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 started this on Dec. 10, 2011. I completed blogging from that book 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. Since then, I have begun adding material from his Bible commentaries. I also re-blog many of the old posts.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Is It the Same Spirit?

In Luke 1:15 the angel Gabriel predicts the following of John the Baptist - "...for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink; even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit." (NRSV)

QUESTION: Was the Spirit predicated of John from his birth (Luke 1:15) identical with the Pentecostal gift to the disciples?

ANSWER: The Third Person of the Trinity has always been in the world, but his activity before Pentecost differed from his operations after his public manifestation as the Pentecostal gift, as an outward temporary gift, like skill to Bezaleel, physical strength to Samson, the kingly feel to Saul, differs from the permanent inward grace adorning the soul with all the Christian virtues, love, joy, peace, etc. We are not to understand that John was an exception to the law of heredity by which all of the offspring of Adam except the second Adam were tainted with a tendency toward sin. See Rom. 5:12, "For all have sinned," i.e., became sinful. John the Baptist  was so under the influence of the Holy Spirit as to be kept from actual sin and through faith to be cleansed from depraved tendency even in childhood. Were parents as deeply spiritual in these times as John's were there would be frequent instances of sky-born children sanctified to God before the devil could touch them. Oh, for more houses filled with the heavenly atmosphere of perfect love in which childhood may be early purified and trained for Christ and his church! It is a great blessing to be well born.

— from Steele's Answers pp. 10, 11.

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