Intro

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 post particularly eloquent passages from Dr. Steele's other writings. Occasionally I post "guest blogs" from other holiness writers.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Can Law Alone Save?

QUESTION: Explain Galatians 3:22-25 and answer the question, Can a sinner come to Christ through the constraint of the law alone without faith in Christ?
22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.  23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.  24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.  25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.  (KJV)
ANSWER: Paul teaches the opposite, that law can only show the sinner's guilt, but cannot remove it; just as the straight-edge used by the carpenter cannot straighten out the crooks which it reveals. If the legalist or moralist could find perfect rest of soul in his own good works, he would never feel the need of the Saviour to give him rest. He must despair of salvation on the ground that he has perfectly kept the law before he will plant his feet on the new ground, faith in Christ. He will then render glad obedience to him as his Benefactor and will no longer need a pedagogue or child-leader to drag his unwilling feet. Love to the Lawgiver has taken the place of fear of the law. But law is still his rule of life. Believing in Christ is what is meant by coming to Christ. By faith he is united with Christ and by faith he stands. He is freed from the moral law as the ground of acceptance with God and also as a motive to good works, which will now spontaneously appear as the fruit of faith. This is what we mean when we say the believer is not freed from the law as the rule of life.

— from Steele's Answers pp. 46, 47.