"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
| Being Dressed For Eternity by Count Zinzendorf|
Now if we look at ourselves in our misery, in our bad circumstances, we say, "Dear God, I cannot dress and adorn myself. I cannot make myself beautiful. Where do I get a garment? I cannot appear before the majestic God." It is written, "What you do not have, he has in abundance." The death of the Lamb, the blood that was shed on the cross, adorned all of us at once. And whoever has received a living impression of this in his heart, whoever has sincerely sighed and pleaded, "Oh, clothe me in your righteousness!" puts on the Savior's merit and "the blessing of his cross, like a shirt, like a robe." That is a biblical way of speaking.
Just as we put on Satan's evil nature, his evil being, through the fall, we put on the Lord Jesus, his blessing, his merit, everything holy and glorious about him. This is extended to a person; it is given. The Father in heaven looks at a person as someone who is blessed in his Son, who is pardoned, who is covered with his Son, who no longer appears in his natural nakedness, but rather stands with Jesus under one cloak, under one garment, under one glorious adornment of honor.
I do not hesitate to include the making honest of dishonest children under the cloak, because what happens to them truly happens to us. It is, in the end, what the prophet says, "He put the clothing of salvation on me and dressed me in the cloak of righteousness, like a groom is adorned with priestly finery and like a bride adorns herself with jewels" (Isaiah 61:10).
It is given purely as a gift, purely someone else's, nothing of our own. All of our virtues, all of our goodness, all of our gentleness, humility, childlikeness, beneficence, and whatever names the virtues have, this is all clothing which is completely good. However, it is not the clothing in which we can stand before God. "Above all this, the Lord Jesus Christ," above all this, his righteousness, his blood and death. It is thus the closest thing, the lowest and highest, shirt and caftan, the necessary and the honorable.
All external exercises, all good things are also to be used if we have the Savior, but above all things we must have him. If our nakedness is covered with him, then all virtues, all the happiness that is given to us, all levels of sanctification are put on us like jewelry. But over all of this comes the garment of honor, so that a person can stand on the day of the Lord, not in virtues, not in beautiful things, but rather in the only royal garment on which the little Lamb has sprinkled his blood, in which he has wrapped his believers.
This is their priestly cloak, their sign that they belong to the Savior, their uniform. With this a person can show God that he has a part in him.
"Friend! How did you get in here?" "You dressed me in righteousness."
Because salvation depends on this: the Savior must acknowledge us. If the Savior does this, then we are helped. However, if the Savior does not announce someone and acknowledge him before his Father, but says, "I do not know you or where you come from," then even if a person has driven out devils, "brought half the world to God and under the feet of religion," he can still be sent away.
God looks at the heart. He makes himself known to the lowliest child who has grace. If the Savior does not find an honest heart and a soul wrapped in righteousness in the most important witness, the most respected saint, the greatest prophet who had many blessings in the world, then he does not declare himself to him. Thus everything depends on the Savior and on his declaration.
Being rejected thus amounts to a person being called, coming, and still sent away. But this happens only to those who stand high, who have no need of righteousness, who are holy enough that, in their imagination, they lack nothing.
Those, however, who come to Jesus as poor sinners, who bring no righteousness, no words, no holiness, nothing but nakedness and poverty, they can receive the garment of honor. Such people are not turned away. They are not thrown out into the darkness but can walk in the light of life.
May the Savior bring about such a mind in us so that we faithfully guard against all such pretensions of our own and allow ourselves to be saved from them. They have brought ruin to so many people in so many hundreds of years; they have completely destroyed people and blinded them throughout their lives. They set the Bishop of Laodicia in such a troubled state that the Lord said to him, "You say, 'I am rich and have enough to eat and need nothing, and do not know that you are a wretched, poor person" (Revelation 3:17).
Let us not look for these people among the Turks and Tartars or among the heathen, but in the places where we see and hear the most good. The angel of the Gemeine at Laodicia describes such a person, and he has many like him.
Although there are not a lot in an assembly, there are still many in general, and it will not be easy to find a place where there are none. Surely the most necessary thing is for us to allow ourselves to be called and to come.
Perhaps a very few among us will be worried that they will be sent away in this way with disgrace and insult. Because of spiritual arrogance, they will not begin their conversion. However, it is like this with anyone who is this foolish and does not consider the matter great enough, not important enough, anyone who excuses himself with his nourishment or with his sins or with his household (as we hear in this same chapter from which our text comes, that one person excuses himself this way and another one another way). They do not get around to it at all. "I swear," it is written, "that none of the men who are invited will taste my Holy Supper" (Luke 14:24).
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2012/12/4 13:40||Profile|
| Re: Being Dressed For Eternity by Count Zinzendorf|
Matthew 22:11, 12
But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment. And he said to him, 'Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?' And he was speechless.
I will greatly rejoice in the LORD; my soul shall exult in my God, for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness.
Philippians 3:8, 9
Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that come from the law, but that which come through faith in Christ,
the righteousness from God that depends on faith
For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us not by works done by us in righteousness but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior,so that being justified by His grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Romans 10:3, 4
For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.
even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-by grace you have been saved-and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
2 Corinthians 5:21
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned-every one-to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, "Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them."
Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for "The righteous shall live by faith." But the law is not of faith, rather "The one who does them shall live by them." Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us-for it is written, "Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree"-so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.
9 What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin,
10 as it is written: "None is righteous, no, not one;
11 no one understands; no one seeks for God.
12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one."
13 "Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive." "The venom of asps is under their lips."
14 "Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness."
15 "Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 in their paths are ruin and misery,
17 and the way of peace they have not known."
18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes."
19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God.
20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin.
21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it-
22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction:
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,
25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.
26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith.
28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.
29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also,
30 since God is one-who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith.
31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.
1 What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh?
2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.
3 For what does the Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness."
4 Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due.
5 And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness,
6 just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:
7 "Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered;
8 blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin."
9 Is this blessing then only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness.
10 How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised.
11 He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well,
12 and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
13 For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith.
14 For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void.
15 For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.
16 That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring-not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all,
17 as it is written, "I have made you the father of many nations"-in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.
18 In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, "So shall your offspring be."
19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah's womb.
20 No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God,
21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.
22 That is why his faith was "counted to him as righteousness."
23 But the words "it was counted to him" were not written for his sake alone,
24 but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord,
25 who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,
10 and crying out with a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"
11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,
12 saying, "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen."
13 Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, "Who are these, clothed in WHITE ROBES,
and from where have they come?"
14 I said to him, "Sir, you know." And he said to me, "These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
15 "Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence.
16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat.
17 For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
14 Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates.
15 Outside are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.
| 2012/12/4 14:39||Profile|