Summary: Symbolic garments that depict the transition from the repentant sinner to the dedicated saint.
THE GARMENTS OF A CHRISTIAN
"Awake, awake! Put on your strength, O Zion; Put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city!" Isaiah 52:1
Every "well-dressed" Christian has three symbolic garments in his wardrobe. They are to be worn in the order listed below.
I. SACKCLOTH: THE GARMENT OF REPENTANCE.
We can never wear the beautiful garments of a child of God until we first have worn the garment of sackcloth.
The king of Ninevah proclaimed: "But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily to God; yes, let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands." Jonah 3:8.
Daniel said: "So I gave attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. And I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed and said, ’Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, we have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly, and rebelled, even turning aside from Thy commandments and ordinances." Daniel 9:3-5.
II. FINE LINEN: THE GARMENT OF THE REDEEMED.
"And to her (the glorified church) it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints." Revelation 19:8.
III. THE EPHOD: THE GARMENT OF PRIESTLY SERVICE.
The Christian compounds his sin when he tries to perform holy service in the name of the Lord Jesus with known sin in his life. You cannot serve in the temple of the Lord clothed in defiled garments. First, put on the garment of sackcloth, mightily confess your sin before God…then, and only then, may you put on the ephod, the garment of priestly service.
"But Samuel ministered before the Lord, even as a child, wearing a linen ephod." I Samuel 2:18.
"You, also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."
"But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light." I Peter 2:5, 9.