The fine linen the church is arrayed in, which is the saints’ righteousness (Rev. 19:8), ties in with Ephesians, where it is written that Christ sanctifies the church “by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” (Eph. 5:26-27) This is fitting as a description of the linen the church will be clothed in.
As for Revelation chapters 2 and 3, as they are of letters written to the seven churches, the Christian church will see application in these verses. They repeatedly talk about the works of the church. Unto the church of Laodicea was written, “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed…” (Rev. 3:18).
The gold that is “tried in the fire” is gold that is purified by fire. It is through our works that we receive gold and clothes.
1 Corinthians supports this in saying, “…if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.” (1 Cor. 3:12-13). The word “build” shows what is laid is of man’s own works, and the “gold, silver, and precious stones” is shown to be produced by the trying of man’s works.
These verses prove eternal security as well. God tries the Christian’s works so that he may burn off wicked works; doing so leaves us with clean garments and readies us for the wedding. God trying the Christian’s works is hence not for the purpose of damnation. 1 Corinthians writes, “If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” (1 Cor. 3:14-15).
This shows bad works do not damn a Christian to hell and that he is still saved. Our salvation is irrevocable because it is based upon the finished work of Jesus Christ and Christ’s righteousness instead. The judgment seat of Christ will not be judging Christ’s work but the Christian’s own works. Regardless of evil works, the saved man, sinless in God’s eyes by Christ’s work, goes to heaven. We cannot confuse our Christian walk with salvation.
A heresy called Lordship salvation teaches that those who are truly saved by faith in Christ’s work will reflect Christ’s work in their own works. This is refuted by 1 Corinthians, which shows that it is possible for people to have deficient works and yet still be saved (1 Cor. 3:15).
Those who lived wickedly before becoming saved and claim that their past immorality damns them to hell are not looking towards Christ’s work but judging themselves for their own works instead, which is contrary to what the Bible teaches. The Bible writes of our salvation: “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us…” (Titus 3:5).
We are not condoning wickedness among Christians, as we teach that they will be judged for it at the judgment seat of Christ, “…for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” (Rom. 14:10).
The unsaved face the final judgment of Revelation 20, while the Christians “…must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ…” (2 Cor. 5:10).
Ecclesiastes mentions, “For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.” (Ecc. 12:14).
Thus works are either good or bad. Whether our works are good or bad will be determined at the judgment seat, “…that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” (2 Cor. 5:10). That what is judged as being of the body also shows the soul as being secured, saved, and sinless.