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Here Comes the Bride…All Dressed in White

Beautiful bride standing back in her wedding dresssI’m a big fan of weddings, for a number of different reasons, but one stands out: like everyone else, I love it when the bride comes down the aisle toward her adoring groom in a beautiful gown of white.

Along these lines, Revelation chapter 7 is the white robe chapter of the Bible. Other portions of Scripture mention a white robe also, but these are always angelic beings. Only one other chapter mentions white robes for believers, and that only one time – Revelation chapter 6. But chapter 7 pictures believers in white robes in three different verses, the first time in verse 9…

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”  Revelation 7:9-10 (ESV)

What is the Significance of the White Robe?

It’s an incredible scene, isn’t it? An inestimable number of the faithful, all standing before the throne of God and all clothed in white robes. Glorious. But…what is the significance of this particular garment? Glad you wondered! One of the elders turns to the Apostle John and asks the same question…

Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?” Revelation 7:13 (ESV)

But the Apostle punts, turning the question back to the elder…

I said to him, “Sir, you know.” And he said to me, “These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Revelation 7:14 (ESV)

The great question is, “How do I receive a white robe?” And the answer is clear – I must wash my filthy robe in the blood of the Lamb. Only His blood can cleanse my garment all soiled by sin.

Does She Deserve to Wear White?

Now, when it comes to weddings, the white, of course, is symbolic for the bride’s purity as she meets her groom. And I know that the cynical among us will say that many brides today do not deserve to wear white…but I will not join that unhappy throng. For the truth is this: no one on that Great Day before the throne will “deserve” their robe of white either.

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Oh! Precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Robert Lowry (1876)

For Friday, December 11: Revelation 8

 
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Posted by on December 10, 2015 in Purity, sin, Uncategorized

 

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What Does “To the Pure, All Things Are Pure,” Mean?

Have you ever wondered?

It’s one of those biblical proverbs that gets quoted a lot…but wrongly. Mostly, I have heard it quoted in terms of warning people away from having a “dirty mind”. You know, like you shouldn’t see sexual things in an otherwise innocent comment. If you do see a double entendre where one was not meant, it shows that your mind is not pure, because, “to the pure, all things are pure.”

But that’s not what Paul is saying.

Here is the full verse…

To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. Titus 1:15 (ESV)

He is talking about life as a Christian. If you are a believer, you are cleansed by the blood of Christ, and you are therefore by definition, pure. And, as Paul said elsewhere, “all things are lawful for me.” (1 Corinthians 6:12) In other words, all things are pure for you to partake in. Or, as Paul wrote to Timothy,

For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer. 1 Timothy 4:1 (ESV)

The scariest part of Titus 1:15, however, is the second part (…to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure…). In his commentary on the Pastoral Epistles, Homer Kent Jr. writes, “To unbelievers, however, nothing is clean because their sinful lives, thoughts, and motives, which are at cross-purposes with God, will infect even that which is intrinsically pure. Good food will be used to gain strength tor evil deeds. Such persons are defiled in their intellectual and moral nature so that their decisions and attitudes are no longer reliable guides. Only the light of the Gospel and the regeneration of the Spirit can bring such persons into real purity.”

Here is at least one great application – there is a freedom in Christ which is not possible to those outside of Him. Though people outside of the family of God often think we are the ones who are constrained, how wrong they are. In truth, there is a world of freedom available to us, yet we should not use our freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but should serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13). Unbelievers, on the other hand, are constrained to live lives of “wrong choices” and impurity.

Their only hope is the only hope of us all – the blood of Christ, which cleanses us from all sin (1 John 1:7).

 

For tomorrow, Friday, September 11: Titus 2

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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