Clothed in Righteousness



God could have made us in a way that we do not need clothes — like the animals and God clothes the grass of the field (Matthew 6:30) But God brings us naked into the world, like He did Adam and Eve.

Adam and Eve being naked was not a problem until they sinned. Not an issue for husband and wife. It is an issue in other situations (Leviticus 18)

But when they decided to make decisions for themselves, they covered themselves with fig leaves. God covered them with the skins of an animal that was sacrificed for them.

Genesis 3:21 Also for Adam and his wife the LORD God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.

Their ability to cover themselves was inadequate. 

This idea that we need to be clothed in a specific way started from the beginning. They chose to clothe themselves figuratively in the wrong manner. Instead of putting on “Christ” they chose Satan and to be a law unto themselves. They would do what they thought was right and not the righteousness that God had instructed them in.

So what we are beginning to see from the very beginning is that mankind was created without clothing not that he should remain naked, but to give him the choice in what kind of clothing he would wear.

The choice that was made was to choose their clothing for themselves. This has largely been the case for mankind ever since. As we will see it is inadequate in so many ways.

Old and New Garments

Before we get to the parable, we need to  read for context. It is important in order to understand the parable at the end and what Jesus Christ is getting at

Physical Healing

Luke 5:17 Now it happened on a certain day, as He was teaching, that there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by, who had come out of every town of Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was present to heal them.
Luke 5:18 Then behold, men brought on a bed a man who was paralyzed, whom they sought to bring in and lay before Him.
Luke 5:19 And when they could not find how they might bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the housetop and let him down with his bed through the tiling into the midst before Jesus.

They were very motivated and believed Christ could heal.

Luke 5:20 When He saw their faith, He said to him, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.”
Luke 5:21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to reason, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

The Pharisees understand this correctly!

Luke 5:22 But when Jesus perceived their thoughts, He answered and said to them, “Why are you reasoning in your hearts?
Luke 5:23 Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise up and walk‘?

Jesus equates the two.

Luke 5:24 But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins”—He said to the man who was paralyzed, “I say to you, arise, take up your bed, and go to your house.”
Luke 5:25 Immediately he rose up before them, took up what he had been lying on, and departed to his own house, glorifying God.

The proof that what He said was true

  • He was the Son of Man
  • He could forgive sin

Luke 5:26 And they were all amazed, and they glorified God and were filled with fear, saying, “We have seen strange things today!”

This physical healing came through the forgiveness of sin.

Spiritual Healing

A correlation is made, that spiritual healing comes by the forgiveness of sins as well.

Luke 5:27 After these things He went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.”

Matthew 9:9 … a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office…

Luke 5:28 So he left all, rose up, and followed Him.

Luke 5:29 Then Levi gave Him a great feast in his own house. And there were a great number of tax collectors and others who sat down with them.
Luke 5:30 And their scribes and the Pharisees complained against His disciples, saying, “Why do You eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”
Luke 5:31 Jesus answered and said to them, Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick.

He is saying that they need to be healed spiritually.

Luke 5:32 I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

Not that any were righteous! He is calling the sinners to become righteous. This was a part of the plan of God.

The implication here too, is the same as above, is that forgiveness would be made available to them

Luke 5:33 Then they said to Him, “Why do the disciples of John fast often and make prayers, and likewise those of the Pharisees, but Yours eat and drink?”

Trying to find fault yet again.

Luke 5:34 And He said to them, “Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them?
Luke 5:35 But the days will come when the bridegroom will be taken away from them; then they will fast in those days.”

When this happens then He will have paid the penalty for our sins, so that they can be forgiven and made the holy spirit available.

This terminology of the bridegroom was familiar to them (Isaiah 61:10; 62:5)

Luke 5:36 Then He spoke a parable to them: “No one puts a piece from a new garment on an old one; otherwise the new makes a tear, and also the piece that was taken out of the new does not match the old.

Who would buy a new garment and cut it up to fix the old one? 

Even if you were so inclined a new one would be better and stronger than the old. Even if you bought the same exact one, old one is stretched, faded and dirty. 

So what is He saying here and what does it have to do with the previous verses? He is saying that now we are spiritually healed and our sins forgiven. We are to shed our old garment and sinful ways and don the new garments of righteousness AND these 2 are not to be intermixed or interwoven. We are to get rid of the old and not let them mesh. 

There is God’s ways and mans and the two collide: one leads to life and the other leads to death. 

We have often talked about the old and new man in terms of who we are before and after baptism.

Let’s look at how closely that actually compares to the old and new garments:

Putting On

Colossians 3:5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.
Colossians 3:6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience,
Colossians 3:7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.

This is the way that we used to be!

Colossians 3:8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth.
Colossians 3:9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds,

put off = apo: off and away; ekduo: to cause to sink out of, that is, (specifically as of clothing) to divest: – strip, take off from, unclothe

Luke 10:30 Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped [ekduo] him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

Colossians 3:10 and have put on [enduo] the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,

enduō en-doo’-o (in the sense of sinking into a garment); to invest with clothing (literally or figuratively): – array, clothe (with), endue, have (put) on.

(ISV) Colossians 3:9  Do not lie to one another, for you have stripped off the old nature with its practices
Colossians 3:10  and have clothed yourselves with the new nature, which is being renewed in full knowledge, consistent with the image of the one who created it.

We are to be clothed in a similar way to Christ

Colossians 3:11  In him there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, or free person. Instead, the Messiah is all and in all.
Colossians 3:12  Therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience.

This can be summed up as being clothed in righteousness!

Colossians 3:13  Be tolerant of one another and forgive each other if anyone has a complaint against another. Just as the Lord has forgiven you, you also should forgive.
Colossians 3:14  Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which ties everything together in unity.

