Clothed in Righteousness

  • June 19, 2013
  • #8123

For Joni, clothing herself in the mornings is something she just cannot do. But listen to her biblical appreciation for her inability to dress up …

Clothed in Righteousness

Hi, I’m Joni Eareckson Tada and there’s lots I cannot do for myself.

And look, I don’t need to list all the things my quadriplegia prevents me from doing – and, for the most part I’m okay with that. But that one thing that I really wish I could do is, dress myself. I can’t pull on a sweater or a coat, button a jacket. I can’t pull up my slacks or my nylons, slip into a skirt or hop into shorts. Sometimes when a friend is trying to put on my sweater, my fingers get stuck in the sleeve or I lose my balance and start to fall over. It can be a little frustrating at times. No, I can’t clothe myself. I wish I could do it for myself because it is, after all, a rather private thing, rather personal. And so, in the past, I have always looked at it as a problem, but thankfully, this “problem” has always driven me to God for help. But isn’t it just like the Lord Jesus to give not only grace when we need it, but help and insight.

Because the other evening—now get this—I was reading in Revelation how one day we will be “clothed in righteousness.” I was intrigued by that word “clothed.” So I did a quick word search and found myself in Galatians chapter 3, verse 27 where it says:

“You who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ” (Galatians 3:27).

And that got me really going. I looked up more references and I found Isaiah chapter 61 where it says:

“I delight greatly in the LORD; my soul rejoices in my God, for he has clothed me with garments of salvation, and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness” (Isaiah 61).

I tell you, all these verses really brightened my spirit and they got me to thinking: why, when the Bible talks about our righteousness, does it always say that God clothes us? Like something he puts on us or does to us. (I mean, even way back in the Garden of Eden, it was God who provided a sacrifice and, therefore, the skins to clothe Adam and Eve after the fall).

And then it hit me: Garments of salvation and robes of righteousness. This is something we absolutely cannot provide for ourselves. God provides the salvation and the righteousness; oh, yes, we can clothe ourselves with Christ as it says in Galatians, but it’s His righteousness, not ours. And so, righteousness is something, which God does to us and for us. There is nothing in ourselves we just cannot get ourselves dressed, so to speak, in righteousness. And if we did, it says that our righteousness would be as filthy rags—can you imagine what you’d look like if you had to dress yourself in that? I mean, just picture a garment, a robe made out of your own filthy rags. Yuk!

Suddenly! Oh my goodness, I gained a whole new appreciation for not being able to get myself dressed. Someone else has to do that for me. That very personal and private function is performed by God himself. Well, you can imagine how blessed I was by that simple, sweet insight. Praise God, I cannot get myself dressed in robes of righteousness. Hallelujah, I am so happy I cannot dress myself in garments of righteousness. And, friend, you can’t get yourself dressed either, someone else has to do that for you. And a Someone with a capital ‘S’ has graciously and mercifully done that for you. The Lord Jesus Christ is your garment of praise, and when you put on Him, you put on His righteousness. And you know what? You couldn’t be decked out in a better pair of clothes.

© Joni and Friends

 

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