Tuesday, February 8, 2011

"The Garb of Grace"

In recent times, I have been blessed by the reverent determination of President Reagan and Presidents Bush (41 and 43) to never enter the Oval Office wearing anything other than a suit and tie. The respect shown reveals regard for the history, heritage and sanctity not only of the White House and the Presidency, but the nation as well.
This reminds me of the garb required for entrance into an infinitely greater "office" of authority and power, namely, Heaven itself.
"I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me with the robe of righteousness" (Isaiah 61:10).
The salvation of the Lord Jesus Christ freely enrobes born again believers with the righteousness of our Savior. "Christ Jesus... is made unto us righteousness" (I Corinthians 1:30). We therefore may "come boldly unto the throne of grace" because our approach is based not on our person, merits, or works, but rather those of the Lord Jesus (Hebrews 4:16). Indeed, so long as we come by Him, we can always come. In times of sin and unfaithfulness, we can come no less than in times of obedience and faithfulness. The garb of grace ensures our approach, that is, the Blood-stained robe that was savagely torn from our Great and Good Shepherd in order that it would one day be draped upon us in tender lovingkindness.
"Clothed with the garments of salvation... covered with the robe of righteousness." Little wonder that Isaiah greatly rejoiced in his Lord, even through his understanding of such grace was far more limited than we know. Indeed, we who live on the other side of the cross and the resurrection look back upon a sacrificial loss in direct proportion to the Gift it purchased. Yes, the degree to which our Lord Jesus was smitten and forsaken on the cross of Calvary is the degree to which God's trusting sons and daughters in Christ are assured of eternal access to the royal seat of Divinity so appropriately entitled "the throne of grace." We are clothed and covered, even as the hymn writer so beautifully proclaimed...
"And lest the shadow of a spot should on my soul be found,
He took the robe the Savior wrought
and cast it all around!"
(Isaac Watts, from "Awake My Heart, Arise My Tongue").
"He hath made us accepted in the Beloved."
(Ephesians 1:6)

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