The Garment of Grace

Many are called, but few are chosen
—Matthew 22:14

In the Bible, a garment is often a sign of righteousness, a sign of our right standing before God. And all of us have a choice about which garment we wear when we stand before God. We can either stand before God clothed in our own self-righteousness, or we can wear the garment of the righteousness God offers us through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Since the beginning of time, mankind has tried to dress himself in his own righteousness. It started back in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve sinned by disobeying God’s specific command not to eat the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The Bible says they were ashamed, so what did they do? They sewed together garments of fig leaves to cover their guilt. The only problem is that garment was insufficient to hide their guilt and shame. So God did something gracious for Adam and Eve. He killed an innocent animal—the first death in the Bible—and used the skin of that animal to make a garment, a suitable covering for Adam and Eve.

Through this act God taught all of mankind a lesson. Only God is capable of providing an adequate covering for our sin. And that’s what He did with His Son, Jesus Christ, the perfect Lamb of God. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died on the cross in order to provide a covering, an atonement for our sins. And when we trust in Christ as our Savior, what we are saying is, “I am not trusting in my own righteousness, my own goodness. I am trusting in the perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ.”

Jesus gives this application in Matthew 22:14: “For many are called, but few are chosen.” Have you heard that statement before? It is clear what Jesus means by that in this parable of the wedding banquet. Everyone has been called. Everyone has been invited to attend the wedding feast in the kingdom of God. Everyone is offered the gift of salvation. However, some neglect that invitation. They are so caught up with the things of this world that they don’t take time to prepare for the next world. Other people angrily reject the invitation. They shake their fist in the face of God and say, “I don’t need Your salvation.” Some people decide they will approach God in their own way and their own righteousness.

The point of the parable of the marriage feast is very simple. There is only one way to be accepted by God, and that is to put on the righteousness He offers you. God offers to clothe you with His Son, Jesus Christ. That is the only way to enter into the kingdom of heaven and enjoy the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

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Today’s devotion is excerpted from “The Kingdom of God Is a Party” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2008.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

 

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