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.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Why Entire Sanctification Does Not Accompany Regeneration

The question is often asked, "Why does not the Spirit entirely sanctify when He regenerates?" We answer, it is because that neither the consecration nor the faith of the penitent sinner is adequate to this complete work. The person then surrenders his bad things, he lays down his arms, quits his rebellion and sues for pardon. This is all that his faith grasps. But he soon learns that a deeper consecration is requisite, that all his good things, his possessions, his bodily powers, his intellectual faculties must be fully consecrated to Christ. To pour all his money into the treasury of his imperiled country and to give his life by enlisting in her military service is far different from the act of surrender as a prisoner of war. In the next place, faith for entire knowledge of one's spiritual needs and a larger comprehension of the vastness of the supply found in Jesus Christ. This deeper knowledge is not found in the spiritual babe.

Moreover, at the risk of being suspected of predestinarianism, I insist on another reason why the Spirit does not entirely purge the soul at the new birth. The impartation of spiritual life to a dead soul is wrought by the Spirit alone without the soul's co-operation, though it is active in conversion, but passive in regeneration. Theologians would call the first a case of synergism and the second an instance of monergism. If our distinction between these works of the Spirit is correct, it affords a sufficient reason why entire sanctification could not be wrought by the Spirit at the time of the new birth. The old man cannot be crucified without the co-operation of the new man. He must sign the death warrant of that sin in the flesh which the Son of God by His sacrifice for sin has condemned, in order to make that condemnation effectual for the destruction of "the body of sin" (Rom. vi. 6).

— from The Gospel of the Comforter, Chapter 14.