This week I would like to encourage you by explaining the exalted title that God has given to all those whom He has brought into the kingdom of the Son He loves. I plan to break this message down into three parts: The Dignity . . . Our Duty . . . and His Declaration. All three messages are rooted in this passage from the inspired pen of the apostle John:
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. (John 15:12-15)
Let me start by asking you this question: What would you say is the greatest title in all of sacred Scripture that can be given to man? Is it that of a prophet—the advocate for God before the people? Is it a priest—the advocate for the people before God? Is it a king—the authority of God over the people?
The answer is, “None of the above.” The greatest title anyone can receive is FRIEND OF GOD.
As great as any of those first three titles (prophet, priest, or king) would be, none of them compares to the dignity of being called a friend of God. Scripture recounts the lives of dozens of prophets, priests, and kings, but only two men in all of holy writ have been set apart with the exalted appellation of “friend.” In Exodus we read, “The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend” (Exodus 33:11). And the prophet Isaiah tells us, “You, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants of Abraham my friend . . .” (Isaiah 41:8).
I’m sure none of us would entertain the notion even for a moment that we are the kind of person who would be considered worthy to be regarded as possessing the same faith and commitment as Abraham or Moses . . . and yet we have just seen that Jesus has said “You are my friends . . . I have called you friends.” If you have, by grace through faith, placed your trust in Jesus Christ for salvation, you can be considered a friend of God . . . and there is no greater title that can be given to you!
I hope you’ll be encouraged this day, regardless of what challenges you may be facing in your personal or professional life. You are a friend of God, and, as God’s friend, you know that He will eventually work all things for your good . . . even those things that don’t feel “good” right now! You have His Word on it.
On Wednesday we will look at Part 2: Our Duty.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!