““Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. 25 Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. 27 And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man.” John 5.24-27
The key to having eternal life according to Jesus is simply this — hear his word and believe in him. That’s it. The hearing of the word isn’t a requirement but the way one believes. This was also how early Jews received God’s word– they would hear it read to them in the synagogues. (Today we aren’t dependent upon someone reading it to us as the Bible is accessible in so many mediums and means.)
If you want eternal life all you have to do is believe. Baptism isn’t a requirement nor is church attendance, holy living or holy communion. Salvation comes from hearing and then believing in God’s word. Once a person believes they will “not be judged but has cross over from death to life.” What a great deal? However, this still doesn’t prevent many of our christian churches from putting requirement upon requirement on its’ members. We should heed the words of Jesus — if you believe, you have salvation!
But Jesus continues by giving support for his statement — “the Father has life in himself….and has granted the Son also to have life in himself.” What does this mean to have “life in himself?” The Passion Translation (very cool I might add) says this — “For the Father has given the Son the power to impart life, even as the Father imparts life..
According to this, having life in himself means the ability to impart life. But not just life and breath today but eternal life. God had it, gave it to Jesus who now shares it with everyone else who believes in his name. Pretty awesome if you ask me.
We have been given life through faith in Christ yet for many, they reject Jesus and his teachings. They think that he’s a liar, a false messiah or a lunatic. But we know him to be the Word of Life. It reminds me of the passage in John 6.68 when people were starting to desert Jesus who turns to his disciples and asks them, “Don’t you want to leave too?” To which Peter replies, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,” (v.68).
Jesus offers eternal life to all who believe. Why not accept this truth and share it with one other person today. It’s the greatest gift God can humanity.
“O Lord God, you are good. In my brokenness, I cling to you. In temptation, I run to you! Help me Father find hope in your word and resolution in your redemption. I am nothing with you, the chief of sinners. But by believing in your name, I have eternal life. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill me with your power and love. Help me find strength in your grace. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen