New Testament -- Acts - Colossians


    1:8 Power: “It is not skillfully composed discourse, nor the mode of delivery, nor well-practised eloquence that produces conviction, but the communication of divine power.”—From Origen (Commentary on John’s Gospel)

    1:22 The last official act of the old dispensation.

    2:1 The new dispensation of the grace of God ushered in.

    2:14 Filled, baptized, sealed, and anointed all at the same time. Filled—See ch. 4:8.

    2:16 this is that—the same in kind—but not the times of Joel 2.

    3:17 through ignorance—A city of refuge opened to them.

    3:24 [last clause] i.e., the days of the Messiah.

    4:11 The rejected Stone—Matt. 21:42, Ps. 118:22.

    5:15 Shadow ministry—Peter walked in the sunlight of God’s love and so his very shadow was full of blessing.
    “It is no hard work to cast a shadow, it is simply living in the sunlight.” Dr. A.T.S.
    “You can’t dispute with a shadow.” It is the life that counts when perhaps the one who casts the shadow is quite unconscious of it.

    5:33 they were cut to the heart—“they were infuriated.”

    6:3, 5 Full—a normal condition. See ch. 7:55.

    7:2-3 Led by the God of glory up to the glory of God. See v. 55.

    8:29 join thyself—literally, “glue thyself.”

    8:37 Verse 37 omitted in most mss. But we have here proof positive that in the early church confession of faith in Christ preceded baptism.

    10:2 Evidently a quickened soul—a proselyte from the Gentiles.

    10:38 Jesus anointed by the Spirit as Prophet, Priest, and King.

    11:23 Purpose of heart—2 Tim. 3:10; Dan. 1:8.

    11:25 Evidently Paul’s sojourn in Arabia was just prior to this (?).

    13—14 Paul’s first missionary journey.

    13:9 From this time the apostle is called Paul.

    14:1 so spake—It is possible so to speak that no one will believe.

    14:28 End of the first mission to the Gentiles.

    15:1 Adding to the work of Christ.

    15:26 hazarded—literally—“delivered up”—same as in Galatians 114—“gave” Himself. Eph. 5:2, 25.

    15:36 Inception of the second missionary journey.

    15:40 Beginning of the journey.

    16 Guidance:
    (1) By hearing—v. 6.
    (2) By the hand or feeling—v. 7.
    (3) Vision—by sight—v. 9.
    (4) Guidance by discernment—v. 15.

    16:10 Luke joins the party at Troas.

    16:12 i.e., A Roman colonia—having the standing of the imperial city itself.

    17:6 The world was wrong side up ever since the fall of man.

    17:27 feel—only place in the New Testament.

    17:31 The Day of Judgment—Heb. 9:27; Psalm 9:8.

    18:12, 17 Gallio—the indifferent.

    18:22 End of the second mission.

    18:23 The third missionary journey.

    18:24-28 Apollos:
    1—A man of great natural endowments.
    2—A man of learning.
    3—Mighty in the Scriptures.
    5—Limited knowledge of the Lord Jesus.
    6—Confined his preaching to what he knew.
    7—Willing to learn from less gifted people.
    8—Knew how to use knowledge aright.

    19:1 N.B.—Not a Christian company—simply Jewish disciples of John the Baptist.

    19:2 [first part] Did you, upon believing, receive the Holy Spirit? literal translation.

    19:15 Demons know Him—Mark 5:7.

    20:26 Compare Ezek. 33.

    20:35 [last part] was wont to say. It was a characteristic habit of His, though nowhere recorded in the Gospels.

    21:4 Note that the Holy Spirit seems distinctly to warn Paul not to go to Jerusalem. It is very evident however that Paul did not recognize this. There is no hint of self-will on his part.

    21:11 The second warning—but not a command this time.

    21:23 Was not this a trap, an effort to have Paul compromise the truth for the sake of peace?

    21:26 And this in the face of the truth of Hebrews 9 and 10.

    23:27 having understood—a prevarication.

    24:25 Felix, the procrastinator.

    24:26 Covetous and adulterous.

    25:3 Hypocrisy of religious leaders.

    25:18 Festus the scorner.

    25:19-20 To Festus these were most trivial matters!

    26:9 Conscience not a safe guide. It must be instructed by revelation. See ch. 23:1.

    26:10 voice—vote. Saul was evidently a member of the Sanhedrin.

    26:26 Agrippa—the almost persuaded.

    26:28 “With how little wouldst thou persuade me.”

    26:29 both almost, and altogether—“Whether by little or by much.”