So when we put on the new man, we are to be clothing ourselves in righteousness and not in ALL the wrong ways of man.

We cannot put the way that we were previously clothed together with the way that we are now clothed. How do we weave these garments of hate and love together? We can’t! They are incompatible like the old and new garments.

We can not weave the carnal and Godly or the fleshly and spiritual together:

Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.

This is why mankind resists the way of God — we thought contrary to His ways.

Keeping the law in the flesh is a self-righteousness and that is tantamount to filthy rags

Isaiah 64:6 But we are all like an unclean thing, And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;

[menstrual; 217 times translated mostly clothing, garments, apparel; one time “rags”]

This is how God views us in our righteousness…do we see why we need to change garments and not keep the old one?

It takes the mind of God in us to be able to keep the law – which is being obedient to God

Romans 8:8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Carnality and spirituality are incongruent; we cannot try to patch the flesh and spirit together.

Think about that for a second — we should not try to put them together any more than old and new garments.

But you might be wondering how we can do this since we are flesh. The difference is that it says “in the flesh” [not merely those who are flesh, but those who are in the flesh] 

Romans 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

you are not in the flesh We are human, but not acting according to the flesh, the way that we used to.

Then it goes on to show that we must have the spirit of God in us to be:

  • His

  • a true Christian

  • working with us

Romans 8:10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

We were as good as dead when we were only subject to the penalty for sinning, but now with the help of the holy spirit, the righteous requirement of the law, which is obedience, can be fulfilled. (Romans 8:4)

Paul continues to make the link between the Holy Spirit and the Law. Now that we have Spirit within us we can more perfectly keep the law which is righteousness (1 John 3:24) 

Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

Through His Spirit in us we will be given eternal life. God has given us an earnest of the spirit as a down payment or guarantee of this future.

Romans 8:12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.

We are not bound by or to the flesh. Jesus Christ paid the penalty and ransom for us. He redeemed us, bought us back!

Romans 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

put to death the deeds of the body: Works still necessary, there are things that we still have to do – ie stop sinning – these are accomplished by and through the power of God in us.

Clothed in Righteousness

We are therefore to be clothed in righteousness; we are to be putting on righteousness.

Job 29:14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; My justice was like a robe and a turban.

Let me just say this: The righteousness that we put on is a reflection of the righteousness within us that comes by justification

Justification (Romans 3-4)

  • Through our sinful actions we accrue a debt which is death.
  • Christ came and paid the debt through His substitutionary death.
  • By repentance, acceptance of His shed blood and the faith of Christ we can be made righteous – justified in other words
  • By faith, not works, we are declared righteous; accounted to be righteous; righteousness is imputed to us
  • It is a gift of grace by God

But also notice what else is required

James 2:20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?

We cannot have a living or right faith without works.

James 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar?
James 2:22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?
James 2:23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS ACCOUNTED TO HIM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” And he was called the friend of God.

Abraham was justified by faith and works.

James 2:24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.

A Living faith is validated by works which are acts of obedience to God’s law.

Our works are an outward manifestation of an inward state of being!

Matthew 12:34 …For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

Since the law is a reflection of the holy righteous character of God

We exemplify God’s righteousness in us by

  • keeping the law

  • doing what is right

  • practicing righteousness, God’s commandments are righteous

Psalms 119:172 My tongue shall speak of Your word, For all Your commandments are righteousness.
Romans 7:12 Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good.

Wedding Feast

Matthew 22:1 And Jesus answered and spoke to them again by parables and said:
Matthew 22:2 “The kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who arranged a marriage for his son,

Represents the Father and the Son

Matthew 22:3 and sent out his servants to call those who were invited to the wedding; and they were not willing to come.

Not everyone is answering their calling

Matthew 22:4 Again, he sent out other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, “See, I have prepared my dinner; my oxen and fatted cattle are killed, and all things are ready. Come to the wedding.” ‘
Matthew 22:5 But they made light of it and went their ways, one to his own farm, another to his business.

They were more concerned with their own lives

Matthew 22:6 And the rest seized his servants, treated them spitefully, and killed them.

When God sent His servants the prophets out, they were abused and killed by their own people.

Matthew 22:7 But when the king heard about it, he was furious. And he sent out his armies, destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.

Their evil ways were recompensed.

Matthew 22:8 Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy.

These were the ones that made light of it and were busy about their own business.

Matthew 22:9 Therefore go into the highways, and as many as you find, invite to the wedding.’
Matthew 22:10 So those servants went out into the highways and gathered together all whom they found, both bad and good. And the wedding hall was filled with guests.
Matthew 22:11 “But when the king came in [There was enough time to get dressed] to see the guests, he saw a man there who did not have on a wedding garment.

Do not be confused by the standard for weddings today.

The standard for the church today needs to be viewed in light that we are coming before God in a physical respect as well. In Leviticus 16 the high priest who was going before God in the holy of holies, dressed up.

Matthew 22:12 So he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you come in here without a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless. [he knew better, he had no excuses]

Of course this is symbolic of our eternal marriage to Christ at His return. Who does He want for His bride. It is THE wedding for all time. How is the bride to be adorned?

It is imperative that we arrive dressed properly, at the wedding supper, at the return of Christ.

Matthew 22:13 Then the king said to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

This is symbolic of the Lake of Fire.

How are we clothed?

New or old – which are we putting on?

Revelation 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.”

When Christ returns, there will be no more time.

Revelation 19:8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.


As we go through the upcoming Days of Unleavened Bread

Our desire and focus for these days should not be primarily on the removal of sin which happens before the Days of Unleavened Bread

2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified.

These days are not as much about us removing sin from our lives, but examining ourselves to see if have Christ in us.

It should be the righteousness of Christ in us and exemplifying that by and through Jesus Christ in us and directing us so that we can be properly clothed in righteousness.