"In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory."
Clearly, in Paul's thought, 'trusting in Christ' follows upon, and is the direct consequence of, 'hearing the word of truth', and due weight needs to be given to this important idea. What Paul says here can be summed up in his own words elsewhere, in Romans 10:17, 'faith cometh by hearing'. There is an essential simplicity in Paul's words, and we must beware in gospel work, of placing an emphasis where Paul does not place it. It is all too easy to trust or lean on atmosphere, technique, method, or equipment, instead of on the hearing of faith. Spurgeon is said to have left, as his legacy to the church, his sublime faith in the converting power of the gospel. There is something essentially mysterious about this. It is not something, strictly speaking, that we can fully understand. As Jesus said, 'The wind bloweth where it listeth; thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth; so is every one that is born of the Spirit'. All the same, there are certain things that are quite clear to us, and the first is that the word of truth is quite central in the scheme of salvation. It is the word of truth that 'opens the door' for us into the new life, as the Psalmist says, 'The entrance of Thy word giveth light'. This can only mean that the Word of God is a living and a life-giving word which communicates and imparts life in the hearing of it. Two things may be said of this: the first is that it is life-giving because it is the word of truth - not merely true, but truth, the embodiment of truth itself, and the second thing is that it is life-giving because it is the vehicle of the Holy Spirit's operation. We shall look at these two considerations in the Notes that follow.