    27:24 How blessed to be Sailing with Paul!

    27:25 Divine sovereignty—See v. 31.

    27:31 Human responsibility.


The Epistle of the Forum.—Note the large use of legal terms.
Theme: “The Righteousness of God.”
Part 1 1—8—Doctrinal—”The Righteousness of God revealed in the gospel.”
Division 1 1—5:11—God’s way of dealing with our sins.
Section 1 1—3:20—The need of the gospel.

    1:1-7 Sub-sec. 1—Salutation.
    The key in verse one—“gospel.”

    1:3 Humanity of our Lord.

    1:4 Deity of our Lord.

    1:8-17 Sub-sec. 2—Introduction.

    1:9 Acts 27:23—Service.

    1:10 See Acts 27, 28 for the answer.

    1:17 i.e., faithwise—not of works.

    1:18-32 Sub-sec. 3—The barbarian’s condition.

    1:20 things that are made—“poem”—See Eph. 2:10.

    2—3:20 Sub-sec. 4—The cultured Gentile’s condition. The moralist.

    2:22 [last part] to buy and sell idols.

    3 The summing up.

    3:9 The great indictment.

    3:21—5:11 The gospel in relation to sins.

    3:24 freely—Dorion: same word is translated “without-a-cause” in John 15:25.

    3:31 The law is not discredited, but its righteousness is fully recognized in the gospel.

    4:4 Reward is for works; justification is by grace. See Heb. 10:35.

    4:5 God justifies the ungodly who believe in Christ who died for the ungodly—See ch. 5:6.

    4:15 The law gives sin the specific character of transgression.

    5:1 Note the 3 “therefores”:

    5:10-11 Reconciled to God by the death of Christ. Col. 1:21.

    5:10-11 God received the atonement and we the reconciliation.

    5:12—8:39 The gospel in relation to sin.

    5:14 death—King. Note the five kings.

    5:17 Believers—kings.
    Transferred—from Adam to Christ.
    Transformed—into the Spirit of Christ.
    Translated—at the Coming of Christ.

    5:21 Sin—king.

    6:11 Reckon!

    6:13 Yield! See 2 Chron. 30:8.

    6:16 Obey! (George Matheson’s poem, “Make me a captive, Lord,” was pasted in Dr. Ironside’s Bible beside this verse. It appears in full in the poetry section in front.)

    7 The two husbands.

    7:1 Death severs relationship to law.

    7:4 Christ’s death to law was my death to that principle.

    7:7 The old husband not to be confounded with the old master (Pharaoh).

    8:2 The Spirit’s law: life in Christ Jesus.

    8:9 Sealing with the Spirit.

    8:16 The Spirit bearing witness. See Heb. 10 and 1 John 5-

    8:29 Note: Foreordination is not to salvation—but to Christ-conformity.
    Part 2 9—11—Dispensational—The Righteousness of God in harmony with His dispensational ways.
    All Israel’s past blessings depended upon sovereign electing grace.

    9 God’s past dealings with Israel.
    An elect nation cannot rightfully call in question God’s electing grace as applied to the Gentiles in this age.

    9:2 Great heaviness and continual sorrow are not inconsistent with fullness of joy in the Lord.

    9:6 Note—the theme here is that of a place of special privilege on earth.

    9:22 Why object to God’s present work of grace when the Jew had rejected the mercy shown him?

    10 God’s present dealings with Israel.

    11 God’s future dealings with Israel.

    11:11-12 The calling of the Gentiles—See Isaiah 49.

    11:16-26 The olive tree—The natural branches torn out. See Jer. 11:16.

    11:25 The mystery of the olive tree.
    Part 3 12—16—Practical—The Righteousness of God apprehended produces practical righteousness in us.

    12:1 A living sacrifice—See Num. 8:11-21; Dan. 3:28; Acts 15:26. Exhortation based on chapters 1—8.

    12:2 The free service of a willing mind as a result of the new life.

    12:3 Responsibility toward brethren in Christ generally.

    12:4-5 The One Body—1 Cor. 12.

    12:18-21 Belongs to the next chapter.

    13 Responsibility toward governments and men of the world.

    13:14 Augustine’s conversion.

    14:1—15:7 Responsibility to walk charitably toward weaker brethren.
    “First. Is it lawful? May I do it and not sin? Second. Is it becoming in me as a Christian? May I do it and not wrong my profession? Third. Is it expedient? May I do it and not offend my weak brothers?” —Bernard of Clairvaux.

