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, August 19, 2013

The Way of Faith

Faith is the point of contact between that battery and human souls. Whatever be the form of our religious activity, it is faith that is at the bottom, whether it be prayer, praise, watchfulness, resistance to sin, or efforts for the salvation of others. When St. Paul has enumerated the weapons which constitute the Christian's offensive and defensive armor, he adds, "above (or, over) all," as a protection to every other part of the armor itself, "take the shield of faith" — continually exercise a strong and lively faith. The ancient shield covered the whole soldier. Hence the motto for all Christians, whatever their attainments, is "Looking unto Jesus."

If your old enemy is the alcoholic or the narcotic appetite, you are not to be thinking all the time of the decanter and cigar, and bracing yourself against them in your own strength — the method of occasional human victory, but more frequently of human defeat; but you are to look unto Jesus, to magnify his power, to dwell upon the promises, and to supplicate his great gift of the Comforter, to abide within, and to be the keeping power. The former method of overcoming sin is, in the words of President Finney, "the religion of resolution"; the latter way is "the religion of faith".

As long as faith in Christ is kept in exercise, the soul is impregnable; it dwells in "the munition of rocks." Then "none shall be able to pluck them out of my Father's hand." True vigilance, therefore, the price of spiritual liberty, is faith in Christ modified by the apprehension of spiritual peril — it is looking unto Jesus on the battle-field. The beautiful vignette of a cross grasped by a hand, with the motto underneath, Teneo et teneor — I hold fast and am held fast — expresses the same thought. There is no other way of maintaining the higher life. It is rest in Jesus. It is the rest of faith. They who thus rest are not exempted from temptation and warfare, but they are lifted by the power of the Holy Spirit into such a nearness to Jesus that they find trust in him a natural and a delightful exercise, and victory over sin easy.

— from Love Enthroned, Chapter 22.

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