Today’s Reading: Revelation 19-20
Today’s Reflection: Revelation 19:6-8
6) Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. 7) Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; 8) it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure”—for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
In the midst of all of the dark imagery in Revelations—beasts, dragons, death and destruction on a global scale—there is an incredible story of God’s grace unfolding here as well. For those who choose God and His way are part of the church—the bride of Christ whom Jesus is coming to save and redeem. Those saved are depicted as wearing ‘fine linen’, which symbolizes righteous deeds.
This highlights an important truth—we are not saved by our deeds, we are saved by grace and then empowered by God to do righteous deeds.
Romans 4:9 – 9) Is this blessing then only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? For we say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness. 10) How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised.
Old testament patriarchs, psalmists and prophets spoke of being clothed in righteousness (Job 29:14; Psalms 132:9; Isaiah 61:10). The parable of the wedding feast describes this righteousness as the wedding garment required for all guests (Matthew 22:1-14).
At the same time, it is critical that this righteousness be from God and not our own.
Isaiah 64:6 – We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.
When we try to do what is good and right in our own sight we only bring about destruction.
Proverbs 14:12 – There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.
This is why we can never do righteous deeds in the hopes they can or will save us.
Romans 3:20, 28 – 20) For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. 28) For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.
Instead we must first be saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ in order to do righteous deeds—the good works He has called us to.
Ephesians 2:1-10 – 1) And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2) in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— 3) among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 4) But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5) even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— 6) and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7) so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8) For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9) not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
And these good deeds become our clothing, the face we show to the world to glorify God and become living invitations to His eternal kingdom.