Unbuttoned" and "Stripped

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 8
Years ago a gospel work was begun in a small village in the deep south. The Word was preached in the power of the Spirit, and as interest grew the Lord blessed His word.
Among those who came under its sound was the wife of an old man named Saunders. Her heart was opened to attend to the things spoken, and she found peace in believing. At first her husband, a strict churchgoer, did not at all like her attendance at the meetings and made things unpleasant at home; but before long he himself began to attend.
Very interesting it was in after-days to hear him tell how the Lord led him out of darkness into light. In his own estimation he had lived a blameless life, and he was well satisfied that there was nothing so specially bad about him as to keep him out of heaven at last. Others might well stand in fear of missing it; he was untroubled. Had he not been fairly regular at church, a faithful workman, a good neighbor, and one who dealt justly by all? And could he not look forward to being at life's close committed to the grave "in sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life"?
Thus did old Saunders fasten around himself the garment of self-righteousness until a day came when a faithful servant of the Lord was led so to present the truth of man's real condition that the smug old man, to use his own quaint expression, became "unbuttoned."
He got a glimpse of himself as a lost sinner in the sight of a holy God, and it made him uneasy. Not at once, however, did he discover that he was wholly sinful. The discovery was made later on when one Lord's day a former life guardsman—a big man with a big heart for the Lord and for souls-was preaching on the village green. Saunders was an earnest listener, and the word went home. Now, as he subsequently told me, he was not only "unbuttoned," but "STRIPPED." He saw his own "righteousness" as nothing but "filthy rags" in the eyes of God. They must all be thrown away, and Christ, God's robe of righteousness, must henceforth be his only and all-sufficient covering in the divine presence.
Converted late in life, dear old Saunders was content and happy in the knowledge of Christ as his precious Savior. Both he and his wife have long since gone to be with the Lord—trophies of His redeeming love.
"Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him," was the father's command for the poor destitute prodigal who had come back from his guilty wanderings with the confession, "I have sinned."
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus" is the language of God's Spirit today.
My reader, have you been stripped of self? Are you in Christ?