Dirty Underwear

[This is the second part of a series on what the Bible teaches about our standing with God. Part one explored God’s love and the fact that – despite sinning – we are always in God’s good pleasure. Today’s post concerns the finished work of Christ that has washed us clean and made us new inside and out.]


One of my favorite hymns is Elisha A. Hoffman’s “Are You Washed In The Blood”:

Have you been to Jesus for the cleansing power?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?
Are you fully trusting in His grace this hour?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

Are you washed in the blood,
In the soul cleansing blood of the Lamb?
Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb?

The great thing about this hymn is that it is squarely based on Scripture:

They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Revelation 7:14.)

This is a great image, showing how Old Testament promises are fulfilled in Jesus. Old Testament priests needed the blood of animal sacrifices sprinkled on their robes in order for them and their clothing to be consecrated for God’s service. (Exodus 29:21.) Jesus, of course, is the ultimate blood sacrifice, the one we rely on to consecrate us to God.

Some Christians read Revelation 7 and readily agree that they are robed in Christ’s righteousness, covered with the blood of the Lamb, but they think that if anyone – God included – looked beneath those robes they’d see dirty underwear.

Not true.

Made Brand New, Through And Through

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! (2 Corinthians 5:17.)

For those of us in Christ, those of us who are in God’s family, our newness is now, the new creation already come. Our old self is gone, and we have been remade.

But what about the imagery of merely wearing white robes in Revelation 7? That’s just it. Notice that those robes are white and spotless. They don’t have bloody splotches on them as evidence of sprinkling, as in Exodus. No, they have been washed, not sprinkled, with Christ’s blood, and they are spotlessly white.

Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf doesn’t leave spots because it is complete and eternal. As the writer of Hebrews put it:

We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. (Hebrews 10:10-14.)

Made perfect forever by his one sacrifice. And we get to be there with him:

God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:6.)

God has already raised us up. He has already seated us with Jesus in heaven. He has already given us those spotless robes.

And you? You don’t have dirty underwear on beneath those robes. You are new and perfect and clean to the core. That’s what Jesus has done for everyone who belongs to him.


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8 Responses to Dirty Underwear

  1. janehinrichs says:

    Amen. What great news to read this morning. Thank you Tim.

  2. Jeannie says:

    That’s so great, Tim. Jesus chastised the Pharisees for emphasizing the “holy” exterior at the expense of inner uncleanness — so it wouldn’t make any sense for His washing of us to be just an outer thing, would it? Yet we still need reminding of this. Thanks!

    • Tim says:

      Great comparison, Jeannie. The problem with white washed tombs is what’s on the inside, right? Jesus’ point must have been that he is able to clean us deep down and all the way through!

  3. nmcdonal says:

    Needed this. Thanks, Tim.

  4. Pingback: Such A Wicked, Wicked Child! | Tim's Blog – Just One Train Wreck After Another

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