God's character, His creative power, His righteousness. In His presence, they reflect the light of His glory. Lucifer was once covered with jewels, and God was glorified by the glittering reflection of His own glory. But pride took over and he ceased to reflect God's glory, and tried to promote his own glory. He turned from the love and glory of God so that God's glory no longer shines on him.
Satan now declares his own glory. And ever since the fall, he has been trying to tempt mankind to adopt the same futile effort, to declare our personal worth and value to God in our unregenerate, wicked, rebellious state. Satan's principles have become the customs of the world. Thus, the custom of the world is to deck oneself with jewels.
Jesus, on the other hand, portrays the righteous character that He desires God's children to emanate. In heaven, Jesus lived in a jewel-filled atmosphere. Heaven is decked with gold, pearls, and precious stones. The streets are of gold and the gates are of pearls. All this beauty reflects the glory of God. Jesus, for our sakes, was willing to take off the glory of heaven, to lay aside the beauty of the jewels, and to humble Himself, deny Himself, and become a plain-clothed man. He is our divine example. As followers of Him, He invites us to have the self-denying mind of Christ.
If we are willing to deny ourselves, setting aside all our self-righteousness and pride—the sins that consumed and destroyed Satan—and to adopt the self-denying principles of Jesus Christ, someday we will live in heaven's jewel-filled atmosphere. We will walk through gates of pearl, onto streets of gold. Every precious stone will dazzle our eyes. Christ Himself will place a golden crown on our heads. It is a crown of life, righteousness and glory. It will not glorify us, but it will glorify God.
All the beings of heaven will proclaim the glory of God. Even the holy angels prostrate themselves before God, declaring Holy, Holy, Holy! As the hymn with that title declares, “Angels adore Thee, casting down their bright crowns around the glassy sea.” We will cast down our crowns before the feet of Jesus someday, declaring, “He is worthy to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!” There will be no self-exaltation in heaven. All the glory there will be shining from the face of God and be reflected back to Him! What a privilege it will be to reflect that glory!
Recognizing that the gold and precious stones created by God are designed to reflect His glory will help us to know how to relate with these objects here on earth. As Christians, we acknowledge our utter lack of worth apart from Jesus. We recognize that we must lay aside all self-righteousness, all efforts to exalt self, all pride, all vanity and display. Jesus did it for our sakes. He wants us to do it for His sake. We will be willing to take off our jewels, which is the world's way to self-exaltation, and humble ourselves like Jesus did.
While we are here on this earth, as Christians we will reflect the glory of God by reflecting the character of Christ, just as Christ reflected the character of His Father. The invisible jewels of Christ's character reflect God's glory. A distinctive characteristic of a self-denying Christian will be the absence of outward adorning and the presence of the inward adorning. Laying aside our outward jewelry for the sake of Jesus, and putting on the invisible spiritual jewelry, is an act of worship. It is an act of consecration, of commitment to the kingdom of heaven. It is a turning away from the world's outward adorning, which is Satan's way of declaring one's self-worth. Self-exaltation has no place in the life of a true Christian. The exaltation of Christ is everything to a Christian.
Right now, God wants to deck our lives with the spiritual jewels of humility, mercy, joy, peace, love, and all the other gorgeous attributes of Christ's character. The effects of this invisible jewelry will be highly visible. He wants us to dazzle the world with the beauty of Christ! He wants the world to look at us and see us shining with the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, which comes from the face of Jesus Christ! Beautiful indeed! We cannot afford to mix this attractive beauty of God's glory with the counterfeit beauty of self-exaltation. Satan's plan of outward adornment, which symbolizes a desire to declare one's own righteousness and worth cannot enter into the practice of a true Christian. External adornment would counteract the true reflection of Christ's glory. God wants to cover us with the character of Christ, painting a beautiful picture, which by-passes the human external appearance, and goes straight to the soul. Even an outwardly unattractive person can thus reflect the beautiful character of Jesus!
