The Means of Salvation
Ephesians 1:13
In whom you also trusted, after that you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that you believed…

The Word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. This double title is significant because the faith which cometh by hearing has a relation at once to the understanding and to the will. The Word of truth is to satisfy the understanding; the gospel of salvation is to satisfy the will, which embraces Christ as he is freely offered in the gospel. It is the "Word of truth" - not cunningly devised fables or illusory dreams of men; for it comes from the God of truth, it has Christ the Truth for its substance, and the Spirit of truth applies it by imparting a true spiritual discernment of its meaning. It is "the gospel of your salvation;" for it is "the power of God to salvation to every one that believeth" (Romans 1:16). Therefore we ought all "to take heed what we hear (Mark 4:24), and to ponder one of the signs of a godly character, "He that is of God heareth God's words" (John 8:47).

I. THE SCRIPTURES ARE NECESSARY TO OUR BELIEVING. "Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God" (Romans 10:17). "Receive with meekness the engrafted Word, which is able to save your souls" (James 1:21). Not but that in some extra- ordinary cases God seems to have converted men without the agency of preaching or of the written Word - Divine mercy suddenly coming into contact with men that were not seeking for it, and found in quarters where it might least be expected. It is very doubtful, however, whether in cases of this sort, the Word of God, once learned but long forgotten, may not have been revived by the Spirit of God as the means of salvation. The Scriptures "make wise unto salvation" (2 Timothy 3:15), and souls need to be nourished up with the words of faith and good doctrine, even with the wholesome words of our Lord Jesus Christ. The parable of the sower shows the uses of the seed (Matthew 13.).

II. THE SPIRIT OF GOD IS NECESSARY TO THE DUE RECEPTION OF THE WORD. Thus the Word of God is called the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12), which he holds in his hand as an instrument of power. We are "born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God" (1 Peter 1:23). The influence of the Holy Spirit is uniformly distinguished from that of the truth itself; because it is necessary to the reception of the truth (1 Corinthians 2:12-15). It is true that faith cometh by hearing, but there is a hearing which brings no faith; therefore the Spirit is needed to give effect to the truth. "Open thou mine eyes, that I may see wondrous things out of thy Law." Men see by the light, yet the eyes of the blind are not opened by the light. The Spirit must give efficacy to the Word, that it may save the soul.


1. Reverently, because they are the Word of God, and not the word of man.

2. Meekly (James 1:21), with a humble and submissive temper.

3. In faith (Hebrews 4:2); for else the study were utterly unprofitable.

4. Prayerfully (Psalm 10:17); for the Lord will thus prepare the heart.

5. Practically (Matthew 7:24, 25), that our life may be a comment upon the Word. - T.C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

WEB: in whom you also, having heard the word of the truth, the Good News of your salvation—in whom, having also believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,

The Inheritance and the Seal
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