Torchbearers for Christ
Saturday, November 17, 2018
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WHAT?S THE DRESS CODE?

Every year the Queen of England holds several garden parties at Buckingham Palace to which she invites selected men and women who have performed special acts of service to the community. Those who are privileged to attend are notified that they should wear suitable clothing for the occasion. This practice commenced in 1860 when Queen Victoria had three similar garden parties inviting 8,000 guests to each celebration. Each of the guests was asked to dress appropriately. Those who came were invited to inspect the royal gardens, a privilege very few enjoyed.

In Matthew 22:1-13, the Lord Jesus told a parable about a certain King who arranged a marriage celebration for his son. In verse 4 we read that the preparation was very generous and the invitation was wide: anyone could come provided they were willing to wear a wedding garment. In verses 11 and 12 we read that the King came in to see the guests and he saw a man who was not wearing a wedding garment. When asked how he had come in without a wedding garment, the man was speechless. The King instructed the servants to “bind him hand and foot and throw him into outer darkness where there was weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth” (Matt 22:11-13).

In Luke 14 we have a similar parable about a man who prepared a great supper and invited many guests. His servants were instructed to invite the guests and to say “Come for all things are now ready” (Luke 14:17).

We know that the Lord Jesus was a master teacher. He used simple illustrations and parables to explain profound spiritual truths in a way that ordinary hearers could understand Him. The two parables quoted above refer to the good news of the gospel which is likened to a royal banquet. Where the Lord said “All things are now ready” (Luke 14:17), He was telling us that everything necessary for our eternal salvation has been provided. A Saviour has come and has “borne our sins in His own body on the tree”. The Holy Spirit has been given and a heavenly home has been prepared for all of His born again followers. On the other hand, there is a dire warning for those who do not accept God’s way of salvation.

We may well ask the question, “What is meant by the wedding garment?” The answer is found in a number of Scriptures. We could look first at Revelation 7:9 where we read of a great multitude which no man could number of all nations which stood before the throne and before the Lamb clothed in white robes. One of the elders asks “Who are these who are arrayed in white robes and from where did they come?” (Rev 7:13). The answer is given, “These are they which came out of great tribulation and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God and serve Him day and night” (Rev 7:14-15). Then we have this delightful call to rejoice –

“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb is come and his wife has made herself ready; and to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white; for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints” (Rev 19:7-9).

In Isaiah 61:10 we have another illustration of God’s provision for His wedding feat where we read, “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God, for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation.”

 Let us then as believers in the Lord Jesus follow the advice given in Ecclesiastes 9:8: “Let your garments be always white, let your head lack no ointment.” Let us then live clean lives and enjoy the anointing of God’s Holy Spirit. Amen.
 
 This article was written by Pastor Geoffrey Davies. He is a frequent contributor to this column. He lives in Melbourne, Australia, where he pastored a church for over twenty-five years.  Since 1983 he has traveled widely, continuing his ministry of encouragement and Bible teaching.