Do You Have a Wedding Garment?

When we read the parable of the wedding feast (Matt. 22:1-14), we find one who attended the feast not dressed in a wedding garment. The outcome of this event was for him to be bound hand and foot and cast into outer darkness. Why was the King angry at this guest? After all, He did invite the guest to come. Was the King unfair?

Looking more closely at this parable, we see that many were invited to the wedding feast, but they refused to come to the feast. Therefore, the King sent servants again unto them and they still would not come. We see some of those invited were not content with just not attending, for they "treated them (the servants) spitefully, and killed them." Then the King destroyed them and said, "The wedding is ready, but those who were invited were not worthy."

Those invited should have been waiting, preparing for this very feast, but they were not. These should have known, but they refused the knowledge that would have saved them. Subsequently, the King invited any and all who would come to the feast; even those who were ignorant of His blessing. The Kings servants invited all they could find to come to the feast.

When the King entered He found some guest were dressed appropriately, yet one guest was not properly dressed. The outcome of this was to earn the King's wrath.

This tells us that we must be found dressed properly for the coming wedding feast. However, what does in mean to be properly dressed?

To be dressed properly, we must change those things about ourselves that are not in conformance with the King's wishes. If we attempt to join His wedding party, but change nothing about our condition, we stand to inherit the King's wrath as well.

The apostle Paul referred to the good news of our being invited to the feast and our need to change our garment in the letter to Romans. "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." (Rom. 8:1) Paul soon concludes: "So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God." (Rom. 8:8) This tells us, if we have accepted the invitation of Christ, we are free to enter (no longer condemned) if we change our garment (fleshly or worldly conduct) for a proper garment (Spiritual or Godly conduct).

Jesus also mentions this, when telling the adulterous woman "neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more." (John 8:11) She would be free, if she would “sin no more.” As He went on to say, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." (John 8:12) If we wish to accept the invitation of our Lord, we must not keep wearing the garment stained with sin, but we must put on the garment of light. Thus we will, as Jesus told the adulterous woman, "go and sin no more."

If we desire to accept the invitation of our Lord, we must change or conform our life (garment) to what the King wishes us to wear. We should not deceive ourselves into thinking He will accept whatever we wish to give Him.

When the apostle Paul wrote to Christians, he reminded them time and again to have this change in our lives. He tells those in Rome: "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that ...perfect will of God." (Rom. 12:2) He also tells those at Ephesus, they "should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk... and be renewed in the spirit of your mind..." (Eph. 4:17-24; cf. Col. 3:1-4). The apostle Peter also says, "Therefore gird up the loins of your mind...not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance." (I Peter 1:13-21) The message of the gospel is consistent throughout the scriptures.

The necessity of changing our garment is not what many are teaching. This is "no wonder! For Satan transforms himself into an angel of light" (II Cor. 11:14), and he does not want you to change your garment. Remember, it was he who said to Eve, "You shall not surely die." (Gen. 3:4).

However, God's word teaches us otherwise. When we study the doctrine of Christ, it's all about repentance (Mark 2:7). If one truly repents, then he no longer dwells in the condition he repents of. Change of mind is necessarily required to be repentant. This is the beginning of our change into our 'wedding garment'.

When our Lord returns, will you be asked, "Why are you not in a proper wedding garment?" Remember, "many are called, but few are chosen." (Matt. 22:14).

By Brett Hogland

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