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, December 3, 2013

The Meaning of Mortify (Colossians 3:5)

"Mortify (νεκρώσατε aorist, kill outright), therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry...."(Colossians 3:5 KJV)

"Let nothing," says Bishop Ellicott, "live inimical to your true life, hidden in Christ. Kill at once (aorist) the organs and media of a merely earthly life."

Here, in the very strongest terms, is the Wesleyan doctrine of entire sanctification as a distinct and instantaneous work of the Spirit clearly set forth. A young evangelist, holding meetings in a Baptist church, preached to pastor and people entire sanctification as immediately obtainable by faith. The pastor was stumbled by the English reading of this text, "Mortify;" that is, keep mortifying day by day. He thought that he must ever keep a little sin alive in his heart in order to be forever mortifying it. His mistake was (1) in overlooking the real meaning of Mortify, (νεκρόω) to make dead, and substituting the idea of repression: and (2) in disregarding the aorist tense of the command, enjoining a decisive and momentary act, to be done once for all.

— adapted from Mile-Stone Papers, Part 1 Chapter 8.

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