17 Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself.

The righteousness and salvation of Christ was the work of God in him - The man he made strong for himself (Psalm 80). And Jesus said,

"I can of mine own self do nothing." "The Father who dwelleth in me, he doeth the works."

(It is God that worketh in you.) This was true. But there was the equally true other side-

"He continued all night in prayer to God."

" Not my will, but thine be done."

"For the joy that was set before him, he endured the cross and despised the shame."

"He offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death and was heard in that he feared."

"Though he were a son, yet learned he obedience - obedience - by the things that he suffered."

"I do always those things that please him."

Here, clearly, was no passive inert instrument in God's hands, but an intensely striving and agonizing man. As the Head was perfected, so must the Body be.

There was complete submission and loving, voluntary obedience, even unto death. He was indeed God-strengthened in the awful struggle. But still he could himself truly say,

"I have overcome the world."

So must it be with us.

He is our example, not our substitute. He said to the ecclesia at Laodicea (Rev. 3),

"Buy of me white raiment that thou mayest be clothed."

He must supply it. They could not themselves create it. We note that he was addressing an ecclesia. Presumably therefore, his hearers had once had the garment, but they had it no longer. They thought they still had it, but it had slipped, unnoticed, away from them. How common! How tragic!

"Thou sayest thou hast need of nothing, and knowest not that thou art naked."

There are two aspects of the Christ-supplied garment-present and future. Clearly, in the foregoing passage, it refers to the present - the present covering, by and in Christ that makes us children of God and acceptable to Him, presents us faultless before Him. The wedding garment that the unacceptable guest lacked was obviously the present aspect of the Christ-covering.

In Rev. 3:4-5, both aspects appear: Verse 4,

"Thou hast a few names which have not defiled their garments"

-the present probation and dispensation. Verse 5,

"He that overcometh shall be clothed in white raiment"

-the future aspect - the garments of salvation - the complete change of raiment of the spirit body.

Bro Growcott - Blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments