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Bridal gown

Admiring the fine linen of the saints’ righteous deeds

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It’s June, the month of brides. We have permission to fuss over our lace and crinoline, for when we do so our minds are aligned with God’s own. He also cares about the wedding gown. He also oohs and ahhs with us.

“Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of many peals of thunder, crying out, ‘Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. 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; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure’—for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints” (Revelation 19:6-9).

No one who is not properly robed will be present on that day, nor any who did not bother to clothe themselves with fine linen. For it will be revealed—some to great delight, and others to great horror—that the gown is composed of the righteous deeds of those saved by faith, one stitch and fold and appliqué at a time, all wrought by blood-bought saints who found by trusting Christ ability to be fruitful in good works.

The smallest deed done for Christ will be celebrated with astonishment that it had caused much larger concentric ripples in the universe than it had seemed on earth.

I expect there will be testimonies, life stories of righteous deeds in review, a retrospective, with much happy laughter.

I expect there will be testimonies, life stories of righteous deeds in review, a retrospective, with much happy laughter. Some will be glad they “behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity” (2 Corinthians 1:12). One will remember how he had prayed, under much pressure, “My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast!” (Psalm 57:7)—and it was true. A third had merely whispered on his deathbed, “I will bless you as long as I live” (Psalm 63:4)—and in fact he did just that. Another had promised God, “I will perform my vows to you, that which my lips uttered and my mouth promised when I was in trouble” (Psalm 66:13-14), and he had kept his promise.

Dorcas will be there, blushing, but delighted, to see the far surpassing glory of the raiment of that feast to her own modest coats with which she clothed the saints of Joppa.

David will be there, of course, who gave glory to God in military victory, while not denying his own righteous conduct: “The Lord dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me. For I have kept the ways of the Lord and have not wickedly departed from my God. For all his rules were before me, and from his statutes I did not turn aside. I was blameless before him, and kept myself from guilt. And the Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to my cleanness in his sight” (2 Samuel 22:21-25).

Those whose battles had never been on a field of green will be present and not be least among the company. For they had fought their own demons, in private and unheralded by men. By the blood of the Lamb they had vanquished temptations, finding the promised way of escape. They had taken bad thoughts captive and demolished arguments. They had cleansed themselves (2 Corinthians 7:1); they had put the flesh to death (Romans 8:13); they had denied themselves and taken up their crosses (Luke 9:23); they had risked their necks (Romans 16:4); they had run so as to obtain (1 Corinthians 9:24); they had loved as they would be loved (Matthew 7:12); they had mastered their own wills (1 Corinthians 7:37). All by the resurrection power that indwelled them.

From the embers of lusts and selfishness slain for Christ, and by Christ, each robed invitee had wrought something like what Mr. Lewis described: “What stood before me was the greatest stallion I had ever seen, silvery white but with mane and tail of gold. It was smooth and shining, rippled with swells of flesh and muscle, whinnying and stamping with its hoofs” (The Great Divorce).

And every saint together, robed in white, gave glory to the Lamb.

Email aseupeterson@wng.org

Andrée Seu Peterson

Andrée is a senior writer for WORLD Magazine. Her columns have been compiled into three books including Won't Let You Go Unless You Bless Me. Andrée resides near Philadelphia.


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