But we are all like an unclean thing,
And all our righteousnesses are like filthy rags;
We all fade as a leaf,
And our iniquities, like the wind,
Have taken us away – Isaiah 64:6
As it is written: “ There is none righteous, no, not one – Romans 3:10
Galatians 2:16 tells us that we cannot do anything to earn our salvation. No work, no matter how great could contribute to saving us from our sins. Our good actions cannot make us righteous in God’s sight. Salvation is God’s free gift and the only work that contributed to it is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. The only way leading to salvation is to recognize our powerlessness to save our soul on our own and to accept Jesus as our personal Saviour. He will then give us His perfect righteousness.
Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the Angel. Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, “Take away the filthy garments from him.” And to him He said, “See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes”-Zechariah 3:3,4
The Bible often describes man’s own righteousness as a filthy garment, but Jesus Christ’s righteousness is depicted as a pure, white garment.
We receive God’s righteousness not through good works but by faith. We must accept Jesus. “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Once we accept God’s gift of salvation through the cleansing blood of Jesus which was shed on the cross, we become new creations–putting off the old man as Paul refers to our unsaved condition and our garments of filthy rags are exchanged for Jesus’ robe of righteousness.
This reminds me of the demon possessed man. Before Jesus saved him, he was naked, living among caves and driven out of his mind by demons. Then after Jesus exorcised him, he was in his right mind and clothed and sitting at Jesus’ feet (Luke 8:35).
May we be the ones who are arrayed in white robesand who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb (Revelation 7:13, 14).