We are in the middle of a quick three-part series which explains that we who have placed our trust in Jesus Christ have been given the greatest title that any human being can possibly receive: the designation “friend of God.” These messages are rooted in these words of Christ, as recorded in John’s gospel:
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)
On Monday we saw the dignity of being called a friend of God; today we will look at our duty as friends of God.
Jesus told those who have received the title of “friend of God,” You are my friends if you do what I command. The duty of every friend of God is obedience. And that obedience includes more than just what we don’t do; it includes what we do.
Charles Spurgeon explained it this way:
Abstinence from evil is a great part of righteousness, but it is not enough for friendship. If a man can say, “I am not a drunk, I am not dishonest, I am not unchaste, I am not a violator of the Sabbath, I am not a liar,” so far so good—but such righteousness does not exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees—and they cannot enter the kingdom of God!
Remember, Jesus did not say, “You are my friends if you don’t break my commands.” Rather, we are His friends if do what He commands. Time and time again, the Scriptures encourage us to sow our seed by giving food to the hungry, drink to the thirsty, and clothes to the naked (Matthew 25:35-36). Jesus made the importance of obedience very clear to those who have been given the title friend: “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14).
On Friday, we’ll look at the final aspect of this glorious title of friend of God: His Declaration.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!