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.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Grace Abounding Exceedingly

"The grace of our Lord abounded exceedingly." — 1 Tim. 1:14.

Here St. Paul prefixes the super to another verb, which itself signifies to superabound, giving it the force of "exceedingly to superabound." This verb, ὑπερπλεονάζω (huperpleonazo), appears nowhere else in the entire volume of Greek literature. Before the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, "faith" and "love" in human souls were streams so small that they needed no wider terms for their description. Thanks to God for bringing me into being in the glorious dispensation of the Comforter! It is preferable to the days of Christ's flesh.

No New Testament writer except St. Paul uses the compound verb ὑπερβάλλω (huperballo), to exceed, excel, surpass. He has written it five times as descriptive of the graces of the Holy Ghost, who has been aptly styled the communication of God, as the Son is the revelation of him. The texts are 2 Cor. 3:10, "The glory that excelleth"; 9:14, "Exceeding grace"; Eph. 1:19, "Exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe"; 2:7; "The exceeding riches of his grace"; 3:19, "The love of Christ which surpasseth knowledge." We have not time to unfold their wealth of meaning. Let each reader do this for himself.

No other writer in the New Testament has used the noun "huperbole" (ὑπερβολή), transferred into English as hyperbole. The texts in which this is applied to spiritual blessings are 1 Cor. 12:31, "And a still more excellent way show I unto you"; 2 Cor. 4:7, 17, "More and more exceedingly an eternal weight of glory." They are well worth studying by those who are aspiring for a large view of God's promises, as a preparation for their realized fulfillment through increased faith.

Half Hours With St. Paul, Chapter 17.