The Friend’s Gospel

Audio Message: 

Isaiah 41:8 (KJV) But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.

I have often heard preachers say that the reason God created man is because God needed a friend. God was lonely, and in His loneliness He took the dust of the ground and

calvinhobbes_friends

of it formed man, then woman. I believe it is blasphemy to even believe such a thing. To say that God was lonely or was somehow deficient in an area of life is to lower God. God is ALL MIGHTY and SELF SUFFICIENT. He does not need us. He says:

Psalm 50:12 (NKJV) If I were hungry, I would not tell you; For the world is Mine, and all its fullness.

God owns everything and holds everything together.

Colossians 1:17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist.

God owns everything – even us. That which gives us presence is our SOULS, and God says:

Ezekiel 18:4 (NKJV) Behold, all souls are Mine; The soul of the father As well as the soul of the son is Mine; The soul who sins shall die.

God does not NEED our companionship. God does not NEED a friend. As Eternal Triune God, our Lord has an eternal friend in Himself. The Father loves the Son Who loves the Spirit.

1 John 5:7 (NKJV) For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.

Our God needs nothing. “The God who made the world and everything in it … is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything” (Acts 17:24-25). God made us “in His image and after His likeness” (Genesis 1:26) so that we could reflect His glory by imitating Him. Our God is love. He said in Jeremiah 31:3 “I have loved you with an everlasting love”. God loved us before we were ever made. We need Him. It is our best interests to ruin to Him, to love Him, to exalt Him, to magnify His Name.

God made us to be like Him.
To rule the earth as His representatives.
To shine for Him as He shines on us.
The highest ideal for a human is to be a Friend of God.

Abraham was a Friend of God.

God created us for His pleasure. We see in Revelation the Throneroom of God, and around that Throne twenty four “Elders” who cast their crowns before the Lord, saying:

Revelation 4:11 (KJV) Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

We were created FOR GOD’S PLEASURE. He made us to please HIM, not ourselves but HIM. So when we come across a passage where GOD HIMSELF calls Abraham “My Friend” I can say without any hesitation that Abraham fulfilled his purpose in life. HE PLEASED GOD. When God spoke to Abraham just as He spoke to Moses:

Exodus 33:11 (NKJV) … face to face, as a man speaks to his friend …

God continued to treat Abraham as a dear friend his entire life.

God Invites Us To Be His Friends

James 2:23 (NKJV) And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God.

How does one become a “Friend of God”? Is this something only for a select few? I believe that you cannot be a Friend of God until you BELIEVE GOD. The Bible tells us that

Abraham BELIEVED God and it was counted to him for righteousness”

Abraham believed God. God came to Abraham and said,

Abraham, just go along with the crowd.
Stay where you are.
Blend in.
Be an undercover Christian, and we’ll be buddies!”

You’ll find this passage in the Book of First Opinions 1:1-3. I’ll wait while you write this down, or try and look it up. Can I give you a hint – it’s not in the Bible. Abraham believed God. Abraham didn’t believe his feelings but his God. God told Abraham:

Genesis 12:1-4 (NKJV) … Get out of your country, From your family And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. 2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.” 4 So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him

Abraham believed God. He left his comfortable home and traveled to where God told him to go. He believed God. When Abraham got to a place where there was friction between his household and the household of his nephew Lot that precious believer said:

Genesis 13:8-9 (NKJV) … Please let there be no strife between you and me, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen; for we are brethren. 9 Is not the whole land before you? Please separate from me. If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left.”

Lot looked with his EYES, but Abraham with his EYES ON GOD. Though Abraham could have chosen the “greener pastures” of Sodom and Gomorrah, he let Lot choose. Lot chose badly because he chose not of God but of his flesh.

Abraham believed God. Because he believed God the Lord told him:

Genesis 13:14-17 … Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted. Go, walk through the length and breadth of the land, for I am giving it to you.

A later King of Israel, King Jehoshaphat, said:

2 Chronicles 20:7 (NKJV) Are You not our God, who drove out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel, and gave it to the descendants of Abraham Your friend forever?

God gave Abraham the land that would later become Israel because Abraham loved God above all else. Abraham believed God.

When Lot’s bad choice got him and his family captured by the armies of four nations Abraham believed God. He took his small band of 318 men (Genesis 14:13-14) against a numerically superior force and, refusing to fear, trusted in the Lord his God. Abraham believed God. God told Abraham that he was going to have a child, and that he was going to own some land. Neither promise had yet been fulfilled, so Abraham knew God was not going to lie nor renege on His Word. Abraham went against these nations and came back in victory.

When Abraham came back victorious in faith two kings presented themselves to him,

Melchizedek the King of Righteousness & Peace
Bera the King of Sodom & Wickedness

Abraham proved himself the friend of God. He accepted Melchizedek’s food and blessing, and paid a tithe of all he had to what many believe is an Old Testament manifestation of Christ. But Abraham rejected any help whatsoever from Bera, a worshiper of false gods and fleshly sinful lusts. He wanted nothing of Sodom but distance. Abraham believed God.

Abraham believed God when the Lord told him:

Genesis 22:2 (NKJV) … Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.

Abraham – the Bible says – “Rose EARLY in the morning”. He did not debate God. He did not offer other solutions. Christ has said:

Luke 14:26 (NASB) If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.

