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, August 23, 2014

The Spirit of Reality

The designation Spirit of truth might have been translated Spirit of reality. He is thus called by Jesus because He works in human souls only through the instrumentality of truth. Men are begotten children of God through the word of God. They are sanctified through the truth. The truth is the instrument; the Spirit is the efficient worker. The stability of the new life consists in having the "loins girt about with truth." Victory in warfare is through a vigorous wielding of "the sword of the Spirit, the word of God." When the Spirit convicts of sin, He takes such religious truth as He finds in the mind and makes it vivid and real. Conviction is the distinct realization of the person's lack of conformity to the requirement of the truth. There is no proof that the Holy Spirit ever acts immediately upon the soul without the medium of some truth lodged in the intellect, affording light for the activity of the will.

Successful preaching is, by manifestation of the truth accompanied by the demonstration of the Spirit. The failure of many preachers arises from their dependence solely on the saving efficacy of the truth without the Spirit's office to make it real. There is a legend that the eloquent head of a monastery died, and that while his body was lying in state before burial one of Satan's imps took possession of the corpse, raised it to seeming life, and preached an orthodox sermon through the lips of the dead abbot. The evil spirit returned to pandemonium and boasted of his exploit. When asked by Satan whether he did not run the risk of converting some soul by his orthodox sermon he replied: "Sire, do you not well know that orthodoxy without the unction of the Spirit never saves, but always damns?" John Wesley asserts that an impenitent man may be as orthodox as the devil, who believes and trembles, but is not improved in character by his faith and his fear.

The Gospel of the Comforter (1898). Chapter 1