Intro

This blog gains its name from the book Steele's Answers published in 1912. It began as an effort to blog through that book, posting each of the Questions and Answers in the book in the order in which they appeared. I began the project on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed it on July 11, 2015. Along the way, I began to also post snippets from Dr. Steele's other writings — and from some other holiness writers of his times. I still do that every once in a while.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Spiritual Crucifixion

The difficulty with average Christians is that they faint beneath the cross on the via dolorosa, the way of grief, and never reach their Calvary. They do not by faith gird on strength for the hour when they must be stretched upon the cross. They shrink from the torturing spike and from the spear aimed at the heart of their self-life. This betokens weakness of faith.

But when the promise is grasped with the grip of a giant — no terrors, no agonies, can daunt the soul. In confidence that there will be, after the crucifixion, a glorious resurrection to spiritual life and blessedness, the believer yields his hand to the nail, and his head to the thorn crown. That flinty center of the personality, the will, which has up to this hour stood forth in resistance to the complete will of God, suddenly flows down, a molten stream under the furnace blast of Divine love, melted into oneness with the "sweet will of God." After such a death there is always a resurrection unto life. An interval of hours, or even of days, may take place before the angel shall descend and roll away the stone from the sepulchre of the crucified soul, and the pulsations of a new and blissful life be felt through every fiber and atom of the being. It is not the old life that rises, but a new life is breathed forth by the Holy Ghost. The believer can then truly say that he is "dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ."

"He walks in glorious liberty,
To sin entirely dead.
The Truth, the Son, hath made him free,
And he is free indeed. 

"Throughout his soul thy glories shine,
His soul is all renewed,
And deck'd in righteousness divine,
And clothed and filled with God."

He who enjoys this repose is brought so intimately into sympathy with Jesus Christ that he is all aflame with zeal, and aroused to the utmost activity to save lost men. As a venerable preacher, widely known, quaintly expressed it, "I enjoy that rest of faith that keeps me in perpetual motion."

We come now to the practical question, "How may I enter into this rest, this resurrection with Christ, this Divine freedom?"

If you ask this question in sincerity, it evinces that you have the first condition requisite for its attainment — a sense of spiritual bondage. Till you realise the indwelling of sin — the great spiritual despot — you will make no efforts to secure the intervention of the great Emancipator.

The second requisite is, that you believe that he is "mighty to save;" that "he is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by him."

So long as you doubt that Jesus is a complete Saviour, you will be reluctant to yield yourself to him. You must believe that "the blood of Christ cleanseth from all unrighteousness," before the Holy Spirit will apply the blood of sprinkling to your heart. We are not bound to explain the necessity of this faith. It seems to be the only doorway through which God enters into the soul to set up his kingdom. Every spiritual blessing enters the soul by the same avenue. It cannot enter through the senses, which apprehend only the material world. It cannot be grasped by the reasoning faculty, which apprehends only relations. It is not an object of the natural intuitions, or the faith faculty. The grounds of this faith are the Divine promises; its object the Lord Jesus Christ.

— edited from Love Enthroned, Chapter 21.