An Ironside Expository Commentary Originally published in 1920. Reprinted in 2006 by Kregel Publications, a division of Kregel, Inc., P.O. Box 2607, Grand Rapids, MI 49501. Unless otherwise noted, Scripture quotations are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible. Scripture quotations marked RV are from the Revised Version of the Holy Bible (Church of England, 1885). Preface Like many of my other books of recent years, this volume consists of addresses, stenographically r...

That The World May Believe

John 17:20, 21 In the High Priestly prayer recorded in John 17, the Lord Jesus prays, “I do not pray for these alone [the eleven disciples in the Upper Room with Him], but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me” (17:20, 21 NKJV, see also verses 22,23). Francis Schaeffer identified these verses as the “final apologetics

“Lord, He Stinkest”: Jewish Burial Practices, Mourning Customs and Rabbinic Theology on John 11.

As the Easter season approaches, Christians contemplate the two greatest events in human history: the death of the Lord Jesus in order to pay for our sins, as well as His victorious resurrection from the grave. The resurrection of the Lord Jesus was a watershed event in the history of the world. It was proof of His deity (Acts 2:32, 36; Rom. 1:4). It was proof that the payment for sin was complete and accepted by God (Rom. 4:25; 10:9; John 11:25). Finally, it was proof that the Wo...

Matthew - John

The Gospel According To St. Matthew. The first thing that strikes the mind, as undesirable in an accurate version of the Scriptures, is, that words supplied by the translators, which have no counterpart in the original, should not be designated as such by italics as attempted more or less fully in the Authorised Bible. Dr. Scrivener’s Cambridge Paragraph Bible sought this more systematically, and therefore is happier in this respect. In the Revised New Testament, on the contrary, the in...

Study on John 14:6

“I am the way, the truth and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by Me.”

The Gospel of John is built around two groups of miracles: (1) The realm of words, and (2) The realm of works. John’s Gospel was not written to give a chronological exposition of the life of Jesus Christ, as the synoptics do. John’s purpose in writing was to prove that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God. John 19:31 says, “But these things are written, that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you might have life through His name.” To fulfill this purpose, John chose seven miracles in the realm of words and seven in the realm of works.

The miracles in the realm of works are as follows:

1. The changing of water into wine (John 2:1-12)

2. The healing of the nobleman’s son (John 4:46-56)

3. The healing of the impotent man (John 5:1-16)

4. The feeding of the five thousand (John 6:1-14)

5. Jesus walking on the water (John 6:15-21)

6. Jesus healing the man born blind (John 9)

7. Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11)


The miracles in the realm of words are as follows:

1. I am the Bread of Life (John 6)

2. I am the Light of the world (John 9)

3. I am the Door (John 10)

4. I am the Good Shepherd (John 10)

5. I am the Resurrection and the Life (John 11)

6. I am the Way (John 14)

7. I am the True Vine (John 15)

Receive ye the Holy Ghost

John 20:22

It was the first day of the week, and the same day at even our Lord finds Himself in the midst of His people gathered together. The first word He utters is peace — “Peace be unto you.” Precious word! It was not remission of sins simply, blessed as this may be, but “Peace be unto you.” Peace is much more than sins forgiven; and “when He had so said, He showed unto them His hands and His side.” He showed them what was the sign and witness of the shed blood of His cross, by which He had made peace. “Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord.” But speaking to them again He repeats the words, “Peace be unto you.” Only this second time, remark, it is not now so much personal as prefatory to their mission; for He adds, “As My Father sent Me, even so send I you.” Thus the first words of peace would be for their own enjoyment, as I conceive; the second declaration comes as the introduction to their mission. It is this with which they are sent to others. It is therefore repeated to them, that in the renewed strength of this peace they may go forth. As the Father sent Him so the Son sends them, for He always speaks as the conscious Son of God in communion with the Father.

But there is a notable sign appended: “When He had said this, He breathed on them, and said unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.” Probably many who read these lines are not ignorant of the correspondence that has been carried on but recently on this very passage.

Christ the Life - John 14:6

He that spoke these words was the lowliest of men. How then did He come to utter them? Did ever a man since the world began take such a place? No man cometh unto the Father, but by me even as just before He had said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” There was not a word of boasting; it was never the way of Jesus to boast. Transparency was the thing that especially marked Him, and Him alone; and His love was as real as His lowliness. His was a self-sacrificing life continually. As a child it was the same; in the then single fact recorded of Him we have His own words, “Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” And who was He that so spoke? and what entitled Him so to speak? It was not only that in Him was perfect wisdom and perfect goodness, and that He was the truth, but if He were not God (and I use the word in all its strength), how presumptuous His words!

