H.A. Ironside

In the fall of 1980 I did something for the very first time. I bought a Bible commentary, I have purchased one or two since that day. The commentary was entitled “Addresses on the Gospel of John” and the author was Dr. H.A. Ironside. In that volume Dr. Ironside made a statement that underscores the importance of the Holy Spirit of God that bears repeating:

My dear friends, it is possible to be saved from sin, not only from the guilt of sin, but it is possible to be saved from the power of sin, through regeneration and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. This is what Jesus meant when He said, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” The truth of which He spoke is the blessed program of regeneration given us in His holy Word. When men believe this message they are set at liberty because of the new birth, and as they go on in fellowship with God, walking in the power of the Holy Spirit, they are not dominated by the lust of the flesh, but they walk in the freedom of the children of God.

H.A. Ironside (1876-1951) was born in Toronto on October 14, 1876. At his birth they believed him to have been born dead, only when a pulse was detected 40 minutes later did they resuscitate the new born Following the death of his father the family moved to Los Angeles, and finding no Sunday School there for him to attend, H.A. started his own at the age of 11. Gathering old burlap bags, H.A. and his childhood friends sewed them together, producing a burlap tent that could accommodate up to 100 people. Unable to find an adult teacher, Ironside himself did the teaching, with attendance averaging 60 children—and a few adults—each week.

In 1888, well-known evangelist Dwight L. Moody preached at a campaign in Los Angeles, with meetings held at Hazard’s Pavilion, which could seat up to 4,000. This inspired Ironside, who hoped to also be able to preach to such crowds one day. In 1889, after a visit from evangelist Donald Munro, Ironside became convinced that he was not “born again,” and so gave up preaching at his Sunday school, spending the next six months wrestling with this spiritual problem. After an evening of prayer, in February 1890, Ironside, at age 13, accepted Christ. As he is quoted as saying years later, “I rested on the Word of God and confessed Christ as my Savior.”

Ironside preached the Gospel worldwide as a bible teacher and evangelist. He was connected with the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago as a traveling teacher/preacher. His writings are voluminous. But he is most well known as the faithful pastor at Chicago’s Moody Church from 1930-1948. The following is a devotional he penned for his book “A Continual Burnt Offering.”

Enjoy … See You Sunday

Pastor Byron

Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

1 Corinthians 6:19–20

God wants us to realize that the body, which is such a wonderful evidence of His creative power and wisdom, should be used for His glory. To abuse the body by destructive habits is to displease the Lord, and is self-inflicted wrong.

The salvation purchased for us by Christ’s atoning death is threefold. Spirit and soul and body (1 Thessalonians 5:23) have all been bought by the blood of Christ and all are to be devoted to His glory. We cannot grow in grace if we are indulging in sinful and fleshly lusts of any kind. Carnality is the bitter foe of spirituality. The body and its appetites are to be kept in subjection by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 9:27). Only thus can there be success in the Christian race (Hebrews 12:1) The body is to be yielded to Christ (Romans 12:1), and not to be polluted by that which would impair its usefulness under the guise of Christian liberty (Galatians 5:13).

I have been “bought with a price”—

A price no pen can compute;

The wondrous grace of the Buyer

Forbids my soul to be mute.

Redemption, the price of my pardon,

Unties the string of my tongue—

The praise of my gracious Redeemer

By me shall ever be sung.

I have been “bought with a price”

Th’ Eternal was willing to die,

That I a poor worm of the dust

Might share His glory on high.

Oh, wonder of wonders, that He,

The Creator of heaven and earth,

Should assume the form of a servant—

Like sinful mortals have birth!