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.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Living Without Sin

Much of the controversy about sin [in the life of believers] results from the want of accuracy in the definition of this term. We do not in [our present consideration of this issue] include in [the idea of] sin the involuntary deviations from the law of absolute right, but willful transgressions of the known law of God, written in his word or on the tables of the heart, and also original or inbred sin.

Living without sin are words which shock many persons. It seems to them to be plucking the crown from the head of Christ, the only sinless man who ever walked the earth, and putting that crown upon the heads of men.

But let us see whether sin in the human soul really honors or dishonors Christ. What was the great errand of Jesus into the world? To save his people from their sins. So far, then, as he does not save from sin, his mission is a dishonorable failure. He came to create the believer anew, making him a new creature. So much of the old man of sin as appears to stain and corrupt this new creature reflects discredit upon "Him that beggeth." "Ye are his workmanship." The work testifies of the skill or of the incompetency of the artist. Will any one insist that sin is a beauty and not a blemish in the work of the Divine Sculptor? In his prayer, which has been appropriately styled his high-priestly address to his Father, Jesus says respecting his disciples, "I am glorified in them." Does Christ's glory consist in sin, reflected from his followers? St John said of the Logos, who became flesh and dwelt among us, that we beheld his glory — not a material resplendence, not worldly wealth, nor rank, nor fame, nor genius, but moral excellence, fullness of "grace and truth." These qualities in believing hearts glorify Christ. Sin is not only a shame to any people, but a shame to the God of any people. Jesus therefore, is not jealous of the believer who through the power of his grace, has complete victory over inward sin, and perfect cleansing from outward defilement, but he rejoices in the honor which his perfect work reflects upon his workmanship. He is not afraid that he who wears the robe of his righteousness will outshine himself, and appropriate his honors. Sin might do this, but holiness never.

— edited from Love Enthroned, Chapter 5.

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