But He was Son as no one else is son. The word of God speaks of many sons, but Jesus is the only-begotten Son of the Father. He became Captain of salvation. Was He a sinful man? He was the Saviour of sinners. How could this be if He were not a divine person? Every one else is a sinful man, every man born into the world; for Adam never had a child till he was fallen. Even Enoch was a sinful man, although in due time translated. Elijah was caught up; but of Jesus it is said that He ascended up. Now, He that ascended first descended; and He that descended is the same also that ascended up, far above all heavens, that He might fill all things. Of whom else could this be true? Of none but the Lord Jesus Himself.

Christ the Truth - John 14:6

I have already endeavoured to show the meaning of the Way; that Christ, and Christ only is the Way. But there is another thing, Christ is not only the Way to the Father, but He is also the Truth. Where is truth to be found? In Him alone. He Himself is the Truth. Thus the man who has taken the way, possesses the truth. He who has bowed to Christ does not want some new resource. Truly God is wise, and as good as He is wise.

Let me now try to unfold what truth is. Man in his natural state may ask, but eludes the answer. How is this? Because he is gone away from God, serves Satan in whom is no truth, and likes Christ less, the more he knows about Him. When He came into the world, people seemed to value Him at first; for they did not then know that He was the Truth, and were not yet proved by Him.

They were all looking for, and expecting the promised Messiah. The time spoken of by Daniel was fulfilled, and men were in a state of expectation. The famous prophecy of the weeks pointed to those days, and the Jews all knew, or might have known, that the time was quite near when the Messiah, the Prince, was to appear, though none understood that He was to be cut off. The very heathen were moved by the rumours of a coming Deliverer; they heard that the time was at hand that a mighty king should reign, and most remarkable changes happen for the world. Wise men came from the East to see the born King of the Jews. More than one hundred and fifty years before Christ, the Old Testament had been translated into the Greek tongue, which was at that time the usual means of communication, as French has been in modern times. This translation of the Bible was a sort of preparatory testimony. Thus the Jews were not the only people who were looking for the Messiah.

Christ the Way - John 14:6

This was a momentous word for man — for every man, woman, and child. No words more encouraging were ever uttered, even by the Lord Jesus Himself, for such as felt the need of divine direction.

I have no doubt that there was more in them than the mere answer to the question. They meet the need not of one man only, but of all. Yet our Lord was not addressing a multitude of hearers, but the perplexed disciples; and this gives a definiteness of application. He is addressing a believer under Jewish prejudice, not an unconverted man. Not that I am going to confine myself to its strict bearing on the enquiring disciples, for there is in it the fullest answer to the darkest heart. There is divine help for those who know really but very partially. Their knowledge was scanty; they were not the wise and prudent of the earth; and Scripture takes pains to show this. They were not chosen for anything in themselves. It was manifest that they could add no lustre to the gospel. “Not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called; but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world, to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world, to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are; that no flesh should glory in his presence” (1 Cor. 1:26-29).

I am the true vine

Thoughts on John 15

(Manchester Series No. 181.)

There is no place where the selfishness of our nature oftener betrays itself than in the way we look at scripture. We do not ourselves always know how our thoughts of the word of God tell the tale of our state in the sight of God. I do not speak merely of such extreme cases as that of the avowed unbeliever — though he too shows what his condition is — as being not merely bad but unable to appreciate what is good, not only not obedient in heart but rejecting and rebelling against the only light whereby God Himself brings a man out of darkness to the knowledge of Himself. It is plain, therefore, that, rejecting the word, he as good as says to God that he desires not the knowledge of His ways. But then the children of God themselves let us see what their state of mind is, not only by their want of relish for the word, or their want of appetite for every means that will give their souls an increasing enjoyment of the Lord, but, further, by the way in which they take it up, by their understanding or rather misunderstanding of it. For this is the secret of true intelligence: people do not understand the word by brighter minds than others, but by a more obedient heart. It is the single-eyed desire to do the will of God which insures intelligence of His word. And the Spirit of God it is that produces both the one and the other. Assuredly it is the will that darkens the understanding; and, where the Spirit of God gives a soul to please the Lord, there the obstruction in the way of His word disappears. When by grace we want to do His will, the light of God is assuredly not withheld: it is the will when not judged which produces darkness for us.

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