by Stephen Whitney

Blessing of Holiness
Stephen Whitney
I Thessalonians 5:23-24

In the forests of northern Europe and Asia lives a little animal called the ermine or short-tailed weasel, known for his snow-white fur in the winter. The winter fur is very dense and silky, but quite closely lying and short. He instinctively protects his white coat against anything that would soil it.

Fur hunters take advantage of this unusual trait of the ermine.
They don't set a snare to catch him, but instead they find his home, which is usually a cleft in a rock or a hollow in an old tree. They smear the entrance and interior with grime. Then the hunters set their dogs loose to fine and chase the ermine.

The frightened animal flees toward home but doesn't enter because of the filth. Rather than soil his white coat, he is trapped by the dogs and captured while preserving his purity. For the ermine, purity is more precious than his own life.

God wants his people to keep themselves separated from the filth of the world because he has called them to be holy. God has set believers apart to be examples of what he can do for everyone who trusts Christ as their personal Savior so their sins are forgiven.

Our struggle is between what God wants us to be and what we really are. He sees us as pure and holy because our sins have been forgiven because of the death of Christ, while in our personal lives we continue to sin because we are not yet made perfect.

In our position before God we are holy, while in our own personal experience we continue to sin. Paul tells us that we can experience the blessing of holiness as we allow God to make us more and more holy day by day as we give him more control of our life.

Puritan Thomas Watson wrote, "It is absurd to imagine that God should justify a people and not sanctify them, He should justify
a people whom He could not glorify." Puritan John Owen wrote, "God leads none to heaven but whom He sanctifies on the earth."

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