The Living Word/The Word of Life
by Henry Morris, Ph.D.
"Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain." (Philippians 2:16)
There is such beautiful correlation between the Living Word (Christ) and the written Word (the Bible) that certain Scriptures could well apply to either one. Such is the case with our text. The Philippians were exhorted to hold forth the Word of life, which presumably could mean either Christ, the Living Word, or else the Scriptures, which speak of eternal life.
The same dual meaning can be discerned in such texts as 2 Timothy 4:2 ("Preach the word") and Hebrews 4:12 ("The word of God is quick, and powerful"). In fact, there are many beautiful figures of speech that are applied in the Bible to the ministries of both Christ and the Scriptures in a believer's life.
For example, Christ is "the light of the world" (John 8:12), but also, "the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light" (Proverbs 6:23). Similarly Jesus said, "I am the bread of life" (John 6:35), but He also said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God" (Luke 4:4).
The Lord Jesus Christ said, "If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink" (John 7:37). God also promised that "as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, . . . So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth" (Isaiah 55:10-11).
Both are described as the very personification of truth. Jesus said, "I am . . . the truth," and He prayed to the Father, "Thy word is truth" (John 14:6; 17:17). Finally, both must be received: "receive . . . the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls" (James 1:21), for "as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God" (John 1:12). HMM