Revelation 19:1-8
After this I heard what seemed to be the loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying out,

“Hallelujah!
Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,
2 for his judgments are true and just;
for he has judged the great prostitute
who corrupted the earth with her immorality,
and has avenged on her the blood of his servants.”
3 Once more they cried out,
“Hallelujah!
The smoke from her goes up forever and ever.”
4 And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who was seated on the throne, saying, “Amen. Hallelujah!” 5 And from the throne came a voice saying,

“Praise our God,
all you his servants,
you who fear him,
small and great.”

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.

The white garments worn by the worshippers are the righteous deeds of the saints. This is not the first time that Revelation makes reference to the white garments of the saints. Three times in chapter 3 white garments are promised to those who overcome (3:4, 5, 18.)
In 3:4 the faithful are promised white garments as a reward for not soiling the garments they currently have with the sins of the rest of the church of Sardis.

Yet you have still a few names in Sardis, people who have not soiled their garments, and they will walk with me in white, for they are worthy.

In 3:5 those who conquer are promised white garments

I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.

In 3:18 the Laodiceans are encouraged to buy white garments from Jesus so that their nakedness can be covered.

I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see.

In chapter 19 all those who worship are clothed in white and the white garments are the righteous deeds of the saints.

In Matthew 22:1-14 Jesus tells the parable of the wedding feast and at the end of the parable a man is cast out of the wedding banquet for not wearing a wedding garment. There is a wedding in Revelation 19 as well. Those dressed in white in Revelation 19 are the blessed who are invited to the “marriage supper of the Lamb”. How many people are there who get invited to the wedding and think that it does not matter how they dress for it? How many would be offended if they were told they had to leave for not dressing properly?

Jesus invites us to the wedding. It is an honour beyond comprehension. And to bask in the invitation and make no preparations for dressing properly for it is to disqualify oneself from attendance. I run into a great number of people who are certain that they have been invited to the wedding and that Jesus, since He offered the invitation, is thrilled that they have chosen to come. But they have not changed their wardrobe in the slightest. The proper wardrobe for this wedding is righteous deeds (19:8). In other words, what many conclude about the gracious invitation of Jesus Christ to them is that they can say yes and not change their way of living. They expect to show up dressed in immorality, idolatry – a life of unrepentant sin. And when they stand before God in great confidence that they have their invitation in their pocket and therefore will be allowed entrance, they will be sorely disappointed, because they made no preparations.

Real grace changes people. This is the clear message of the New Testament. It is brought home most strongly in Romans 6:1-4. How can we who died to sin live in it any longer? Those who are truly saved by grace are those who have died to sin as the governing power of their lives. There is much about this truth that is very disturbing. It is disturbing because there is no one who is not marked by sin in some measure. There is no believer who is not bothered by sin in some way.

How can anyone say they have died to sin? It is what real grace does. All those who believe in Jesus Christ have died to sin. This an objective truth. It has nothing to do with our performance. It has to do with being united to Jesus Christ. Coming to Jesus means death to sin. And the life  lived will demonstrate that. This does not mean that they will never sin again or that they will not struggle against sin and sometimes lose. It means that in Christ we are counted to have died to sin. It is no longer the prevailing power of our lives. We have been set free from sin and become slaves to righteousness. When Jesus died, we died. When He was crucified, we were crucified. We sin because we do not reckon ourselves to be dead to sin. We are dead and what God tells us in the pages of Scripture is to remember, think on, reckon, that such is the case. We are to remember who we are, what God has done and know that we do not have to sin. We once were enslaved by it. But no longer. We have been set free. We are now dressed in the righteous deeds of the saints and we should be recognizing the opportunities that God sets before us to do those righteous deeds more and more. We sin because we choose to. We sin because we do not consider that we have died to sin. And if any live a life of sin then it is because they have not yet been clothed in the very righteousness of Christ, which is the most important garment of all.

Romans 6:5 – For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. 6 We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. 7 For one who has died has been set free from sin. 8 Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. 9 We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

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