WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MARCH 21, 2023
TOPIC: KEEP YOUR GARMENT UNDEFILED
BY T. O. BANSO
“You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy” (Revelation 3:4 New King James Version).
In every generation, when people abandon God, there will always be a remnant that will be committed to Him. When many people soil their hands, there will be a few who will maintain clean hands. Psalm 24: 3-5 says, “Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully. He shall receive blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation” (New King James Version).
Salvation is a personal decision. Walking with God is for each person to do even though we live in a community of believers. Others may not walk with God, or compromise their faith, but you must determine to be committed to God even if you’re going to be the only one.
In the days of Noah, the Bible says that the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on earth and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually (Genesis 6:5). Consequently, the LORD was sorry that He had made man and was grieved in His heart. Therefore, He decided to destroy man and animals.
But in this disheartening situation, there was a piece of good news: one man didn’t join the rest in their wickedness. God found one man who walked with Him, a man who wasn’t stained by the corruption of his age. Genesis 6:8-9 says, “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD. This is the genealogy of Noah. Noah was a just man, perfect in his generations. Noah walked with God” (New King James Version).
Noah dared to be different. And when God eventually destroyed the whole earth with the flood, Noah, his household, and the animals he took inside the ark were saved. Noah walked with God in a corrupt generation (Genesis 6:11-12). His life is an encouragement to Christians today that we can live a holy life in a world taken over by sin.
In Jesus’ letter to the church in Sardis, He said, “You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy” (Revelation 3:4 New King James Version). In other words, many in the church in Sardis had defiled their garments but there were a few who had not been contaminated by sin. They continued to be faithful to Christ. God had remnants.
Earlier in Revelation 3:2, Jesus said about the church in Sardis, “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead” (New King James Version). He, therefore, told this church, “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you” (verses 2-3 New King James Version). But in this same church that was spiritually dead, a few kept their lives from being polluted.
The phrase, “who have not defiled their garments,” is not talking about physical garments or the clothes they wore. It means they have not partaken of the sins of the world. They had not been corrupted. They lived a holy life. And because they had not defiled their garments, Jesus said they would walk with Him in white; He said they were worthy.
The Contemporary English Version puts Revelation 3:4 this way: “A few of you in Sardis have not dirtied your clothes with sin. You will walk with me in white clothes, because you are worthy.” So not defiling one’s garment means not dirtying one’s clothes with sin. It means to keep one’s life clean from sin. The Good News Translation says, “But a few of you there in Sardis have kept your clothes clean. You will walk with me, clothed in white, because you are worthy to do so.” The phrase “ your clothes” refers to their lives.
According to John Wesley, the phrase “they shall walk with Me in white” means they shall work with Jesus “in joy; in perfect holiness; in glory.” They shall have eternal fellowship with Him. It means, “They shall be raised to a state of eternal glory, and shall be forever with their Lord” (Adam Clarke). Keep your garment undefiled.
There is a reference to the defiled garment in Jude 1:23 which talks about, “hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.” The Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary says it is a proverbial phrase: “avoiding the most remote contact with sin, and hating that which borders on it.” This supports what we have read in Revelation 3:4. Keep your garment undefiled. Avoid sin even if everybody else is indulging in it.
Romans 12:1-2 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (New King James Version).
There is no fellowship between righteousness and lawlessness, and no communion between light and darkness. “Therefore ‘Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you” (2 Corinthians 6:17 New King James Version). Keep your garment undefiled. “And I heard another voice from heaven saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her’” (Revelation 18:4 New King James Version). Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him (1 John 2:15).
Like these few people in the church in Sardis, keep your garment undefiled. Live for God; obey His Word. 1 Peter 1:15-16 says but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” Keep your garment undefiled. Your sanctification is the will of God (1 Thessalonians 4:3a).
Just as Noah walked with God in a corrupt and wicked generation, walk with Him, not defiling your garment. Don’t copy anyone’s sin or sinful lifestyle. That is foolishness because, as Romans 14:12 says, each of us shall give an account of himself to God. Everyone is going to give account to God. Hebrews 9:27 says it is appointed for men to die once but after this the judgment,
Keep your garment undefiled even if others defile theirs. In Israel, in the days of Elijah, he said he was the only prophet of God remaining and the Israelites sought to kill him. But God told him later that He had reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees had not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that had not kissed him (1 Kings 19:18). On his own, Obadiah also had kept one hundred prophets of God in two caves when Jezebel was killing them (1 Kings 18:4, 13).
When four hundred prophets were prophesying a lie to Ahab to go to fight Ramoth Gilead, the Prophet Micaiah didn’t join them. He didn’t follow the crowd to do evil (Exodus 23:2). He prophesied the truth and he was vindicated at last (2 Chronicles 18:16-34).
Keep your garment undefiled. Live for God. “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires” (2 Peter 1:3-4 New International Version).
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me to keep my garment undefiled in this sinful world. I have God’s promises that enable me to share in the divine nature and I escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires in Jesus’ name. I shall be holy in all my conduct. I shall not love the world or the things in the world; I shall love God with all my heart, soul, and mind in Jesus’ name.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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