This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. I am slowly blogging through Steele's Answers, posting each Q & A in the order in which they appear (whether I personally agree with the answer or not). But, these posts come from several other sources, as well. I often post particularly eloquent passages from Dr. Steele's other writings. Occasionally I post "guest blogs" from other holiness writers.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Can a Sinner Be Restored?

QUESTION: I am in great distress, having been pardoned and baptized with the Holy Spirit, a happy, aggressive Christian worker, then knowingly and deliberately committing sin and repeating it for months and years. Is it possible for me again to find acceptance with adoption into the family of God? do you think there is any hope for so great a sinner?

ANSWER: Your case is a very sad one, but I see one ray of hope. Your desire to be restored to the state from which you have fallen is an indication that the Holy Spirit has not left you. He who commits the irremissible sin has, we are told no longing for restoration. Hebrews 6:4-8 may be quoted against our position, but this text does not apply to you because you are "not crucifying (present tense) the Son of God afresh," but rather, earnestly seeking him as your Saviour. Hebrews 10:26-31 has also a present tense denoting a persistent sinning: "For if we are willingly sinning," etc.: It should also be borne in mind that the apostasy of a Christian Hebrew is the rejection of the Christian system and a return to Judaism, in which such an apostate will find no effectual sacrifice for sin. But should he return to Christ he will not cast him out.

"There's a wideness in his mercy
Like the wideness of the sea."

The adversary, the devil, often tempts backsliders to believe that they have committed the unpardonable sin. In my pastoral experience by quoting the divine promises to a dying sailor who said, "There is no mercy for me, I have broken all of God's laws," his despair was changed into faith in Christ. He found pardon and died in peace. My advice to this sorrowing inquirer is to go to Jesus saying, "If I perish I will pray and perish only there."

Steele's Answers pp. 26-28.