We all recognize that Satan lures us with pride, because we've felt the strong pull in our carnal natures. We know that our enemies are the world, the flesh and the devil. In the Bible we find deep and symbolic significance regarding the connection that outward adorning versus inward adorning has to our spiritual allegiance. Therefore, the choice regarding the wearing of jewelry becomes deeply significant for a Christian. It shows which kingdom we identify with: the one which exalts self or the one which humbles self. We see the hypocritical, haughty, self-righteous devil with his counterfeit jewels contrasted with the meek and lowly self-denying Christ, who laid aside His glory for us and had no outward adornment to make Him beautiful. Jesus took off His jewels when He left heaven and came to earth, and now His deepest desire is to make you and me His jewels. Can we not take off our jewels for Him, and have it be our deepest desire to make Him our jewel, our Pearl of great price? Can we not forgo Satan's temptation to be beautiful in the eyes of the world, and become beautiful in our souls to the One whose opinion truly counts!
Legalism, declaring ourselves acceptable when we really aren't is based on the principal of self-exaltation. Legalism is a self-help, self-beautification program that Satan has adopted and recommended to us. He wants us to declare ourselves righteous and to deck ourselves with worldly jewels that will actually reflect his glory, or his character. In contrast, true righteousness which comes by faith acknowledges our desperate need to be beautified with the character of Jesus. It is the willingness to allow God to adorn us. Only God can place the gorgeous robe of righteousness on us, and put the golden ring of acceptance on our finger. When God decks us with His invisible spiritual jewelry, it becomes evident that we are truly married spiritually to Him. Then we can truly reflect His glory. God does the adorning work. He makes us beautiful. All we can do it willingly accept it.
These same principles regarding the spiritual versus the material adornment also apply to any effort of self-exaltation, specifically in appearance. Immodest clothing, gaudy, extravagant clothing, the elaborate hairstyle, the unnatural makeup, the glittery, showy apparel all are part of Satan's plan for self-glorification, revealing that we have pride and selfishness in our hearts.
Let us then no longer seek to put worldly jewels on ourselves, but let us allow God to put the same inward adorning on us as He put on Jesus while He was here on earth. The invisible spiritual jewelry will make us gorgeous to God! If we are willing to deny our selfish, prideful desires now, some day we will gloriously shine as the stars forever, in the actual presence of the glory of God! What a day that will be! Praise God! You and I must be there! Hallelujah!
Christians focus on spiritual issues, not material things
2 Cor 4:18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
God's Jewels – His perfect law
Prov 1:8 My son, hear the instruction of your father, And do not forsake the law of your mother;
9 For they will be a graceful ornament on your head, And chains about your neck.
God's Jewels – His Wisdom
Prov 4:7 Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.
8 Exalt her, and she will promote you; She will bring you honor, when you embrace her.
9 She will place on your head an ornament of grace; A crown of glory she will deliver to you."
God's Jewels – His Guidance
Prov 15:11 A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold In settings of silver.
12 Like an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold Is a wise rebuker to an obedient ear.
God created Lucifer and covered him with jewels.
Ezek 28:13 You were in Eden, the garden of God; Every precious stone was your covering: The sardius, topaz, and diamond, Beryl, onyx, and jasper, Sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes Was prepared for you on the day you were created.
14 "You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; You were on the holy mountain of God; You walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones.
15 You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, Till iniquity was found in you.
16 "By the abundance of your trading You became filled with violence within, And you sinned; Therefore I cast you as a profane thing Out of the mountain of God; And I destroyed you, O covering cherub, From the midst of the fiery stones.
17 "Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; You corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings, That they might gaze at you.
18 "You defiled your sanctuaries By the multitude of your iniquities, By the iniquity of your trading; Therefore I brought fire from your midst; It devoured you, And I turned you to ashes upon the earth In the sight of all who saw you.
19 All who knew you among the peoples are astonished at you; You have become a horror, And shall be no more forever.
Revelation 12:1 Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars.
Satan's harlot girlfriend
Rev. 17:3 So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.
