Verse of the Day Devotion:  John 5:24 

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” – John 5:24

This verse addresses the fact that salvation is the result of hearing His words and believing them, and then ultimately acting upon it.  Salvation has nothing to do with any acts or deeds, as the Jews believed, but it was wholly the work of God.  To “hear” in this passage speaks not of just hearing physically, but it involves receiving the word in the heart, believing it to be truth and then obeying it.  Many people hear the gospel, but few see it as a truth they wish to obey.  They must see it as a truth they must obey, because they believing it is the only way to please God and receive salvation.

And the idea is that we believe God the Father who sent Him to fulfill His will.  The Father provided a way that we can receive eternal life with Him, and that is to provide a means by which the penalty of our sins have been paid.  “For the wages of sin is death,” Romans 6:23a.  Note He says “The wages of sin is death.”  When God created man He placed them in the garden declared one thing they were not to do.  “The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.” Genesis 3:2-3.  He told them what they would receive, denoted by Paul as wages, if they disobeyed Him.  Unfortunately, they did and received exactly what God told them they would.  Not necessarily instant death, but they would have a limited lifespan. 

And this was what Paul was referring to.  Because they sinned, they received the wages for their actions.  They no longer had life eternal, but a time where life would eventually end.  And He also declares there would come one who would be capable of addressing this problem.  “And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel.” Genesis 3:15.  This refers to the coming Messiah who would address this great fall of mankind.  “The next day he saw Jesus coming to him and said, Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!“  John 1:29.  So, as you can see, this was the plan of the Father and He sent Jesus, His only begotten Son to address the sins of all mankind.  And the only way He could pay the penalty for us is if He did not need to pay it for Himself.  “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” 1 Corinthians 5:21.

So, going back to our focus verse, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life,” if we hear the words of Jesus regarding our situation, that being we are dead due to sins, and we believe the Father that the death of His only begotten Son will redeem us if we accept this truth, then we shall no longer die but will live eternally with Him.  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” John 3:16-17. 

We have all sinned and were thus under the penalty of death.  However, if we hear, accept and obey what Jesus said, and believe the Father that if we do this He will forgive us, then our penalty has been placed on Christ, who never sinned and thus can pay our penalty.  And when He does this, then we have eternal life.  Not that we will have eternal life, but we already have it.  It is life begun and expanded.  We, as Christians have already entered this inheritance which is everlasting.  What a glorious life we are assured of going forward.   

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries. 

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