Clothed With Christ
"Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts." -Romans 13:14, emphasis added
In Revelation 19:8 John sees saints clothed in their "righteous acts." What is this? Isn't salvation by grace alone? Are these works that He is speaking of? Yes, and yes! God has paid the full and final price in Christ for our salvation. However, we were saved for a purpose. Look at Ephesians 2:8-10: "For by grace you have been saved through faith . . . ; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them."
The "righteous acts" in Revelation 19:8 are not to be confused with the righteousness of God imputed to us at conversion (see Romans 3:21-22). We can only receive this gracious gift since it can never be earned. All the good deeds of an unsaved person amount to dirty bandages full of filth (see Isaiah 64:6). Apart from Christ we can do nothing, so any righteous deeds we wear are the result of yielding to the Holy Spirit, "for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure" (see Philippians 2:13). Oh, what a blessing to be such channels in His hands!
Revelation 19:8, therefore, is referring to the righteous acts of believers during their earthly lives. When will these acts of righteousness be revealed? At the Judgment Seat of Christ. Here are the main portions that deal with this event.
It is a REFLECTION of our SANCTIFICATION-in our body: "But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all [be presented] before the judgment seat of Christ" (Romans 14:10).
It is a REVELATION of our SELECTION-of our building materials: "For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. . . . If anyone's work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire" (1 Corinthians 3:11-16).
It is a RECEPTION sponsored BY OUR SAVIOR: "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, . . . whether good or bad" (2 Corinthians 5:10).
Now then, here are some probing questions that might make you squirm a bit. Has it ever occurred to you, Christian, that you are making your own outfit to wear at this Marriage Supper of the Lamb-the greatest of all events? What are you putting into this special wedding garment? In the old world a father spent years building the bride's hope chest, and spent years selecting items to lovingly fill it. Are you giving your preparation for heaven that much care? Are you being sanctified by continual washing by the Word? What good are you doing for God that will be spared by the flames of His refining fire? (All self-glorification will burn up and all self-gratification will go-everything done in the energy of the flesh will turn to soot.) What building materials have you provided that will survive?
Finally, will you be wearing the fruits of a good and godly life? The pure white linen of a self-sacrificed life lived in dedication to Christ is a stark contrast to the purple and scarlet of the harlot of Revelation that lived for self alone. Think about it!
Make a Choice to Live in Hope: You cannot get ready for heaven in heaven. Choices you have made and are going to make will determine both your wedding garment at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb and the type of room in the mansion He's building for His bride. And that determines what rewards you will receive in heaven.
What are these rewards, and how are they described in Scripture? What we know about rewards is given in terms that are more general than specific.
Click here to find those rewards Christ has promised.
For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit discoverthebook.org.