Just a couple more quotes that I’d marked in Webster’s Holiness. As an account of the human condition and God’s redemptive response, I like this. It’s an account rooted in our relationship with God as our Creator. The foundational place of Creation Theology in scriptures does not always feed into our accounts of salvation. The way in which Webster writes here places our status as creatures (made as the image of God in the physical world) at the centre.
Christian holiness is holy fellowship; it is the renewal of the relation to God which is the heart of holiness. To be a creature is to have one’s being in relation to God, for ‘to be’ is ‘to be in relation’ to the creator, and only so to have life and to act. To be a sinner is to repudiate this relation, and so absolutely to imperil one’s life by seeking to transcend creatureliness and become one’s own origin and one’s own end. This wicked refusal to be a creature cannot overturn the objectivity of the creator’s determination to be God with us, for such is the creator’s mercy that what he has resolved from all eternity stands fast. But the sinner’s failure to live in acknowledgement of the creator’s gift of life means that the creature chooses to torment and damage his being to the point of ruin, precisely by struggling out of the ordered relation to God in which alone the creature can be. (p84, emphasis added)
A little further along…
However, evangelical sanctification is not only the holiness that the gospel declares but also the holiness that the gospel commands, to which the creaturely counterpart is action. Holiness is indicative; but it is also imperative; indeed, it is imperative because it is the indicative holiness of the triune God whose work of sanctification is directed towards the renewal of the creature’s active life of fellowship with him. (p87)