"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."
There are profound theological implications in the statement that the Word of God is life-giving because it is the Word of truth. Jesus said, 'I am the Truth' and He is the eternal Word that was from the beginning. He is the original Word of Life, and it has pleased Him to be in the written word. This idea of the 'inscripturisation' of the Eternal Word is central to the Reformed view of Scripture. It is a cardinal doctrine of the Reformed faith that Christ and the Scriptures can never be separated or severed from one another. This is how and why the Word of truth is life-giving, for He, the Christ in the Scriptures, is life-giving. And, rightly understood, this is the charter of every true preacher: as he stands before his people, he knows that the living Christ is pleased to be in the word that he preaches, making it a living, life-giving reality. This is why men encounter a living Christ when they hear the Word of truth. We sing,
Beyond the sacred page
I seek Thee, Lord.
Luther says that the Scriptures are 'the cradle of the Lord'. In other words, when the word is heard, it is as if our Lord Himself were standing in the midst, stretching out His gracious hand to awaken the slumbering soul, to cleanse the leper, to heal the sick, to call the dead forth from the graveyards of sin. Indeed, it is not only as if Christ did that - He does do that! This is why Calvin is able to say that we should listen to the Word of truth with a great reverence and anticipation, for it is God Himself Who is speaking to us. We should come to it with all the thrill and joy, the awe and reverence, with which the shepherds came to the manger of Bethlehem, and the Wise Men, who said 'Where is He that is born King of the Jews?'