Human Holiness and Creation -- By: Nelson D. Kloosterman

Journal: Reformation and Revival
Volume: RAR 05:4 (Fall 1996)
Article: Human Holiness and Creation
Author: Nelson D. Kloosterman


Human Holiness and Creation

Nelson D. Kloosterman

Few subjects bring us closer to the living center of reformation and revival-and clarify their ultimate goal-than does the matter of human holiness. This is because human holiness lies close to the heart of God Himself. The Bible tells us that when God nurtures His children, the purpose behind His discipline of His children is “that we may share His holiness [hagiotetos]” (Heb. 12:10). Moreover, God calls His children to “pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification [hagiasmon] without which no one will see the Lord” (Heb. 12:14). Human holiness, or godliness, is the heart of Christian obedience to God.

To understand the dimensions of biblical holiness, I want to explore with you the biblical-theological significance and relationship between human holiness and the doctrine of creation. What does the doctrine of creation, especially of man’s creation as the image of God, imply for true practical holiness? Naturally, restricting our focus to this question prevents us from discussing the wide range of biblical teaching regarding the crucial doctrine of Sanctification.

Why consider this connection between human holiness and creation?

One of my primary objectives is to show that for Christian spirituality to be biblically healthy, it must be shaped by the Bible’s doctrine of creation, especially of man as God’s image.

Elsewhere I have described Christian spirituality to consist in those practices of piety designed to cultivate holiness through awareness of and commitment to God, His Word, and His people.1 By “practices of piety” I refer especially to use of the means of grace, which may be distinguished as official (the public reading and preaching of God’s Word, and use of the holy sacraments) and personal (Bible reading, prayer, meditation, and fasting). But what is the goal or objective of all these activities? That we may live and walk before God in His creation unto His glory, out of true faith,

and according to His precepts. This is the beautiful description of “good works” given us in the Heidelberg Catechism (Q. A. 91).

Practices of piety include worship, Bible reading, prayer, and the like. The proper goal of our piety is this life of good works—and that is what we mean by holiness. Christian holiness is not expressed simply by praying before we eat, or reading and discussing a Bible passage after we eat. Christian holiness invol...

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