” ….. Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto Him for righteousness: and he was called the friend of God.” (James 2:23)
What does it take to be called a friend of God? The above verse tells us that Abraham believed God and by that God declared Him righteous and called him the friend of God. Abraham is a great example of faith and trust in the Lord and certainly the father in the faith for us. Up against such a great man of faith; Do we have any chance that God would consider us a friend? Jesus spoke the most about becoming a friend of God. He said the following regarding it:
“Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)
Jesus called those friends for whom He laid down His life. He laid down His life for those that believe that His death on Calvary’s cross paid the sin debt and that by it where declared righteous in the sight of God. The world is lost in sin and the Lord came to remedy this situation for those that understand and see the great love He has for us. The Lord of Glory, humbled himself even becoming a man. There is no greater love than what the Lord did in laying down His life for His “friends.”
“You are my friends, if you do whatever I command you.” (John 15:14)
Jesus identified a friend as one that obeyed Him. His command is to believe in Him and His great sacrifice at the cross. If we have placed our faith in Christ Crucified, we are walking in obedience. He said in Luke 9:23, “If any man will come after Me (in obedience), let him deny himself (our own ability), and take up his cross (looking to the cross for everything) daily (renew our faith daily), and follow Me (can only be done through our faith in His great work at the cross).” This verse sums up just what it is to obey His command.
“….I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of My Father I have made known unto you.” (John 15:15)
Jesus shares spiritual truths with His friends. If we know the Lord, the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth. John 16:13,14 says this of the Spirit: “Howbeit when He, the Spirit of truth come, He will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of Himself; but whatever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and will show you things to come. He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you.” The Holy Spirit guides us in all truth. He represents Christ and proclaims Christ and Him Crucified to us.
“But God commendeth His love towards us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
“We love Him because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)
Jesus’ great love for us called out to us as sinners. He sought us out and died for us while we were far off from Him. We love Him because He loved us enough to come and pay the price for our salvation.
The dictionary defines a friend as someone that we have a bond of mutual affection with. So, what is God’s criteria for being considered a friend of God? More importantly, just who does God consider a friend? Jesus makes this very clear in John Chapter 15 as outlined above. If we believe that the Lord died for us, have placed our faith in His great work on the cross for salvation and sanctification, and are trusting in the Holy Spirit to guide us into all truth: the Lord considers us a friend – a friend of God. We are not to look to ourselves as somehow being worthy of being considered a friend of God, but we look to the One that loved us and provided everything for us, and now calls us friend. We overcome the world, the flesh and the devil by our faith in the finished work of the cross, and we walk through this life victorious and a friend of God. How great is our God that we would be called a friend of God?
“The Lord your God in the midst of you is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest in His love, He will joy over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)
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