Jesus is a Friend to the Church!

Introduction:  In looking at the relationship that Jesus Christ has to His church, we should consider the various metaphors depicting that relationship.  For example:  when the church is portrayed as a kingdom, then Christ is its king.  When it is portrayed as a body, then Christ is its head.  When the church is portrayed as a bride, then Jesus Christ is the bridegroom.  Since the Lord adds to the church the saved, He is its Savior.

Several times in the New Testament, the Greek word Philos (fee’-los) is translated as “friend”.  It is to have close companionship.  

Let us now consider the Son of God as being a friend of the faithful.  But first of all, what are the qualities of friendship?

I.                   A FRIEND IS ONE THAT WE CAN TALK TO OR HE WILL INTERCEDE FOR US.

A.    A friend will intercede in our behalf.            

                  1 John 2:1-2, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not.  And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:  And he is the propitiation for our sins:  and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.”

                  1 Tim. 2:5, “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;”

                  John 14:13-14, “And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”

1 Pet. 5:7, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”

II.                A FRIEND IS SOMEONE THAT WILL HELP US IN TIMES OF NEED.

A.    When the Apostle James was beheaded and the Apostle Peter was apprehended and put in prison, Christians met in the home of John Mark’s mother and prayed in behalf of Peter (Acts 12).

B.    Our Lord will enable us to overcome temptations and trials.

1 Cor. 10:12-13, “Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man:  but God is faithful, who will not suffer  you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”

C.    A friend will even lay down his life for our welfare.

John 15:12-15, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.  Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth:  but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made know unto you.”

D.    Friends will warn us of danger that would affect us. 

Acts 19:30-31, “And when Paul would have entered in unto the people, the disciples suffered him not.  And certain of the chief of Asia, which were his friends, sent unto him, desiring him that he would not adventure himself into the theatre.”    

III.             A FRIEND IS ONE WHO WILL STICK BY OUR SIDE AND NOT FORSAKE US.

A.    In the Great Commission, our Lord stated, “…All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:  and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” (Matt. 28:18-20).

B.    It is natural for a person to want those nearest and dearest unto them to be by their side when they are approaching death.

Psalm 23, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:  he leadeth me beside the still waters.  He restoreth my soul:  he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:  for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.  Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:  thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.  Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:  and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”

IV.              A FRIEND IS SOMEONE WHO BELIEVES IN US.

A.    One who is truly a friend is inclined to think the best of us.

        V.      FRIENDS USUALLY HAVE MUCH IN COMMON INTEREST.

A. That in which we have in common with Jesus Christ and fellow Christians is the greatest cause here upon earth, Christianity.

  VI.  THERE COULD BE NO GREATER HONOR THAN TO HAVE FRIENDSHIP WITH THE GODHEAD.

B.    Abraham was called the friend of God.

James 2:21-23, “Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?  Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect?  And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness:  and he was called the Friend of God.” 

Conclusion:

We need to walk with the Lord down the pathway of life.  The Lord, in the Great Commission, promised faithful disciples, “… and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” (Matt. 28:20).

And at the same time, we need to shun friendship with the world.  James wrote by inspiration, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?  Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4).

As fellow Christians, we should cherish a friendship with those of like faith.  The Apostle John, in writing to a brother by the name of Gaius, concluded that letter with the following words:  “But I trust I shall shortly see thee, and we shall speak face to face.  Peace be to thee.  Our friends salute thee.  Greet the friends by name” (3 John 14).

--Dub Mowery

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