Sermon on A Friend of God
Date written: June 7th, 2002
Scripture ref: James 2:21-23
SUBJECT: Friendship (with God)
TITLE: Who is a Friend of God?
PROPOSITION: In this lesson we will look at the question, “Who is a Friend of God?” One is God’s friend when he 1) Loves God with all his heart, soul, and mind, 2) Does what God wants him to do simply because God has asked us to do it, 3) Tells others about what a great friend God is.
OBJECTIVES: Each hearer should be able to understand what it takes to be a friend of God.
AIM: I want everyone to be motivated to make God their friend.
1. Read: 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.”
2. About the Text:
1) James is discussing the need for an active faith.
2) He says that faith without works is a dead faith.
3) As an example, he uses Abraham.
4) Abraham’s faith was a living and active faith.
5) God looked upon Abraham’s working faith and counted it for righteousness.
6) As a result of Abraham’s living and active faith, he was called the friend of God.
3. The title “Friend of God.”
1) What a great epithet to have!
2) Would you not want this to be written on your tombstone???
3) How can we be called the friend of God today?
4. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.
DISCUSSION: God’s Friend is one who . . .
I. Loves God With All His Heart, Soul, and Mind
1. Friends love one another regardless of the circumstances.
1) We read in Proverbs 17:17 “A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
2) True friends love us in the good times and in the bad times as well.
3) What about us, do we love God in both the good and the bad times?
4) If we only seek God when times are bad, God has a warning for us.Proverbs 1:25-28 “But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: “
2. When friends love one another, they spend time with one another and listen to one another.
1) In Proverbs 27:17 we read, “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”
2) True friends listen to one another? Their jokes, stories, adventures, heartaches, trials, tribulations.
3) True friends spend time with each other. They go do things together.
4) God speaks to us and wants us to spend time with him.
a. In Hebrews 1:1 we read that God speaks to us through His Son, Jesus.
b. Jesus prayed in John 17:24 “Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.”
5) Do we listen to God?
6) Do we spend time with God?
7) Do we act like God is our friend?
3. True friends show themselves to be friendly first.
1) Proverbs 18:24 “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”
2) God has already showed us that He is our friend. Romans 5:8 says, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
3) Jesus said, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)
4) God has shown himself friendly to us. Will we be friendly to God?
II. Does What God Asks Without Question
1. Friends do what other friends need without being asked to do it.
1) Story about doctor, clergyman, and lawyer being asked to put money in coffin.
2) But don’t our dearest of friends help us when we need it the most?
3) They don’t question our motives or our finances or our intentions–they just help.
4) Not talking about engaging in illegalities or sin, just everyday life.
2. Abraham was called the friend of God because he did this–he acted on faith in God.
1) When he was called out of his homeland, he went. Hebrews 11:8 ” By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.”
2) When he was asked to believe that God would bless him with a son, he believed it. Romans 4:18-21 “Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.”
3) When he was asked to offer Isaac as an offering to God he did it. Hebrews 11:17-19 “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.”
4) Is it any wonder that the Holy Spirit calls him the friend of God?
3. God wants us to act this way toward Him–to do what He asks without question.
1) Jesus said, “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” (John 15:14).
2) John writes in 1 John 5:3 “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”
3) God’s commands are not grievous because they are the commands of a friend and in being a friend of God we should want to do what God wants us to do.
III. Tells Others What a Good Friend God Is
1. Friends tell others what good friends they have.
1) The best form of advertisement today is still word of mouth.
2) Friends love to tell good stories about their friends–the Internet is replete with all kinds of stories about friends.
2. Who can have a greater friend than God?
1) David considered God his friend; he spoke of Him often. Psalm 145:10-13 “All thy works shall praise thee, O LORD; and thy saints shall bless thee. They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power; To make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom.”
2) Isaiah prophesied that God’s people would talk of Him in the way. Isaiah 2:2, 3 “And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and he will teach us of his ways, and we will walk in his paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.”
3) Indeed, God remembers those who speak about Him. Malachi 3:16 “Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.”
3. God wants us to speak to others about His Son, Jesus, today.
1) Jesus said, “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, 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 alway, even unto the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:18-20).
2) “So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.” (Mark 16:19-20).
3) Do we speak of our friend to others today?
4) What TRUE friend fails to talk about his greatest Friend?
1. Will you be a friend of God today?
1) Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind.
2) Do what God asks of you.
3) Tell others what a wonderful friend God has been to you.
2. You’ve got a Friend in Me poem (if there’s time).
1) Let me tell you about my Friend.
a. He loves me enough to want to spend eternity with me.
b. He gave His only Son to die for me so I could do this.
c. He sent His Holy Spirit so that I would know that He cares for me.
d. My friend gave me salvation.
e. Would you receive it today as well?
2) If you are a Christian but have fallen away
a. Have you acknowleged your friendship with God lately?
b. God is a faithful friend.
c. Will you be a faithful friend to him?
3) If you are not a Christian this morning . . .
a. You have made God your enemy through sin.
b. But, God wants to be your friend.
c. He offers you his friendship today, but you must accept his offer.
d. Make God your friend today!
e. Heed the plan that it has for man’s salvation today!
a) Hear the word; Romans 10:17 “Faith comes by hearing . . .”
b) Believe with all your heart; Hebrews 11:6 “For without faith it is impossible . . . .”
c) Repent of your sins (Acts 17:30).
d) Confess Jesus as the Son of God (Matthew 16:16).
e) Be baptized for the remission of your sins (Mark 16:15,16).