THE ROBE OF CHRIST'S RIGHTEOUSNESS
"Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven,
and whose sins are covered."--Rom. 4:7.
THE "WEDDING GARMENT" mentioned in the Lord's parable (Matt. 22:2-14), is the Robe of Justification, which becomes ours at the time of consecration. At the very moment of our begettal, when the Lord accepted us, we became probationary members of the Body of Christ, the Bride Class, and were covered with the Wedding Robe.
This "wedding garment" is given, not to the Old Creature, but to the New Creature, to cover the blemishes of its imperfect body. At the moment of God's acceptance of our sacrifice, and of the begetting of the Holy Spirit, the New Creature is reckoned as coming into existence and as wearing this robe. Thenceforth, the Old Creature, from the Divine viewpoint, is non-existent--"Old things are passed away; all things are become new." (2 Cor. 5:17.) But this New Creature must have a new body. The New Creature has the old body, but a new will--the will of Christ. The Apostle tells us that we should not be satisfied with merely reckoning ourselves dead according to the flesh, but that we should reckon ourselves as having been made alive in the Spirit. If the Spirit of Christ be in us, it will quicken our mortal bodies--vivify them.--Rom. 8:8-14.
These mortal bodies, then, which were under the influence of the old imperfections and under the old course of life, have now, under the new mind, a restraining, or constraining influence put upon them and the New Creature is expected to use the new mind, or will, to overcome the desires of the flesh. While in this body of flesh, the New Creature is expected to demonstrate such faithfulness in the development of character that he may be accounted worthy of being raised in the First Resurrection as a Divine being. Having this imperfect body, he needs the robe of Christ's righteousness to cover his imperfections.
THE ROBE DOES NOT COVER SINS OF THE NEW MIND
In studying this subject, it is well to keep in mind that the robe does not cover, as some seem to think, sins of the new mind. The Scriptures ascribe no sin to the new mind, and no perfection in righteousness to the fallen flesh. If the new mind were disloyal to God, the robe would not cover it; it would cease to be a new mind. To continue to have the imperfections of the flesh (which we have inherited from Adam) covered, the New Creature must remain loyal to God; otherwise, it will deserve the Second Death. Hence, these New Creatures, with imperfect bodies under the control of the new mind, have the Bridal Robe granted to them, that they may have a standing in the sight of the Lord and of each other.
This righteousness of our dear Redeemer is represented as being imputed to us. It is for us, then, to work out the glorious embroidery, the stamp of which is already upon the robe--the directions as to how we may work out the fruits of the Spirit thereon.