Welcome to Without A Wedding Garment chapter of Christ’s Object Lessons Ebook
The marriage represents the union of humanity with divinity.
The wedding garment represents the character which all must possess to be accounted fit guests for the wedding.
The parable of the wedding garment illustrates:
- the gospel invitation
- its rejection by the Jewish people
- the call of mercy to the Gentiles.
The call to the feast had been given by Christ’s disciples, proclaiming that the kingdom of God is at hand. Moreover, calling upon men and women to repent and believe the gospel. But the call was not heeded and those who are bidden to the feast did not come.
The servants were sent out later to say:
Behold, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. Matthew 22:4.
This was the message to the Jewish nation after the crucifixion of Christ.
But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. Matthew 22:5,6.
The third call to the feast represents the giving of the gospel to the Gentiles. The king said:
The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. Matthew 22:8, 9.
A wedding garment had been provided for every guest
This garment was a gift from the king. By wearing it the guests showed their respect for the giver of the feast. But one man was clothed in his common citizen dress. He had refused to make the preparation required by the king. The garment provided for him at great cost he disdained to wear.
Thus he insulted his lord:
And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Matthew 22:12-13.
The king’s examination of the guests at the feast represents the work of judgment of those who profess to serve God. It must be decided who are fitted to share the inheritance of the righteous.
This decision must be made prior to the second coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven. For when He comes, His reward is with Him, to give every man according as his work shall be. Revelation 22:12.
The wedding garment represents the spotless character of Christ’s followers
It is the righteousness of Christ, His own unblemished character, that through faith is imparted to all who receive Him as their personal Savior.
Only the covering which Christ Himself has provided can make us meet to appear in God’s presence. This covering, the robe of His own righteousness, Christ will put upon every repenting, believing soul.
I counsel thee, He says, to buy of Me . . . white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear. Revelation 3:18.
Christ was obedient to every requirement of the law
He said to His disciples: I have kept My Father’s commandments. John 15:10. By His perfect obedience He has made it possible for every human being to obey God’s commandments.
When we submit ourselves to Christ the:
- heart is united with His heart
- will is merged in His will
- mind becomes one with His mind
- thoughts are brought into captivity to Him.
Thus we live His life. This is what it means to be clothed with the garment of His righteousness.
Then as the Lord looks upon us He sees, not the fig-leaf garment and deformity of sin, but His own robe of righteousness, which is perfect obedience to the law of Jehovah.
God requires perfection of His children
He who becomes a partaker of the divine nature will be in harmony with God’s great standard of righteousness – His holy law. This will be the test of character in the judgment.
As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name. John 1:12.
This power is not in the humans. It is the power of God. When a soul receives Christ, he or she receives power to live the life of Christ. The life of Christ on earth was a perfect expression of God’s law.
Thus when those who claim to be children of God become Christlike in character, they will be obedient to God’s commandments. Clothed in the glorious apparel of Christ’s righteousness, they have a place at the King’s feast.
The man without a wedding garment represents the condition of many today
They profess to be Christians and lay claim to the blessings and privileges of the gospel. Yet they feel no need of a transformation of character. Thus they:
- have never felt true repentance for sin
- do not realize their need of Christ or exercise faith in Him
- have not overcome their hereditary or cultivated tendencies to wrongdoing.
Yet they think that they are good enough in themselves. Thus they rest upon their own merits instead of trusting in Christ. Though, hearers of the word, they come to the banquet, but they have not put on the robe of Christ’s righteousness.
The days of our probation are fast closing
In our knowledge of Christ and His love the kingdom of God is placed in the midst of us. The spiritual banquet is set before us in rich abundance. The wedding garment, provided at infinite cost, is freely offered to every soul.
There will be no future probation in which to prepare for eternity. It is in this life that we are to put on the robe of Christ’s righteousness.
This is our only opportunity to form characters for the home which Christ has made ready for those who obey His commandments.
The warning is given to us:
Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. Luke 21:34.
Beware lest it find you unready. Take heed lest you be found at the King’s feast without a wedding garment.
In such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh. Matthew 24:44.
Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame. Revelation 16:15.
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