Clothed in Purple

Bible Book: Selected Passages 
Subject: Heaven; Future, The Glorious; Heavenly Home

Clothed in Purple

Purple! A royal color fit for kings. Majestic and magnificent. A symbolic color throughout the ages representing regality and opulence. Kings and priests, rulers and the rich were most often clothed in purple for their highest celebrations. Few crowns have been placed on royal heads without the show of purple.

One of the first converts of the Christian church in Europe was Lydia. A successful and influential woman, she is remembered as a "seller of purple."

George Washington desired to honor his bravest and strongest leaders in battle. He initiated the Purple Heart. The recipients were living, wounded soldiers. For years, after his death the medals were forgotten until 1932 when our government, with the military, re-issued those commendations for valor. Today, the Purple Heart remains a memorable badge of courage for the living and the dead.

Impressive as the color purple has been across the pages of history, believers in the Lord Jesus are offered this high honor from the very King of kings and Lord of lord: to be clothed in purple.

In the 17th century, Thomas Traherne wrote:

You never enjoy the world aright,

Till the sea itself floweth in your veins.

Crowned with the stars and perceive yourself

To be the heir of God.

In our anxiety society, people turn to varying sources for hope and healing. They seek ways to achieve self-worth and self-esteem. Puzzled, they ask, "Who am I?" they seem to forget that as an "heir of God and joint-heir with Christ" they are offered, through Jesus, More answers than they have questions and More love than they have need. His concern for the past, present and future. While welcoming all to "reign" with Him!

Mark Twain, in his wonderful story, "The Prince and the Pauper," relates the tale of a pampered prince who was heir to the throne of his father. Each day as he walked with his staff in the beautiful gardens, he was not thrilled with the sparkling fountains, the cascading waterfalls, or the manicured flower beds. He was constantly drawn to the iron fence surrounding his home. He would look out to the streets of the city and long to be free, like the poor boy, on the outside, with tattered clothes and bare feet.

And the young urchin outside the palace gate peered at the prince, with all his pleasures and possessions, and wondered what it was like being a child of the king. They were childlike examples of rags and riches.

Alas, the young prince had an idea. He and the boy would exchange places. The prince would become the pauper and the pauper would become the prince. This offered the child of the king freedom, and the child of poverty riches.

The legendary story has been read for years and most children and adults have their own way of personally identifying with the princely plot.

I. The Privilege

There are some Christians who have never recognized who we are and what we will become. This is what must have prompted Paul to write in 1 Corinthians 6:2, "Know ye not that the saints shall judge the world!"

The royal parents of Princess Victoria believed that she must be told early in life that someday she would become the Queen of England. They asked her governess to make this known to her. So she inserted the name "Victoria" in the history book that listed the names of the kings. When the princess read aloud the names she came to her own name. Looking up she asked, "Can it really be that I may become the Queen of England?" "Yes," replied the governess. "Then," exclaimed the princess, "I will be good!" From then on she lived as a queen should live.

Romans 8:17 declares, "If children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together." An awareness of who we are and what we shall be should transform our lives!

Revelation 5:10 insists, Thou "hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth." The Christian is called to be a king, in that he is to rule; and a priest, in that he is to pray.

The most important thing you as a Christian can be king of is yourself. You should manifest a kingly kind heartedness, a courtly calmness, and a regal righteousness.

The function of a priest is to represent the sinner before the Savior. A word used in the Bible to describe the function of a priest is advocate. An advocate is one who pleads the case of another, a lawyer. As an advocate you are to go into the presence of the Lord and talk to Him for your family and friends. A greater work you cannot do.

A few weeks after he called on the name of the Lord and was saved, a business man called me and asked, "What must I do before I may pray for a friend and bring him to Jesus?" "You must be saved," I replied. "I am," he said with assurance. "I received Jesus in your study." "Yes," I answered, "and I'm so glad." "Must I be licensed or ordained in order to pray for one and lead him to the Lord?" "No, sir," I answered. "When you received the Lord Jesus, He made you a priest, and that is the business of a priest." "I must hang up," said Gary, "and pray for this man and bring him to Jesus." He came to see me later in the evening, shouting, "God used me. I did it! I mean we did it!" Have you?

II. The Plan

Are you wondering, "How does this connection take place?" Just before John informs us in Revelation 5 that our Lord has made us "kings and priests," he wrote about our Lord Jesus, "Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy blood out of every kindred, tongue, and people, and nation."

His death was an atoning death. There was a purpose in it. His death was not a disaster caused by the devil, or a mistake brought on by man. It was a purpose to be carried out. You and I were born to live. He was born to die. He said in John 10:17, "I lay down My life, that I might take it again." It was voluntary in its giving. Doesn't this tell us of His providing and pulsating love?

His death was an achieving death. He said in Matthew 20:28, "The Son of Man came to give His life a ransom for many." He said in Matthew 26:28, "This is My blood. . . which is shed for the remission of sins." These verses reveal the letting loose from the sins which brought the penalty. They signify an emancipation from the slavery and sentence of sin!

His death was an availing death. The Lord Jesus did not die for nothing. He died to make us "kings and priests." A soldier at the front wrote to his sister, "It's not the dying that worries me. What does worry me as I squat here in my dug-out is whether I shall have died in vain."

Something like that was on the mind of Paul when he spoke of Christ dying in vain. He died in vain if you do not avail yourself of His death. Will you now accept His pardon, peace and the privilege of being a king and a priest?

