Beauty and the Bible

From Pastor Michael Lawrence of Capital Hill Baptist Church and 9 Marks, writing on Boundless.org:

Fundamental to the Christian concept of beauty is that beauty is not so much passively found and appreciated as it is actively created and cherished. Genesis 1 tells us that when God created the world, He created it good. That word includes the idea of beautiful. Trees, for example, were both “pleasant to the sight and good for food” (Genesis 2:9). So God’s creation wasn’t merely functional, it was (and in many ways still is) beautiful! Why would God build beauty into creation and give us the ability to recognize it? Perhaps so that we would be attracted to it, and so care for it well as stewards. Ultimately God wanted his creation to be a reflection of his own beauty (glory); He wants us to be attracted to Him!

He then applies these truths:

Attraction has a powerful pull on all of us. So be careful what you allow to become attractive to you. Cultivate your attraction to Jesus Christ in the gospel. You may just be surprised at how some women you know seem to become more beautiful as you do…

I said earlier that Adam started off as a developer, making the beauty of Paradise flourish and grow. Adam failed, and we’ll think more about what that means next time. But where Adam failed, Jesus succeeded. Only this second Adam had a much more difficult job. Not expanding perfection, but cleansing the dirty, forgiving the guilty, and making the ugly beautiful again. Paul tells us that like a husband, “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:25-27)…

Whether you like it or not, whether you know it or not, you are a creator of beauty in the women around you. It’s just a question of what kind. Take a look at the single women in your church or circle of friends. What kind of beauty are they focused on? Is it the beauty of what Peter calls “outward adornment” or is it the beauty of Christ in the gospel (1 Peter 3:3-5)?

Guys especially want to check these articles out, since they make pointed application to how we understand beauty and attraction; but for both men and women both parts one and two of the series are well-worth the read.

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About B Treece
loved by God before I ever loved Him, saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone by the authority of the Bible alone to the glory of God alone, made to enjoy Him forever, happily married with wonder-filled children.

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