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.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

If It is Impossible to Keep the Law of God Why Should Anyone Be Held Guilty?

QUESTION: If it is impossible to keep the law of God, why should we be condemned for not keeping it? (2) Do we need pardon for unconscious violations of a perfect law?

ANSWER: Law has several meanings in the Scriptures. The Adamic or Paradisaical law, the Levitical or Ceremonial law, and the Moral law. Only the latter are we bound to obey. It is possible for every one who is born of God to keep this law, because he loves Christ the Lawgiver, who makes the moral law to be "the law of liberty," not liberty to sin, but emancipation from the dominion of evil. Hence it is possible for every one to keep the royal law, the king of all laws, the law of love which carries the moral law in its bosom, for it is possible for every man, through penitent faith in Christ, to be born into the kingdom of love. (2) The law of love cannot be unconsciously violated, for if love turns to hatred, or indifference, consciousness must note the change. An act put forth in love may inadvertently harm my neighbor, but this is not sin. Do I not sin if I fail to keep the Adam law? The only expressed law given in Paradise was a prohibition. The implied Adamic law was love up to the full measure of his capacity, undiminished by sin. I am not required to serve God with Adam's powers, but with my present abilities crippled by sin. "Where little is given, little is required." Under the atonement everybody who knows the distinction between right and wrong has, through faith in Christ, the gracious ability to abstain from sinning — posse non peccare. The Lord Jesus be praised! This is the next best thing to the heavenly state — non posse peccare — the inability to sin. The first state leads to the second. Glory to God! The declaration that God's law cannot be kept reflects on both his justice and his goodness.

Steele's Answers 116, 117.

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