Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. (Revelation 19:7–8 kjv)
There are two Greek words that mean “righteousness.” One is dikaiosune, the other is dikaioma. Dikaiosune is righteousness as an abstract concept. Dikaioma is righteousness manifested in act, or an act of righteousness. When you and I believe in Jesus Christ, His righteousness—dikaiosune—is imputed to us. We are made righteous with His righteousness. When we live out our faith, we express that imputed righteousness in dikaioma, which is outworked righteousness, or an act of righteousness.
It is interesting to note that the word used here in Revelation is the plural form of dikaioma, dikaiomata. The fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. It is a very searching statement. “His wife hath made herself ready.” She has done this by her acts of righteousness.
Every culture that I have encountered has embraced one common rule regarding marriage ceremonies. The bridegroom never prepares the bride; rather, the bride always prepares herself. The responsibility is placed on her alone. The Scripture says that the wife of Christ, the church, has made herself ready by her outworked righteous acts. The imputed righteousness of Christ will not avail for the bridal feast. It must be the outworked righteousness—acts that we believers perform because of Christ’s gift of righteousness, given freely to us.