August 4, Saturday

The beginning verses of the Gospel of John, from a facsimile edition of William Tyndale’s 1525 English translation of the New Testament.

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears my word and believes in him who sent me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.

John 5:24.

The phrase “most assuredly” heralds an important announcement. Here it concerns the way to obtain eternal life. Here the Lord Jesus Christ reduces it to an extremely simple denominator: we must hear His Word and believe God, for He was uttering pronouncements by God. Hearing the Word, however, is not limited to the ear; the Word must be heard and received by the heart.

The result is then threefold: first, eternal life. God’s Word states that Jesus Christ, the Son of God is “the true God and eternal life”. Therefore “he who has the Son has life” applies to all who believe (cf. 1 John 5:12.20).

The second point is preservation from judgment. At the final judgment the dead will be judged “according to their works” (Revelation 20:12), and none will survive. Their fate will be eternal condemnation. But Christ bore the punishment of death at the cross for all who believe on Him. So God’s children escape the judgment and eternal death.

This leads to the third point. Passing from death into life has already taken place. In the epistle to the Ephesians, after establishing that God by His power raised Christ from the dead  (ch.1:v.20), it continues in chapter 2, “and you who were dead in trespasses and sins” (v.1), i.e. those who were formerly dead in God’s sight He has now “made alive together with Christ … and raised us up together” (vv. 5 & 6). God still today works this miracle of grace in all who come to Him.

Image: By kevin rawlings – tyndale’s translation, CC BY 2.0,