    15:13 believing what?—Man’s ruin—1—3:20. God’s remedy 3:21—5:11. In a new race with a new head—5:12-21. Dead to the sin within—ch. 6. Dead to law— ch. 7. In Christ—Christ in us, God for us—ch. 8.

    15:29 Yet he came bound with a chain after being twice shipwrecked.

    16:1-24 Salutations.

    16:25-27 Appendix—the mystery.

    16:26 the scriptures of the prophets—“prophetic writings,” i.e., of the N.T.

1 Corinthians

    The Church of God and its Order.

    1:10 The unity of the Church.

    1:17 Message of the Church.

    2:2 “A Christless Cross no refuge is for me,
    A Crossless Christ my Saviour might not be,
    But, O Christ Crucified, I rest in Thee.”

    2:11 Personality of the human spirit.

    3 The work of the Church.

    4 Ministry of the Church.

    4:6 Literally, I have used Apollos and myself as illustrations for your sakes that ye might learn in us (the meaning of) nothing beyond what is written.

    5 Discipline of the Church.

    5:6 The leaven—See Hos. 7:4.

    6—10 Social life of the Church.

    6:13-20 Note how the Holy Trinity is interested in the believer’s body.
    The Lord for the body. The body indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
    Glorify God in your body. Rom. 12:1.

    7:6 i.e.,—he permits but does not command the advice of verse 5.

    8:2 See Jas. 1:5.

    9:26-27 “I am a boxer, who does not inflict blows upon the air, but I hit hard and straight at my own body.” Weymouth’s translation.

    10:11 Note four views of the Scriptures:
    1. Literal—all these things happened.
    2. Typical—unto them for ensamples.
    3. Spiritual—written for our admonition.
    4. Dispensational—upon whom the ends of the world (ages) are come.

    10:32 The threefold division of mankind.

    11—14 Meetings of the Church.

    12 Note: The “Body” here is the aggregate of believers on the earth at a given time. In Ephesians it is all from Pentecost to the Lord’s return.

    12:4-6 The Trinity.

    12:12 The human body.

    12:13 The Body of Christ.
    Baptized in the Spirit:
    See the promise through John—Matt. 3:11; Mark 1:8; Luke 3:16; John 1:31.
    The promise of the Lord—Acts 1:5-8.
    The promise of the Father—Luke 1:49; Isa. 49:3; Joel 2:2; Ezek. 37:26.
    The Promise fulfilled:
    Israel—Acts 2:1-7.
    Samaria—Acts 8:14-17.
    Gentiles—Acts 10:44-48; Acts 11:15, 16.
    John’s disciples—Acts 19:1-6.

    15 The confidence and hope of the Church.

    15:3 The death of Christ:
    1—Voluntary—John 10.
    2—The purpose for which He became Incarnate— Heb. 2.
    4—To reconcile to God.
    5—Ends our relationship with the old creation.
    Dead to sin—the world—law.

    15:24-26 The mediatorial kingdom to be delivered up to the Father—The work of the Son—as receiver of the fallen universe—completed.

    15:28 [last clause] i.e., God—the eternal Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

    15:36 Fool—not implying lack of intelligence—but one who makes a bad use of it. Not moros as in Matthew

    5:22 but aphron, heedless. 15:39 No evolution of species.

    15:44 natural—psychical; spiritual—pneumatical.

    15:52 “In a moment”—See Job 21:13.

    15:58 The Lord’s Return—the incentive to service. See 1 Thess. 1:9, 10.

    16 Concluding exhortations and salutations.

2 Corinthians

    1:10 Threefold deliverance. See Ps. 116:8.

    1:14 [last part] i.e., at the judgment seat of Christ. See Phil. 1:6.

    1:21-22 The operations of the Spirit of God.

    2:3-5 Note how frequently he uses “you all” in Philippians, as also here.

    4:8-9 “Without a way but not without a by-way.” Emph. Bible.

    4:16-18 Note the contrasts:
    Outward man—inward man.
    Things seen—unseen.
    Continue in chapter 5—contrasts throughout.

    4:16 The outward man—the body.
    The inward man—the spirit and soul.

    5:6 Gal. 2:20—Is the body all?—See 2 Cor. 12:3.

    5:19 The ministry of reconciliation—John 3:17; Deut. 20:10.

