With spring slowly arriving and summer just around the corner, flowers have started blooming and leaves are starting to paint the mountain landscape beautiful shades of green. After a long winter, there is nothing much better than the beauty of Spring. As I sat on our front steps, admiring the color which God had sprinkled across the bare trees, I started my study on the word “adorn.” Translated from the Greek word Kosmeo, the word adorn is often used to describe the beauty and order of something or someone. I absolutely love this word and how it is used throughout Scripture. It has been used to refer to the beauty of the temple of God (Luke 21:5), the beauty of a godly woman (1 Peter 3:5) and as an instruction to the church of God to live in sound doctrine and good works (Titus 2:10). As I sat outside, enjoying the spring weather, I got a small taste of this topic which we will look at today.
The Purpose of “Adorn”:
Following a recent study on the book of Titus, I made the name change to present the purpose of this blog very clearly. Following the template of Titus 2, I want to encourage and equip women to pursue sound doctrine and good works. Woven throughout Titus is this inseparable relationship between doctrine and the response of good works. James 1:22 echoes this unity, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (NIV) As we pursue this goal of knowing the Word and responding in good works, I hope that resources such as this word study will equip you to pursue sound doctrine in your own life.
The word adorn, translated from the Greek word Kosmeo, is often used to describe the appearance of something or someone. The Strong’s Concordance defines it as to “put in order, arrange, make ready, prepare” or to “ornament.” Other appearances of this Greek word in Scripture include 1 Peter 3:5, 1 Timothy 2:9, and Jeremiah 31:4. (ESV)
Adorn Yourself: Reflect your Creator
1 Peter 3:1-6: As women, we are not without direction in our walk with the Lord. Especially throughout the letters of the New Testament, there are many passages which provide direction. 1 Peter 3:5 uses this word Kosmeo when referring to “the holy women who hoped in God.” This passage is beautiful because its message is clear. As women, we are to adorn ourselves with a gentle and quiet spirit. The passage continues by stating that this adornment is very precious in God’s sight (v.4). The purpose of this adornment is to share the love of God through our actions (vs.1,2). We all know women whose love radiates from their daily actions, their love for Christ is obvious without a word from their mouth. 1 Timothy 2:9 uses this word Kosmeo to refer to the physical adornment of women. Separate from the words that come out of your mouth, think about how your actions, dress, and non-verbal communication represents our Christ.
Proverbs 31: The woman of Proverbs 31, known for her integrity and works, has become an icon for many Christian girls. As I study this passage again at a deeper level, I am so encouraged and challenged by her care and intentionality towards others. If you grew up in church, I am sure you know Proverbs 31:30 by heart, “Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” In the context of this passage, we are challenged by this verse again to understand where we find adornment as women.
Make Ready the Way of the Lord:
Studying the word Kosmeo, it can be easy to get a little mixed up because there are multiple applications of this word in Scripture. We just finished looking at adornment as it relates to our lives as women. The tagline of my blog reads, “through sound doctrine and good works, adorn the Word of God” which takes a little bit different approach than personal adornment. If you notice the wording in the tagline, you will see that the focus is adorning the Word of God. This is a little bit different than adorning ourselves with the truth of God, which we looked at earlier. Looking back at the definition of adornment, “to put in order, arrange, make ready, prepare” and to “ornament” and the usage of the word Kosmeo in Titus 2:10 “so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior,” we find the purpose of this blog. The New International Version of the Bible translates Kosmeo to “make the teaching about God our Savior attractive.” Through adorning ourselves with the truth of Scripture, our goal is to give all of the glory to God and to reflect His beauty back through our own lives.
I would encourage you to continue looking for these passages of guidance throughout the Bible. Use the index in the back of your Bible or the Blue Letter Bible website or app as a resource in your search (link at the bottom of this post). Today’s study was simply based on the word adorn, continue your study with other words or topics that interest you. I would love to help equip you to dive into the Word as we study sound doctrine. Use the Blue Letter Bible to understand the word you choose and even to get a little background about the original language and similar words. I promise it is not as daunting as it may seem. Feel free to send me an email if you need help, I would be happy to help walk you through it.
Blue Letter Bible: Kosmeo – Strongs #: G2885