The Psalm writer wrote: Open my eyes, that I may behold Wonderful things from Your law. As we come before a Holy God and hear his word, may we have eyes open to the wonderful and fearful things from his law. May it move us to repent and seek forgiveness, fear disobedience, and live in light of the grace we have received. This is the word of God. It is eternally true and applicable for all of life.
Proverbs 25:1-10 These also are proverbs of Solomon which the men of Hezekiah, king of Judah, transcribed. It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search out a matter. As the heavens for height and the earth for depth, So the heart of kings is unsearchable. Take away the dross from the silver, And there comes out a vessel for the smith; Take away the wicked before the king, And his throne will be established in righteousness. Do not claim honor in the presence of the king, And do not stand in the place of great men; For it is better that it be said to you, “Come up here,” Than for you to be placed lower in the presence of the prince, Whom your eyes have seen. Do not go out hastily to argue your case; Otherwise, what will you do in the end, When your neighbor humiliates you? Argue your case with your neighbor, And do not reveal the secret of another, Or he who hears it will reproach you, And the evil report about you will not pass away.
Matthew Henry, in speaking of Proverbs 25 verses 4 and 5, says this: This shows that the vigorous endeavour of a prince to suppress vice, and reform the manners of his people, is the most effectual way to support his government. Observe, 1. what the duty of magistrates is: To take away the wicked, to use their power for the terror of evil works and evil workers, not only to banish those that are vicious and profane from their presence, and forbid them the court, but so to frighten them and restrain them that they may not spread the infection of their wickedness among their subjects. This is called taking away the dross from the silver, which is done by the force of fire. Wicked people are the dross of a nation, the scum of the country, and, as such, to be taken away. If men will not take them away, God will, Ps. 119:119 . If the wicked be taken away from before the king, if he abandon them and show his detestation of their wicked courses, it will go far towards the disabling of them to do mischief. The reformation of the court will promote the reformation of the kingdom, Ps. 101:3, Ps. 101:8 . What the advantage will be of their doing this duty. (1.) It will be the bettering of the subjects; they shall be made like silver refined, fit to be made vessels of honour. (2.) It will be the settling of the prince. His throne shall be established in this righteousness.
While this passage is dealing directly with the role of the civil magistrates in suppressing evil, I would like us to look at an application of this principle that we see operating within the realm of the local Church. Pastor’s have many roles: they are to shepherd Christ’s sheep (John 21:15-17), they are to exhort in sound doctrine and refute those who contradict (Titus 1:9), and they are to exercise oversight, not under compulsion, but voluntarily (1 Peter 5:2). These undershepherds are tasked with preaching the Word, being examples of godliness to the flock, and protecting the flock from wolves, error, and the leaven of sin. “Purge the evil from among us” is what the Word of God commands, and it is the loving application of God’s Word to this body by the Pastor, which achieves this. God’s Word is preached, the Holy Spirit uses this proclamation to pierce the hearts of men, women, boys, and girls, and in the Spirit filled believer, repentance follows. The faithful preaching of the Word has the effect of refining, removing the dross, so that what remains is a silver vessel fit for honor. Take for instance the issue of modesty. 1 Timothy 2:9-11 NASB
Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments,  but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness.  A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness.
Paul lays out in verse 9 what he believes to be, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the attire fitting for a woman who claims godliness. However, he takes it a step further and points to good works being the adornment which truly identifies a woman of God: those things which originate in the heart. Let’s be honest: we like to know where the line is, then walk right up to it and put our toe a mere nanometer away. Example: Blue jeans and t-shirts could be considered modest dress. Would it be modesty, however, to plaster your face all over social media, not seeking to glorify God, but rather to be seen by men? Modest attire or not, if you are seeking to point people to you, rather than Christ, you are being immodest. “Well”, you might say, “ I am dressed modestly, and cannot help how people may perceive me on social media. That’s their sin, not mine.” That’s not what the bible says. The bible says we are to live above reproach (Philippians 2:15), to not cause the little ones to stumble (Matthew 18:6), and refers to an immodest woman as a temptress who is boisterous and rebellious, whose feet do not remain at home (Proverbs 7: 11), she lurks (Proverbs 7:12), she seeks out someone to entice (proverbs 7:15), and she is flattering and seducing (Proverbs 7: 21). It is possible for a woman to dress modestly, while clothed in rebellion and pride. Knowing the spirit of this age, that sexuality is being used as a weapon against God’s people, the Pastor and elders of Sovereign King Church are committed to faithfully preaching God’s Word in a way that highlights the sin and weight that so easily ensnares us, that we might repent, set it aside, and look unto Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who applies His refining fire to our hearts, and scrapes off the dross. It is true that each man, woman, boy, and girl will give an account of every word, thought, and deed, so let us be sure that we are presenting ourselves above reproach, not causing others to, stumble, displaying Christ’s righteousness to the praise of His glory, not our own.
Heavenly Father, we cry out to You for mercy. We beg You to give us clean hearts, and steadfast spirits, that hunger and thirst for Your Righteousness rather than the perishable things of this world, and of our imaginations. Father, we are like dumb sheep, desperately in need of Your gentle guiding hand. Please lead us not into temptation, but away from worthless pastures, stagnant springs, and hidden dangers that threaten to lead us down the wide path of destruction, rather than through Your narrow gate. Father, please crush any semblance of pride and self will within us, and give us repentant hearts that recognize our utter dependance upon You for every area of our lives. Father, please illuminate our minds, that we might recognize all the different ways we may cause others to stumble, and lead us to repentance. Please forgive us of our sin against You. It’s in the Name of Your Precious Son Jesus that we pray, Amen.
Listen now to the comforting assurance of the grace of God, promised in the gospel to all that believe:
[He] has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. | 2 Timothy 1:9-10
To all those who thus repent and seek Jesus Christ for their salvation, your sins are forgiven in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Lift up your hearts!
Sunday 10:30 AM