You may have seen a sign in front of a church building which read, “Come as you are, God has no dress code”. We understand the point of this statement—God does not require any specific style or class of clothing in order to worship Him. However, in another sense, God does have a dress code.
One who comes to God must first be clothed with Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Paul wrote, “For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ” (Gal. 3:27). One puts on Christ in baptism, he is baptized into the death of Christ (Rom. 6:3) and the blood of Christ washes away his sins (Rev. 1:5). That’s why Ananias told Paul to “arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). In the parable of the marriage feast, Jesus pointed out one who had not put on his wedding garment (Matt. 22:11). It was commanded that this man be bound “hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 22:13). Indeed, God does have a dress code. He requires one to be clothed in His dear Son.
As a result of putting on Christ, one is then clothed with salvation. The psalmist said, “I will also clothe her priest with salvation: and her saints shall shout aloud for joy” (Psalm 132:16). Christians, (those who have put on Christ) are priest. Peter wrote, “But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, peculiar people…” (I Pet. 2:9). Therefore, Christians are to be clothed with salvation. It is part of God’s dress code.
One must then be clothed with righteousness. The psalmist also said, “Let thy priest be clothed with righteousness; and let thy saints shout for joy” (Psalm 132:9). Isaiah said, “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness…” (Isa. 61:10). What is righteousness? The psalmist answers that question for us when he says, “My tongue shall speak of thy word: for all thy commandments are righteousness” (Psalm 119:172). John said, “Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous” (I John 3:7). Thus, to wear righteousness is to abide by the word of God. This too is part of God’s dress code.
What does this robe of righteousness look like? Whatever they look like, they are beautiful, for Isaiah said, “Awake, awake; put on they strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments…” (Isa. 52:1). It will look like a “new man”. Paul wrote, “And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness” (Eph. 4:24). To the Colossians he wrote, “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him” (Col. 3:10).
Well, what does this new man look like? Paul explained; “Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering; Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness” (Col. 3:12-14). We might add, be sure to “put on the whole armour of God” (Eph. 6:11-18). God’s dress code requires such garments.
But one more thing is important concerning the clothing that God would have us wear. Christians are to keep their garments clean. Paul told the Corinthian brethren to “come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you” (II Cor. 6:17). In the letter to Sardis the Lord said, “Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy” (Rev. 3:4). Jude was told, “And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh” (Jude 23).
It would seem that each and every one of us should be adamantly seeking eternal apparel. Paul said, “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For is this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life” (II Cor. 5:1-4). Remember the words of John, “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels” (Rev. 3:5).
Though God has not specified certain clothing for us to wear in this life, He certainly has a dress code if we wish to go to heaven. (Send any questions or comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org)