Summary: Titus 1:8
We are going to get a little wildlife lesson this morning. Anyone ever hear of a Ermine? Well they are weasel looking animals, that live in forest both in the United States and in northern Europe and Asia. They are known for their white fur in the winter which is used to make coats. The ermines in northern Europe have an interesting trait. Because he depends on his white coat to blend in with the winter snow he protects against anything that will soil it.
Now fur hunters have learned this and use it to their advantage. They do not set a snare for the ermine but instead they will find a ermines home, usually a cleft in rock or a hollow tree, and they will smear the entrance and interior with grime. The hunters then will loose their dogs to find and chase the ermine. The frightened animal flees toward it’s home but it will not enter because of the filth. Rather the soil it’s white coat, he is trapped by the dogs and captured while preserving his purity. For the ermine, purity is more precious then life.
Today I want to talk about a kind of purity. A purity that for us is compromised every day. And that purity is called holiness in the Bible. Please turn with me to our passage for today, as we are still in Titus 1:8. That is page 1032 in your pew Bibles. Again as we have seen Paul is giving to us positive qualifications for church elders. We should all have this passage memorized by now.
"but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled,"
The last two weeks in which I spoke we talked about being just. I make mention that just as to do with our performing our duty towards men, while holy as to do with performing our duty toward God. Holiness is what I want to talk about this morning.
Now we all should know that God is holy. In fact Scripture state that God is Holy, Holy, Holy! I have preached on the holiness of God in the past. But this morning I do not want to focus so much on the Holiness of our Lord, but more on the fact that we to are to be holy.
Holy is something that every Christian is called to be. Listen to 1 Peter 1:15-16; "but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, "Be holy, for I am holy."
This goes hand in hand with what Paul writes to Titus in verse 8. Now some may say, "I am called to be Holy as God as Holy?" Yes you are. I have heard some people say "Well God does not expect me to be perfect."
Yes he does. As we will see Holy basically means perfect. How can we think that a perfect being can demand anything less then perfection. If God demanded less from His children, He would not be perfect, if he did not demand that that His children be Holy as He is holy they He would not be Holy.
If God does not want us to be perfect and holy why did He sent His Son to die on the cross. God already had imperfection, He already had unholiness. If God does not demand those things then sending His Son to die that we may be made Holy, that we may be made perfect is pointless.
So I want us all to set aside any foolishness that God does not demand perfection and holiness from His children.
The Bible insist on Holiness for the Children of God, listen to 1 Thess. 4:7; "For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness."
So we see that call to holiness in Titus 1:8, in 1 Peter 1;15-16, and also in 1 Thess 4:7. Holiness in the condition of life that God expect from each one his children. That Holiness should permeate all areas of our life.
So God demands Holiness. But what is Holiness. There are different theological ways for us to define Holiness. If just want to deal with the two main ones.
First the simplest way to define holiness is to be without sin, to be perfectly righteous in all we do.
Now when the Scripture states that we are made Holy through the blood of Christ, it is not saying that we are incapable of sinning. There are Christians who hold to this position, that a Christian is not capable of sinning once they are saved.
I know in my own life that would mean that I am not a true Christian because I do sin. I know that I am in no way perfect. And the people I knew that held that position were people I knew were sinners to.