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.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Is Spirit Baptism for Purity?

QUESTION: What right have we to teach that Spirit-baptism is for purity? Where in his Gospel did Jesus declare this?

ANSWER: I wish everybody who desires to have his New Testament illuminated with an arc light would study Bernard's Progress of Doctrine, in which it is shown that the great practical, experimental truths are left in the Gospel as tiny seeds to be fully developed. after Christ's ascension, such as the atonement, justification and sanctification, and the purifying work of the Holy Spirit. He said very little about the gift of the Holy Spirit as a Person till the day before his death when he confined his remarks to the positive works of the spirit, witnessing, teaching, illumining, strengthening, gladdening and giving to the believer a manifestation of his bodily absent Master. He omitted the negative and smallest part of his work in the heart, the subtraction of depravity. Sanctification is to the fruits of the Spirit what house-cleaning is to house-furnishing. It is requisite to comfort and health, but is by no means ornamental. Moreover, before Pentecost the best of the apostles were not prepared to receive this negative office of the Spirit. They were so saturated with ceremonialism that they deemed themselves holy if they observed the Levitical Code. The Spirit himself must create in their minds the idea of inward holiness as necessary to Christian discipleship. Before such preparation the prediction of the purifying work of the Spirit would have puzzled and perplexed the disciples. May not this have been one of "the many things" Jesus did not tell them because they were not able to bear them, but which the Paraclete would unfold to them? This he did chiefly through St. Paul. See Rom. 6:6, 18:22, I Cor. 1:30, II Cor. 7:1, Gal. 2:20 Am. R. V., 5:24, Zph. 4:22-24, Col. 3:9, I Thess. 5:23, 3:11.

Steele's Answers pp. 201, 202.