Friend or Foe?#3. “Friend of God.”

Friend or Foe?#3. “Friend of God.”

To be honest with you, I have read and thought a lot about Abraham and his title, ‘Friend of God,’ and I sometimes feel none the wiser. I know you are ahead of me here, and asking, “What about Jesus calling the disciples his friends?” Yes, that is true, and in John 15:15 Jesus counts all Christians as his personal friends when he says: “…I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.”

Again, I have to confess that I struggle with the idea of my Lord and my God calling me, ‘Friend.’ A human-to-human friendship, in very simple terms, is a relationship sustained by mutual love between individuals and groups.’ The problem comes when we try to compare a human-to-human friendship with a human-to-divine friendship. We can only begin to get our heads around it when we accept God’s friendship as a gracious gift bestowed upon us. God is offering us a friendship based on His divine mercy, not on our likeability. Sin makes everything ugly.

It is in John 15:14 that God puts us on equal footing with his friend Abraham when he says: “You are My friends if you do what I command you.” For you and me, living in obedience to Christ’s commands is the same as “Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness.” We are friends of Jesus because he has made us privy to his plans for us and the rest of the world. He has brought us into his confidence and made us fellow participants in his daily Kingdom business—our faith is lived out in loving obedience.

It is man who destroyed the original friendship that he had with God in the Garden. It is Jesus who has reconciled us—made us friends again. We again walk with the divine as friends. “Jesus, teach me to be a better friend to you. Amen!”

John Staiger


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