â€œHolding 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.â€ (Philippians 2:16)
by Henry Morris III, M. of Div.
he Bible is always the best commentary on itselfâ€”especially when the word or phrase is not frequent. In this case, â€œthe word of lifeâ€ is only used twice and might be interpreted in various ways without this qualifier: â€œThat which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of lifeâ€ (1 John 1:1).
In the context of Philippians 2, the emphasis is obviously on the person and work of our Lord Jesus. We who bear His name are His â€œsonsâ€ and are charged with the responsibility of being â€œlightsâ€ (Philippians 2:15) to a world that is steeped in darkness. The light that we shine is the word of lifeâ€”and that is, according to the Scriptures, the person and work of Jesus Christ.
Thus, the word of life must certainly involve who Christ is (Creator, Lord, incarnate Word, King) as well as the â€œglorious gospelâ€ of salvation by grace (2 Corinthians 4:4). Charged with the responsibility of â€œholding forth the word of life,â€ we are to be â€œthe ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of Godâ€ (1 Corinthians 4:1). Thus, we should be well-versed in the written Word, since Jesus specifically said: â€œSearch the scriptures . . . they are they which testify of meâ€ (John 5:39).
Ultimately, of course, our â€œlightâ€ comes from â€œthe Light.â€ Since we have been delivered â€œfrom the power of darknessâ€ (Colossians 1:13) by our Lordâ€™s substitutionary atonement, we who â€œwere sometimes darknessâ€ are now â€œlight in the Lord: walk as children of lightâ€ (Ephesians 5:8). HMM III