4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls, having in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the filthiness of her fornication.
Rev 18:16 "and saying, 'Alas, alas, that great city that was clothed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls!
Heaven is full of jewels!
Rev 21:10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,
11 having the glory of God. Her light was like a most precious stone, like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.
18 The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass.
19 The foundations of the wall of the city were adorned with all kinds of precious stones: the first foundation was jasper, the second sapphire, the third chalcedony, the fourth emerald,
20 the fifth sardonyx, the sixth sardius, the seventh chrysolite, the eighth beryl, the ninth topaz, the tenth chrysoprase, the eleventh jacinth, and the twelfth amethyst.
21 The twelve gates were twelve pearls: each individual gate was of one pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, like transparent glass.
22 But I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple.
23 The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light.
24 And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory and honor into it.
Putting on jewelry connected with spiritual adultery
Hos 2:13 I will punish her For the days of the Baals to which she burned incense. She decked herself with her earrings and jewelry, And went after her lovers; But Me she forgot," says the LORD.
God wants us to wear inward adornment, not outward adornment.
1 Tim 2:9 in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing,
1 Peter 3:3 Do not let your adornment be [ merely ] (this word is supplied by the translators, and, to be consistent with other scripture, should not be there) outward -- arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel --
4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.
We are God's jewels!
Mal 3:16 Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, And the LORD listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him For those who fear the LORD And who meditate on His name.
17 "They shall be Mine," says the LORD of hosts, "On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them As a man spares his own son who serves him."
18 Then you shall again discern Between the righteous and the wicked, Between one who serves God And one who does not serve Him.
Read Ezekiel 16. This chapter is in symbolic “sanctuary language” utilizing many of the symbols of the sanctuary service. God put the jewelry on His bride, which represents His character. The bride chose rebellion & idolatry, and transformed God's jewelry into an idol. God's jewelry is His character. We should seek to be adorned with His jewelry!
Ezekiel 16:11 "I adorned you with ornaments, put bracelets on your wrists, and a chain on your neck.
12 "And I put a jewel in your nose, earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown on your head.
13 "Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your clothing was of fine linen, silk, and embroidered cloth. You ate pastry of fine flour, honey, and oil. You were exceedingly beautiful, and succeeded to royalty.
Ezek 16:39 "I will also give you into their hand, and they shall throw down your shrines and break down your high places. They shall also strip you of your clothes, take your beautiful jewelry, and leave you naked and bare.
40 "They shall also bring up an assembly against you, and they shall stone you with stones and thrust you through with their swords.
Because the jewelry on the woman is not longer representing God's righteous character, but Satan's character, it is stripped off and the bride-become-harlot is destroyed.
Ezek 23:26 They shall also strip you of your clothes And take away your beautiful jewelry.
Outward adornment along with pride is an abomination to the Lord
Isa 3:16 Moreover the LORD says: "Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, And walk with outstretched necks And wanton eyes, Walking and mincing as they go, Making a jingling with their feet,
17 Therefore the Lord will strike with a scab The crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, And the LORD will uncover their secret parts."
18 In that day the Lord will take away the finery: The jingling anklets, the scarves, and the crescents;
19 The pendants, the bracelets, and the veils;
20 The headdresses, the leg ornaments, and the headbands; The perfume boxes, the charms,
21 and the rings; The nose jewels,
22 the festal apparel, and the mantles; The outer garments, the purses,
23 and the mirrors; The fine linen, the turbans, and the robes.
24 And so it shall be: Instead of a sweet smell there will be a stench; Instead of a sash, a rope; Instead of well-set hair, baldness; Instead of a rich robe, a girding of sackcloth; And branding instead of beauty.
25 Your men shall fall by the sword, And your mighty in the war.
26 Her gates shall lament and mourn, And she being desolate shall sit on the ground.
Taking off our jewelry shows we are willing to listen to God.