    5:21 The basis of reconciliation. The sin offering. We are now made, in Christ, the display of divine righteousness.
    The Sinless One made sin.
    Knew no sin:
    1—Never sinned.
    2—No sin within.
    3—Incapable of sin, impeccable.
    Made sin:
    1—No change in Him.
    2—No change in the Father’s love.
    3—Bore divine judgment as sin offering.
    Result: We—sinners—made the display of divine righteousness in Him. Phil. 3.
    He did no sin—1 Pet. 2:22.
    “In Him is no sin.”—1 John 3:5.
    Tempted apart from sin—Heb. 4:15.

    6 Ambassadors for Christ:
    1—Their authority.

    6:3 A blameless ministry.

    6:4 The minister’s credentials.

    6:6 The minister’s character.

    6:7-10 The minister’s contrasts.

    8:3 Willing beyond their ability.

    8:4 [last phrase] Fellowship of serving by giving.

    8:9 “When was He rich?”

    9:8-11 “From God to God.” He the source of all blessing which in turn leads the heart out in worship and praise to Him—See Eccl. 1:7.

    10:4 Eph. 6:11-13—The Christian warfare.

    10:7 outward appearance—1 Sam. 16:7.

    11:2 The Church the espoused bride.

    11:19 Keen irony.

    12:2 Consciousness out of the body taken for granted.

    12:8 Prayer to Christ, as to the Father.

    13:14 communion—Fellowship, partnership, companionship.
    “to eat bread together”—Latin. Together—breadship.


Law and Grace.

    1—2 Personal.

    1:1-5 Salutation. 1:6-10 Introduction.

    1:11-23 Paul’s conversion and call to the apostolate.

    1:13 conversation—behavior.

    2:11 Controversy with Peter.

    2:20 The Cross—See Rom. 6:6.

    3—4 Doctrinal.

    3:27 See Col. 2:12; Rom. 6:3, 4.

    5—6 Practical.

    5:15 Dogs!

    6:14 The Cross. See ch. 2:20. See the type in Numbers 19:6.
    Cicero wrote: “Far be the very name of a cross, not only from the bodies of Roman citizens, but from their imaginations, eyes, and ears.”

    6:17 “I bear branded in my body the stigmata of the Lord Jesus.”


The N.T. Book of Joshua.—The Body of Christ.—
The Heavenlies our present portion.

    1:4 according to—See Esther 2:18.

    1:17-18 Prayer for knowledge. Paul’s first prayer—See ch. 3:14.

    1:22 all—i.e., all principalities, powers, etc.

    2:10 workmanship—“poem”—See Rom. 1:20.

    2:17 which were afar off—Gentiles.
    that were nigh

    3:3 the mystery—Col. 1:26. 3:8 See v. 16.

    3:10 Angels learning the wisdom of God in us.

    3:11 “Purpose of the ages.”

    3:14 Prayer for power.

    3:16 according to—not “out of” but “according to.” riches—1—Endowment.
    “Glory is the excellence of anything in display.” Alex. Stewart of Glasgow, quoted by F. E. Marsh, strengthened with might—2—Enduement—power or ability.

    3:17 [first part] 3—Enthronement.
    [last part] 4—Environment.
    —like a tree.
    —like a building.

    3:18 Four dimensions—spiritual knowledge of the divine purpose.

    3:19 6—Enrichment.

    3:20 Compare with Jude 24 and Rom. 16:25.
    [last part] 7—Empowerment or equipment.

    4:8 Captivity captive explained in Isa. 14:2. See Judges 5:12.

    4:12 Omit the commas.

    4:20 Christ glorified directs our attention to Jesus as He was here on earth.

    4:24 A new order of man—See Col. 3:10 where a different word is used.

    4:30 The Holy Spirit—a divine person, who may be:
    Vexed—Isa. 63:10.
    Resisted—Acts 7:51.
    Grieved—Eph. 4:30.
    Quenched—1 Thess. 5:19.

    5:2 The Burnt Offering—Lev. 1; Ps. 40.

    5:9 Fruit of the Spirit—Gal. 5:22—Some read “Fruit of the Light.”

    5:14 [last clause] or “Christ shall shine upon thee.”

    5:18 Filled with the Spirit—Compare Col. 3:16.
    See Acts 2:4; 4:8; 4:31; 6:3,5; 7:55; 9:17; 11:24; 13:9; 13:52. Full of the Holy Spirit—the normal condition of one who is walking with God. Filled— special filling for special occasions.

    5:15 Contrast with the shoes of Joab—1 Kings 2:5.


Christian Experience: Christ in Life and Death.
Key words: Mind, Gospel.
“The dear Lord’s best interpreters
Are humble, human souls.
The gospel of a life like theirs
Is more than creeds or scrolls.”