God calls us to love Him MORE than we love anyone else. MORE, not less. To trust Him. To believe Him. To magnify Him. Abraham, take your only son Isaac – I know you love him – but sacrifice him to Me. Abraham said nothing. No words nor groans were recorded in Scripture. Just doing. He took his son to the mountain, tied him down.

Father, where is the sacrifice?”
“Son, God will provide Himself the lamb for a burnt offering”

God had promised Abraham, and Abraham believed God. God cannot lie. He cannot fail. James said:

James 2:21-24 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect? 23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called the friend of God. 24 You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only.

Abraham believed God. He did not need to sacrifice his child, but God provided the sacrifice. Abraham did instinctively what Christ taught us to do:

Matthew 6:19-21 (NKJV) Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

God was Abraham’s treasure, his Friend, his Love. Friends support one another. Friends enjoy one another’s company. This brings me to a main point:

Do You Want God For A Friend?

Is God first place or last place in your life? For Abraham God was first place. God wasn’t an occasional Visitor to Abraham, but He came often because Abraham wanted to see Him. The Bible says:

Genesis 15:1 (NKJV) … the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”

When God is your Friend He is your shield. Friends take care of friends. Friends support one another. Abraham loved and looked for God – and the Lord loved and looked after Abraham. He made sure that Abraham was cared for:

Genesis 12:7 (NKJV) …. the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” And there he built an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him.

Genesis 18:1 (NKJV) … the Lord appeared to {Abraham} by the terebinth trees of Mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day.

When God decided to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because of the sexual sin in those cities, He wouldn’t do anything until He talked to Abraham. He knew tghat Lot – Abraham’s nephew – was in that city. The Bible says:

Genesis 18:17-23 (NKJV) … the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing, 18 since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19 For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice, that the Lord may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.” 20 And the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave, 21 I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know.” 22 Then the men turned away from there and went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord. 23 And Abraham came near and said, “Would You also destroy the righteous with the wicked?

Abraham loved God, and taught his household to love God. Abraham didn’t love God at Church but ignore God when he stepped out the door. God knew Abraham was His friend, and discussed matters with him. “The outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is GREAT – their sin – SEXUAL SIN – is VERY GRAVE.” It was God’s intention to judge those cities, just as God will eventually judge every sin. “There is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open.” (Luke 8:17) “For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” (Ecclesiastes 12:14). “When the Lord comes, He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart.” (1 Corinthians 4:5) Though we may feel that we have gotten away with sin, God eventually judges. Judgment was going to fall on Sodom and Gomorrah. Sin would be punished. Evil would be wiped out lest it, like a canker, spread throughout all the world.

But before God would do this thing He said “I will tell my friend Abraham”. As God began to outline what was going to happen, Abraham began to seek mercy from his Friend. Though Abraham was not part of the sin, he interceded for Sodom and Gomorrah for Lot’s sake, saying to the Lord:

Genesis 18:24-25 (NKJV) Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it? 25 Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

God listened to Abraham’s pleading, saying “If I find 50 righteous in the city I will spare it for their sake”. But Abraham was not through. Friends can press friends to do more.

Genesis 18:27 (NKJV) … “Indeed now, I who am but dust and ashes have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord: 28 Suppose there were five less than the fifty righteous; would You destroy all of the city for lack of five?”

The Lord was not angered. He knew Abraham’s heart. “If there are 45 righteous, I will not destroy it.” Abraham continued to address his Friend:

Suppose there should be forty found there?”

I will not do it for the sake of forty.”

Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Suppose thirty should be found there?”

I will not do it if I find thirty there.”

Suppose twenty should be found there?”

I will not destroy it for the sake of twenty.”

I will speak but once more: Suppose ten should be found there?”

I will not destroy it for the sake of ten.”

As God and His friend Abraham discussed the fate of Sodom, God continually met Abraham’s requests. One Bible scholar once said “Abraham stopped asking before God stopped granting”. The Lord patiently listened to His friend, was never angered, and met his requests with mercy and grace. Why? Because Abraham delighted in the Lord.

The Beginning Of Friendship With God Is Reconciliation

The Bible tells us that we are born into this world separated from God by our sin.

Ephesians 2:1-3 (NKJV) And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

God reaches out to us just as He reached out to Abraham. God calls. He says “Come unto Me all you that are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” He calls to us in Christ. He calls to us to be reconciled to Him through His dear Son. As Abraham believed in God – and it was accounted to him for righteousness – we are to believe in God. God extends His hand of fellowship and bids us come to Him and be saved. The Scripture says:

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NKJV) For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Titus 3:5-6 (NKJV) not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior,

Saved by faith in God, the Lord calls us to follow Him daily. Not just at Church, nor just when it is convenient, but at all times. If you want God to be your friend then you must be a friend to God. He calls us into a daily walk with Him, loving Him, putting Him first and not last. God does not want our leftovers, but our allovers. He wants us to love and obey Him as Abraham did.

It is the blessing of the Christian that we can be friends with God. Jesus declared:

John 14:21-23 (NKJV) He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.

Oh Beloved, make God first as Abraham did. Remember the words of our Lord:

John 15:13-15 (NKJV) Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.

God would have you for a friend. Do you want to be His friend? Then do so. Believe Him, and put Him first in your lives.

May God touch your hearts with His Word.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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One Response to The Friend’s Gospel

  1. Tancy says:

    Well put. To say God needed man is to say He is not sufficient of Himself. A God of that description must have some dependency tendencies and a huge lack of confidence. God, who creates ex- nihilo, has a need?

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