Ex. 33:5 For the LORD had said to Moses, "Say to the children of Israel, 'You are a stiff-necked people. I could come up into your midst in one moment and consume you. Now therefore, take off your ornaments, that I may know what to do to you.' "
6 So the children of Israel stripped themselves of their ornaments by Mount Horeb.
Focus on spiritual, not earthly things.
We are to put on the new man by accepting Christ. The new man includes all God's spiritual jewelry!
Colossians 3:1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.
2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience,
7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.
8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.
9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds,
10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,
11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.
12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering;
13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.
The adornment of God
Isa 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. (Notice that God is the one who puts clothes on us.)
The futility of self-righteousness
Jer 4:30 "And when you are plundered, What will you do? Though you clothe yourself with crimson, Though you adorn yourself with ornaments of gold, Though you enlarge your eyes with paint, In vain you will make yourself fair; Your lovers will despise you; They will seek your life.
Ornaments become a stumbling block
Ezek 7:19 'They will throw their silver into the streets, And their gold will be like refuse; Their silver and their gold will not be able to deliver them In the day of the wrath of the LORD; They will not satisfy their souls, Nor fill their stomachs, Because it became their stumbling block of iniquity.
20 ' As for the beauty of his ornaments, He set it in majesty; But they made from it The images of their abominations -- Their detestable things; Therefore I have made it Like refuse to them.
The self-denying humility of Christ
Phil 2:5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God,
7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.
8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
We can't be a friend of the world and God at the same time
James 4:3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.
4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
5 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, "The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously"?
6 But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble."
7 Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.
1 John 2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world -- the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life -- is not of the Father but is of the world.
Love is not proud
1 Cor 13:4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;
God's character is to shine from us
Matthew 5:16 "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Matthew 13:43 "Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!
Phil 2:15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,
Psalm 34:2 My soul shall make its boast in the LORD; The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
3 Oh, magnify the LORD with me, And let us exalt His name together.
4 I sought the LORD, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears.
5 They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces were not ashamed.
God will shine on us
Psalm 50:2 Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God will shine forth.
3 Our God shall come, and shall not keep silent; A fire shall devour before Him, And it shall be very tempestuous all around Him.
4 He shall call to the heavens from above, And to the earth, that He may judge His people:
5 "Gather My saints together to Me, Those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice."
Dan 12:3 Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever.
Isaiah 60:1 Arise, shine; For your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you.
2 For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, And deep darkness the people; But the LORD will arise over you, And His glory will be seen upon you.
3 The Gentiles shall come to your light, And kings to the brightness of your rising.
The proud will be brought low
Isa 2:12 For the day of the LORD of hosts Shall come upon everything proud and lofty, Upon everything lifted up -- And it shall be brought low --
17 The loftiness of man shall be bowed down, And the haughtiness of men shall be brought low; The LORD alone will be exalted in that day,
18 But the idols He shall utterly abolish.
19 They shall go into the holes of the rocks, And into the caves of the earth, From the terror of the LORD And the glory of His majesty, When He arises to shake the earth mightily.
20 In that day a man will cast away his idols of silver And his idols of gold, Which they made, each for himself to worship, To the moles and bats,
21 To go into the clefts of the rocks, And into the crags of the rugged rocks, From the terror of the LORD And the glory of His majesty, When He arises to shake the earth mightily.
Isa 13:11 "I will punish the world for its evil, And the wicked for their iniquity; I will halt the arrogance of the proud, And will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
12 I will make a mortal more rare than fine gold, A man more than the golden wedge of Ophir.
Cast away the ornaments
Isa 30:21 Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, "This is the way, walk in it," Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left.
22 You will also defile the covering of your graven images of silver, And the ornament of your molded images of gold. You will throw them away as an unclean thing; You will say to them, "Get away!"
When the Holy Spirit speaks to us about the value of Christ's jewelry, the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, free from vanity and price, we will cast our gold and ornaments far from us, and say Get away! Don't cause me to worship a false idol! Let me be true to my Maker, and He will adorn me with His jewelry of His beautiful character, and cover me with His robe of righteousness! Amen!