    1 Christ, the believer’s Life.

    1:6 2 Cor. 1:14—i.e., the judgment seat of Christ. See v. 10.

    1:9 judgment—“keen perception.”

    1:11 Amos 6:12—fruits of righteousness—See Heb. 12:11; Jas. 3:17, 18.

    1:12-26 Personal.

    1:27-30 Exhortation.

    1:27 striving together—co-operating vigorously.

    2 Christ our Example—“Others.”

    3 Christ the believer’s Object.

    3:2-4 Deliverance from confidence in the flesh and the religion of the flesh. Paul’s Personal Experience.

    3:5 Benjamin—A son of the free wife—not a bondmaid.

    3:9 Contrast Deut. 6:25.

    3:11 “The out-resurrection from among.”

    3:13 one thing—Ps. 27:4; Luke 10:42.

    3:15 perfect—mature.

    3:20 our conversation—our citizenship and hope. Politeuma—commonwealth, citizenship, politics.

    4 Christ our Strength.


The Headship of Christ.
Note the place the “will of God” has in this letter.
Probably written A.D. 63.

    1 The Pre-Eminent One.

    1:4-5 Faith, hope, and love—1 Cor. 13. Note the order here is changed. 1 Thess. 1:3.

    1:9-11 Prayer—seven petitions.

    1:9 True knowledge.

    1:10 Walk worthy:
    Of your calling—Eph. 4:1.
    Of the gospel—Phil. 1:27.
    Of the Lord—Col. 1:16.

    1:11 Divine strength.

    1:12-14 Thanksgiving.

    1:15-19 The First Begotten.

    1:15 Firstborn—not necessarily the one born first—but a title of dignity. See Deut. 21:16; Ps. 89:25-27. Christ —greater than creation—not a part of it.
    Firstborn of all creation—See v. 18.
    Exact image—not a distant eon.

    1:17 before—See John 1:17; John 8:58. Christ’s pre-existance.
    “What makes gravitation gravitate?” Christ!

    1:18 firstborn from the dead—Rom. 8:29.

    1:19 In Him all the fullness was pleased to dwell.

    1:20-22 Twofold reconciliation.
    Sin had ruptured the condition of concord or conciliation between man and God. Christ has wrought the re-conciliation. See Rom. 5:10-11; 2 Cor. 5:18-21; Eph. 2:10-17.

    1:23-29 Twofold ministry.

    1:23 If ye continue—the test of profession.
    made a minister
    —a minister of the gospel.

    1:25 A minister of the Church

    2 Our union with the Head. Complete in Him.

    2:2 full assurance—See Heb. 6:11.

    2:4-7 Our link with Him.

    2:4 Christ the Antidote for every fleshly system.
    [last clause] lead you astray by persuasive talk.

    2:8 Christ the Antidote for human philosophy.

    2:9 the fulnesspleroma—not merely all the qualities of God, as Arius afterwards taught, but the very essence—the nature—of God in all its entirety.

    2:10 complete—filled full.

    2:11 Not the “sins” here as in Romans 6—but the flesh itself.

    2:13-14 Jewish legality.

    2:14 The receipted bond—all sins settled for.

    2:16 Ritualism, asceticism, as in the Essenic Gnostics.

    2:18 Pagan mysticism (Persian), superstition, Gnosticism.

    2:23 Asceticism—not of any use against the indulgence of the flesh.

    3 Christ is all.
    “Sometimes the loudest proclaimers of the truth are the poorest performers, and so they discount what they say by what they do.” —A.T.R.

    3:1-4 Risen with Christ.

    3:2 set—like a watch set to the sun. Four circles:
    vv. 5-11—The inner circle—one’s own heart.
    vv. 12-17—Christian fellowship.
    vv. 18-20—The home.
    v. 22—4:6—The world without.

    3:5-11 Judgment of the old ways.

    3:5 mortify—put to death.

    3:8 The habits of the old man—our old clothes, i.e., the man of old—the man you used to be before you knew Christ.

    3:12 The habits of the new man—our new clothes.

    3:14 [last phrase] “girdle of perfection.”

    3:15-17 Three rules of conduct.

    3:15 rule—umpire.

    3:16 Word of Christ—only place in N.T. psalms—to strike a note, as on a harp or lyre.

    3:18—4:1 Sanctification of natural relationships.

    4:2-4 Prayer.

    4:5-6 Walk and speech.

    4:7-18 Closing salutations. Contrast with Ephesians.

    4:16 [last phrase] Probably Ephesians.

    4:18 Paul—What would one not give to have this autograph!