E. Preston Smith —
In Revelation 7:9, John sees a great multitude, which no man could number—of all nations, tongues, and people—standing before the throne of God and the Lamb, clothed with white robes.
John explains in verse 14 that these people had washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb. When did the redeemed receive their white robes? Did they wait until the second coming of Jesus? No. These white robes were given to them by faith when they were converted and gave their hearts to Jesus, and so do we receive the robe at conversion. Ellen G. White tells us, “It is in this life that we are to put on the robe of Christ’s righteousness. This is our only opportunity to form characters for the home which Christ has made ready for those who obey His commandments” (Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 319).
Jesus’ robe of righteousness becomes ours when we give our hearts to Him. That’s why the Bible says that the multitude washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 7:14). When people come to Jesus and confess their sins, they are forgiven; they are washing their robes, which have been defiled by sin. Their robes are made white in Jesus’ blood, for He died for all of us.
Zechariah describes the change of our spiritual clothing at conversion to the pure white robe of Christ’s own righteousness. He writes that the angel said, “Take away the filthy garments from him…. Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment” (Zechariah 3:4, KJV). The New International Version says, “I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.”
We need to wash our robes daily by prayer and the confession of sin.
Speaking of God’s children in Revelation 3:4, Jesus said, “They shall walk with me in white.” It is the robe of Jesus’ own righteousness. We wear this robe by faith now, but it will be a fact at His second coming. Jesus provides to each believer the robe of His own righteousness by faith, and He will give us a literal white robe when He makes us immortal like Himself.
Jesus’ robe of righteousness is a free gift to every believer.
E. Preston Smith is a retired pastor who worked in Northern California for 20 years.