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.

Friday, December 21, 2012

God Has Begun to Save Everyone

God has begun to save every human soul.

He has already saved the entire race from the extinction threatened in the instantaneous execution of the death penalty upon Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden in the moment of their first transgression.

The remedial dispensation began with the promise that the Seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head. The children of the pair banished from Eden, and fallen from their high estate, are born in the likeness of their sinful parents, with tremendous proclivities toward sin in the strength of their passions and the bent of their wills. Yet they come into being under the dispensation of mercy. They have a gracious ability to repent. They are saved from that complete moral inability which paralyses the will of the fallen angels in the direction of obedience to the moral law. This ability to resist the downward tendency of their nature, and to turn from sin, is, through the influences of the Holy Spirit, procured by Jesus Christ for all the race. "He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgement."

Through the atonement every soul is in a salvable state. By assenting to the facts and truths of the Gospel, and by relying solely on its Author, every penitent sinner may be saved from the guilt of sin. If any one fails to submit to the Divine plan of salvation, the merciful purpose of God is defeated, and the initial salvation never becomes actual and final. Through an abuse of the godlike attribute of freedom man may withstand all the suasives of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and create for himself a destiny of endless sorrow. The human will is an independent fountain of causation, itself uncaused in all its moral volitions. " Whatever the good man is, he is through God and his own will; the evil man, however, is so only through his own will, for evil is falling away from God."

Hence the following theological axiom of Fletcher: "All damnation flows from man, all salvation flows from God." He saves all that he can without a violation of the sacred prerogative of freedom. "Turn ye, turn ye — why will ye die?"

Thus love is revealed as dominant over this world; not a fondling sentimentalism, but a holy principle, ever acting in accordance with wisdom and justice; saving the penitent, persevering believer, and consuming with flaming fire all who, by incorrigible disobedience, thrust from themselves the cover of the atoning blood.

— From Love Enthroned, Chapter 1.

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