Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: God compares our wedding to Christ to marrying a Lamb.

January 25, 2004 Revelation 19:5-9

5 Then a voice came from the throne, saying:

“Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both small and great!”

6 Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting:

“Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. 7 Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. 8 Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” (Fine linen stands for the righteous declarations of the saints.)

9 Then the angel said to me,

“Write: ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!’” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”

The Garment and the Groom of the Gospel

When God approach Adam in the Garden of Eden, Adam hid because he was naked. God then asked Adam, “Who told you that you were naked?” It’s a rather simple question, but it has a profound meaning. Before that time, Adam didn’t think about the fact that he was naked. How couldn’t he? This amazing fact reflects the way he was made - not to be focused on him self. Instead, he was focused on God - on Eve - and on what God gave him to do. But once he fell into sin by eating from that Tree, he immediately looked at himself in a sinful way, and realized that he needed some clothes.

Ever since that Fall, humans have been obsessed with the ways in which they are clothed. A woman can have fifty pairs of shoes and clothing in her closet, look her husband straight in the eye, and say to him, “I don’t have anything to wear.” Every morning countless Americans look at five to ten different shirts or pants, ponder it for several minutes, and then finally decide what to wear. We don’t want anything that makes us look fat or doesn’t compliment us in some way - and this is just to go to work or out to eat! All the while, God tells us in his Word - “don’t let your beauty come from outward adornment!” (1 Peter 3:3)

This obsession over clothing only becomes worse when a special event is coming - especially a wedding. In the highly televised wedding of Trista and Ryan several months ago, I think I remember hearing that the bride wore a wedding dress that was 75,000 dollars. Man, oh man - 75,000 dollars for a dress! For that price it better fly! Even in normal life, the groomsmen end up having to pay over a hundred bucks just for a one day rental tux. I don’t know if I’m the only one that feels this way, but all of the pomp and anxiety over what kind of clothing is worn at a wedding and all of the little details seem somewhat ridiculous to me. Of course, this is coming from a guy who decided to get married on a farm, next to a cow yard, so I may be a bit strange on this thing. But the idea behind a wedding - the purpose of two people getting married is to publicly declare that they are committing to one another for life. When it’s done in a church, it’s done to thank and praise God for bringing two people together. Do we really need thousand dollar dresses and hundred dollar tuxes? It seems to be majoring in the minors.

The reason I bring this up, is that throughout the Scriptures God compares the relationship between Christ and the Church as that of a groom - being Christ - and a bride - being the Church. In today’s text also, He refers to our being brought together as a wedding, and our dining together with Him in heaven as a feast. It’s kind of ironic, however, that when talking about our wedding, one of the main things God is concerned about is the CLOTHING of the bride. He wants to make sure that she is wearing the right clothing. Jesus once told a parable about a man who showed up at the wedding without the proper wedding clothes. Jesus said,

when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. 12 ‘Friend,’ he asked, ‘how did you get in here without wedding clothes?’ The man was speechless. (Matthew 22)

What does this show us? To Jesus - the clothing is ALL important! Without the right clothing, He won’t even marry us!

Why is the clothing that we wear so important to Jesus? It’s important because of WHO HE IS. This is a HOLY God we’re supposed to be spending the rest of our lives with. Do you think that HE would want to spend the rest of eternity with a rotten, stinky, and unfaithful bride? So He gives His bride fine linen, bright and clean. These words insinuate that the clothing we had on was dirty, dull, and old. Jesus didn’t want to marry a stinky, dirty, and rotten Bride. Like it or not, that’s the way the Bible describes His potential bride -

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