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The Free Robe of Righteousness

The following is a teaching article by Chris Kauffman:

Something that I am convinced the Lord is restoring to the church is the “Priestly” ministry, the reality that we are priests to the Lord.

1 Peter 2:9 says, “You are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.”

 Jesus’ disciples ministered in His presence for about 3 years before they were commissioned to preach the Gospel to the world and we should follow their example of making our ministry to the Lord our first priority.

Revelation prophesies about the over-comers; “kingdom of priests” who are also the “bride of the Lamb.” The bride is described at the marriage feast with the Lamb in Revelation 19:8: “It was given to her that she should be clothed in fine linen, bright [and] pure; for the fine linen is the righteousnesses of the saints.”

The original text does literally say “righteousnesses”; which I don’t fully understand but, has to start with the righteousness of Christ that is given to us when we believe because righteousness is part of the foundation of His throne! (see Psalm 89:14). I think of it as the beginning stages of His Kingdom, His reign. There is no Lordship of God without right-standing with Him!

We know that we have been reconciled and recognized as righteous to Him by faith in the blood, but there is more to “The Word of Righteousness” than that! Here is the only mention of this message that is described all over the New Testament in Hebrews 5:13-14: “Everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature…”

I honestly believe that there is so much more to this word than I understand now but Romans elaborates in great detail. Something that God revealed to me this winter was how I was like these children of God that understood their forgiveness—being born again and declared righteous—but not the permanence of that righteousness!

Romans 3:21-22 says, “But now apart from the law, a righteousness of God has been revealed, being testified by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ to all and on all those who are believing.”

In Romans 5:17b he says that “those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.”

We received the abundance of grace and the righteousness of Christ by simply believing; it is not something that is off in the future for us to earn!

The Robe of Righteousness 

I believe this gift is our “robe of righteousness” that Isaiah described along with the garment of salvation. The beauty is that neither can be taken away from us, but Paul even exhorted the faithful in Christ Ephesians in 4:22-24 to  “lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.” 

Consider that he describes “our new self” like garments that are to be simply “put on” after we “lay off” the old, which are according to the flesh!

How many among the bride of Christ are still foolishly naked and not yet adorned their light with His righteousness? The entire Christian church of Laodicea was rebuked for “being naked” and exhorted to put on white garments that they would not be ashamed! (see Revelation 3:18).

Remember that fine linen that the bride was given to adorn herself? Ezekiel was given a prophetic picture of the future Temple and the priests who minister to the Lord there. In Chapter 44 He describes them as “the sons of Zadok” (which literally means sons of the righteous.) It shall be that when they enter at the gates of the inner court, they shall be clothed with linen garments; and wool shall not be on them while they are ministering in the gates of the inner court and in the house. “Linen turbans shall be on their heads and linen undergarments shall be on their loins; they shall not gird themselves with anything which makes them sweat.”

There is some seriously deep symbolism concealed here. But one clear thing is that only the sons who know they are righteous can minster in the inner court!

If fine linen is Jesus’ righteousness and fruits of the Spirit (also referred to as fruits of righteousness) than the wool which makes them sweat must be symbolic of the corrupted, old self. Works of our own soulish nature like striving are like wool because sweating is symbolic of fleshly toil. Oh Lord, I know that I have done this way too much!

All we need to do is faithfully rest in His righteousness as the permanent foundation of all that we do! His gift of righteousness cannot be taken away from us, but we must be renewed in the truth and keep it on by “wearing” it as our identity. “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

If you haven’t acknowledged to the Lord that you receive his gift of righteousness; consider starting the conversation with him today! The message of righteousness is truly a practical step in maturing in our relationship with the Lord!

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