Are You a Friend of God?

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Are You a Friend of God?

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Jesus, as the Bible clearly reveals, is the very Son of God. While on earth, Jesus existed as God in human form.

What does it mean to be a friend of God?

To be called a friend of God means to be in good graces with God. Jesus said that He had delivered truth and understanding to His disciples (John 15:15 John 15:15From now on I call you not servants; for the servant knows not what his lord does: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known to you.
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), and they had not only accepted it but fully embraced it. They embodied what the prophet Amos taught: “Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?” (Amos 3:3 Amos 3:3Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
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).

The apostles and disciples were prepared and committed to obey and do what Jesus taught them. “You are My friends if you do whatever I command you,” He told them (John 15:14 John 15:14You are my friends, if you do whatever I command you.
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). And Jesus had commanded obedience to God’s laws. Indeed, we have seen that He is the One who had given the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament.

The patriarch Abraham was called God’s friend (2 Chronicles 20:7 2 Chronicles 20:7Are not you our God, who did drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel, and gave it to the seed of Abraham your friend for ever?
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; Isaiah 41)—a friendship James 2:22-24 James 2:22-24 22 See you how faith worked with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? 23 And the scripture was fulfilled which said, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed to him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. 24 You see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.
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says came because Abraham’s faith produced righteous works of obedience (see also Genesis 26:5 Genesis 26:5Because that Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.
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).

Jesus told His disciples that a distinguishing and visible sign of their friendship with Him would be how they kept what He summarized as a “new commandment”: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35 John 13:34-35 34 A new commandment I give to you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another.
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).

This strongly reflects what Jesus declared was the greatest commandment: “The first of all the commandments is … you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:29-31 Mark 12:29-31 29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength: this is the first commandment. 31 And the second is like, namely this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is none other commandment greater than these.
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; quoting Deuteronomy 6:5 Deuteronomy 6:5And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.
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and Leviticus 19:18 Leviticus 19:18You shall not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.
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).

So, in Jesus’ own words, we are to first love God with everything we have, then we are to follow on with love for each other. These great commandments are further spelled out in the Ten Commandments, with love fulfilling God’s law (see Romans 13:8-10 Romans 13:8-10 8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loves another has fulfilled the law. 9 For this, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not kill, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, You shall not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 10 Love works no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
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; 1 John 5:3 1 John 5:3For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.
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).

It might sound easy, but it’s not. Tragically, we all fail—to one degree or another—every day (1 John 1:8 1 John 1:8If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
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). But being a friend of God, being in the good graces of God, opens the door for God to shower us with grace, with forgiveness, with restoration, with redemption, with reconciliation (1 John 1:9 1 John 1:9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
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; 1 John 2:1-2 1 John 2:1-2 1 My little children, these things write I to you, that you sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for our’s only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
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). God our Father wants to lavish us with gifts! (Luke 11:13 Luke 11:13If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
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). He knows our physical needs and through His grace supplies them (Luke 12:22-34 Luke 12:22-34 22 And he said to his disciples, Therefore I say to you, Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat; neither for the body, what you shall put on. 23 The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. 24 Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them: how much more are you better than the fowls? 25 And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one cubit? 26 If you then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take you thought for the rest? 27 Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say to you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 If then God so clothe the grass, which is to day in the field, and to morrow is cast into the oven; how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith? 29 And seek not you what you shall eat, or what you shall drink, neither be you of doubtful mind. 30 For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knows that you have need of these things. 31 But rather seek you the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added to you. 32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell that you have, and give alms; provide yourselves bags which wax not old, a treasure in the heavens that fails not, where no thief approaches, neither moth corrupts. 34 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
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). When we stumble, God lifts us through His personal and loving intervention the Bible calls grace.

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