III. The Position

Are you wondering, "How can I become a child of the King?" It is by receiving the Lord Jesus. How? Our Lord says, "Look! I have been standing at the door and I am constantly knocking. If anyone hears Me calling him and opens the door, I will come in and fellowship with him and he with Me."  Revelation 3:20 TLB.

The King is offering you an exchange. He died to give you His blessing for your bereavement, His cleansing for your contamination, His freedom for your fetters, His gladness for your gloom, His hope for your hopelessness, His lift for your load, His song for your sorrow, His triumph for your temptation, His heaven for your hell.

This is not a chapter from Mark Twain, but from the King of kings and Lord of lords. This is not a fable, it is a fact! Why live in a kink, when you can live as a king?

IV. The Possession

You have in the Lord Jesus all that you will need for every event and every emergency. He has made provision for your every need. It is not a feeble provision, but a full provision.

In Him there is a fullness of blessing, therefore delight in Him; fullness of energy, therefore be  subject to Him; fullness of grace, therefore take from Him; fullness of joy, therefore receive from Him; fullness of light, therefore walk with Him; fullness of love, therefore draw from Him; fullness of peace, therefore rest in Him; fullness of riches, therefore depend on him; fullness of strength, therefore lean on Him; fullness of teaching, therefore learn of Him; fullness of wisdom, therefore look to Him.

A little street child was hit by a truck and rushed to the hospital for surgery. While recovering, they handed him a full glass of milk. With his family, when a glass of milk was handed to him, each one was allowed to drink only a small portion so that all might have a taste. When he took the glass of milk he asked the nurse, "How far down do I drink?" "All the way down," she replied. "It's yours. Drink deeply." Just so our Lord says to you, "Drink deeply." He will freely give you all things. They are as free as the air you breathe, free as the sun that shines, free as the food the Lord Jesus gave to the five thousand!

V. The Personality

Invite the Lord Jesus to be the "Person" in your personality. Get your cue of behavior from the word, not the world. It is written, "I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living sacrifice, holy - the kind He can accept. When you think of what He has done for you, is this too much to ask? Don't copy the behavior and customs of the world, but be a new and different person with a fresh newness in all you do and think. Then you will learn from your own experience how His ways will really satisfy you." Romans 12:1-2 TLB

A young athlete from Georgia, with superior skills and fast legs, had all the abilities to become a premiere football star. His coaches and boosters sang his praises. He was the fastest running back his high school had seen. He was conformed to practice schedules and was good in his studies. He showcased all the earmarks of a winner.

Off the field one day a so-called friend offered him a new "high." "Why not," he said to a friend. "I go for highs. Even now I taste winning the Heisman trophy in college." Copying the "behavior and customs of the world" led him to permanently fumble the ball. Today he is living out his life, institutionalized and immobilized. He fried his brain imitating the behavior of the world.

Copying the behavior and customs of anyone or anything short of the Lord Jesus - the ultimate High, brings destruction. Aim to be like Jesus. Allow Him to outlive His in living life, and you'll go on from victory to victory!

VI. The Problem-Solver

Problems. Every person has problems. They are as plentiful as the stars of the sky or the sands of the shore. We do not rejoice in the problems, but in the Problem-Solver; for Philippians 4:4 says, "Rejoice in the Lord!"

He is the nearest of all companions, the ablest of all advisors, the richest of all bankers, the strongest of all friends, and the wisest of all counselors.

Bring Him your burdens, the biggest burdens; He can bear them. Bring Him your needs, your greatest needs; He can supply them. Bring Him your problems; your most difficult problems: he can solve them. Bring Him your temptations, your strongest temptations; He can triumph over them.

Bring Him your requests, your hardest requests; He can answer them. The poet has written:

The Savior can solve every problem,

The tangles of life He can undo.

There is nothing too hard for Jesus,

There is nothing that He cannot do.

VII. The Partnership

Being clothed in purple, as an heir of God and a joint-heir with Christ, and being accepted as a child of the King of kings, is an awesome privilege. One becomes, not only a better person, but a different person.

Simon, the coward, become Peter, the courageous. Saul, the foe of Christ, become Paul, the friend of Christ. The woman at the well, a dirty tool for dirtier transgressors, became a winsome winner of souls.

Two artists were close friends. One was famous for his landscape scenes, and the other human figures. The landscape artist had skillfully painted a country scene, but it didn't sell. It lacked something. His friend said, "Let me take your painting to my studio." He added a lovely person and brought it back. The picture sold immediately for a big price. Thus, when the Lord Jesus comes in to your life He lights you up by His presence. The light of His love warms your heart, the light of His word illumines your mind, the light of His grace strengthens your soul, the light of His countenance beautifies your life, and the light of His presence leads you on to victory.

VIII. The Prospect

When John Harper, the English evangelist, was coming o the United States to preach, he was a passenger on the Titanic. On the evening of catastrophe, Dr. Harper turned to a friend and said, "It will be beautiful in the morning." The friend, a survivor, reported the incident.

A few hours later the liner struck an iceberg, and Dr. Harper was carried by the angels from grief to glory! For him, the "morning" was beautiful! And so it will be for every child of the King. An old hymnwriter described the scene:

"Clothed in His righteousness alone

Faultless to stand before His throne."

Clothed in purple! Standing before the King of kings with hearts of gratitude and gladness, on streets of gold, rejoicing in Him and reigning with Him for ever and ever!

Clothed in purple, Royal purple.

Kings and priests throughout eternity. Clothed in purple.

Royal purple, Blessed to reign with Him as family.