And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints (Revelation 19:8).
Imagine having an appointment to meet the President of the United States, the Queen of England, or the Prime Minister of Tanzania. What would you wear?
As thought-provoking as that may be, there’s an even greater question to ponder: what will you be wearing when you stand before God?
The Bible pictures Christians standing in Heaven dressed like a bride for her wedding, donned in clean and bright linen, which are symbols of godly deeds. The Church’s righteousness isn’t something earned by good works or prayerful requests. It’s granted to her, something given as a gift by grace. The Scriptures say that this righteousness is Christ’s. It’s given to us through faith alone in Christ Jesus alone (Is 59:17; 61:10; Rom 3:21-22; Phil 3:9).
Ephesians 4:25-27 says that Jesus gave His life to sanctify His people. “Sanctify” means to set someone or something aside for service to God. He also gave Himself to cleanse believers with the washing of water by the Word. Through the Scriptures, we are cleansed from a sinful mind and given new habits, desires, purposes, and goals (Rom 12:1-2). He did this so that He could present us to Himself, a perfect bride for a perfect Groom.
Since believers appear before God dressed in the righteousness of Christ, what will unbelievers wear when they stand before Him? Their own works (Rev 20:12-15)!
When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, they were caught naked. They tried covering themselves with works of their own hands, sewn fig leaves. Woefully inadequate, they hid among the trees, but they were still seen by God and they stood before Him naked and ashamed (Gen 4:7-10).
If you aren’t wearing the righteousness of Christ by faith, you’ll stand before God naked and ashamed … a guilty sinner.