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A Friend of God - Forward with Back to the Bible - March 3

  • 2022 Mar 03

A Friend of God

March 3

Read James 2:23-24 (ESV)

…and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone.

Reflect

How do you know that your friends are trustworthy and truly on your side? What matters more to you: what your friends say or what they do?

My kids are all at the stage of growing up where they are in the midst of learning how to navigate friendships. They are learning from experience how to be a friend to others and how to recognize that they have a friend in others. It’s not always an easy lesson. Anyone can say, “I’m your friend.” But it’s more often their actions, not merely their words that prove their sincerity and their faithfulness in friendship. 

In today’s passage, James continues to discuss the example of true faith that Abraham gave us when he offered his son, Isaac, as a sacrifice to the Lord. James quoted Genesis 15:6 which said that Abraham’s belief that God would do what He promised was counted to Abraham as righteousness. This shows that Abraham was justified, or made righteous in God’s sight, not by the works that he did but by his faith. He trusted God.

However, the evidence that Abraham’s faith was genuine was found in his works. He put his faith on display when he fully obeyed God and did not withhold from him even his own son whom he deeply loved. It was this great act of obedience that proved Abraham’s faith in God was total and complete.

This illustrates the point we have been discussing the past few days. We can’t justify ourselves to God through our works. We have to place our trust in Jesus Christ and what He did for us on the cross. But, we demonstrate that we have been justified to God by our works. We can’t have one without the other.

Abraham’s great act of faith demonstrated his sincerity and his faithfulness to the Lord which earned him the title “friend of God.” He was called God’s “friend forever” in 2 Chronicles 20:6 and in Isaiah 41:8, God called Abraham “My friend.”

Exodus 33:11, says that Moses was also considered to be God’s friend: “Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.” Being called a friend of God suggests a deep and meaningful relationship—something very personal. Just as Enoch and Noah who were described as walking with God (Hebrews 11:5 and Genesis 6:9). They didn’t just say that they had great faith. They walked their faith out in their daily lives. They obeyed God. They demonstrated their faith by their acts of obedience to Him.

How can we also receive the honor and privilege of being called God’s friend? Jesus told us the answer in John 15:14-15: “You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you."

Jesus extended an amazing honor and privilege to all believers in Christ. We can be called friends of God! But as we all know from experience, a true friend isn’t just something we say we are. A friend is something we have to be. True friendship is an action and so is true faith. We can be friends of God when we trust Him so much that we do what He says.

Pray

Lord, You are the all-mighty, all-powerful Creator and Sustainer of the universe! And yet, You have given me the amazing and undeserved privilege of being called Your friend. Thank You for being a friend to me and walking with me through life. Help me prove my faithfulness to You in both my words and my actions. Amen. 

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