“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.” (John 5:24)

Jesus has just healed a paralytic on the Sabbath. When accused by the Jews of breaking God’s Sabbath, Jesus answers them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.” The Jewish leaders correctly understand that Jesus is claiming to be equal with God (John 5:17-18). Jesus then makes His claim even more explicit. The Father, He says, has committed to the Son two powers only God can exercise: giving life and executing judgment (John 5:21-22).

To hear the Word of Jesus and believe was and is to have eternal life. The Word of Jesus, certified by the Spirit of Truth, revealed through His holy apostles and prophets, both in spoken Word and in written Word (Scripture), brings life. We, therefore, are to “preach the Word” (2 Timothy 4:2). The Word is the Gospel, the power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16). The Word of Christ produces faith (Romans 10:17) in the hearts of the poor in spirit (Matthew 5:3). Living, obedient faith receives God’s gift of eternal life (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 6:23).

A man let alcohol ruin his reputation, take away his career, and alienate him from his family. He heard and obeyed the Gospel and the truth set him free from the curse of addiction. He ran into some of his old cronies who tried to entice him into the bar where they used to drink together. They ridiculed him for believing in Jesus. “Do you really think He turned water into wine?” they laughingly asked.

“Yes,” he said. “I believe it because the Bible says it, and I saw Him turn beer, wine, and whiskey into clothes, food, and furniture at my house.”

The Word of Jesus has transforming power. Separation from God is death. The Word of Jesus brings life––eternal life––because, when our sins are forgiven, we are reconciled to the Eternal God. “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another” (2 Corinthians 3:18).

Today I will…read back over the passages of Scripture in this devotional. Out of all of the commands and examples, I will choose one action I can take to practice the Word of God in my own life, so that I can allow God to transform me through His Word.