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Summary: A Friends Day Focus explains the doctrine of Reconciliation and invites you to become a Friend of God.

Sermon Notes September 21, 2014

A Friend of God

James 2:23

Today is Friends Day, so I thought I would share with you some thoughts about friendship and our friendship with God.

My best buddy growing up was Darrell. In the summers we worked working in the Kitchen at the WOL RANCH. One summer, we spent most of our working hours making peanut butter out of Government Surplus Peanuts. For weeks we made peanut butter. We published a book on pranks with Peanut Butter.

Perhaps you remember special moments with friends. Vacations, Camping trips, reunions form special bonds with our friends.

Friends are vitally important and a great blessing. The Christmas classic, “It’s a Wonderful Life” closes with a note from Clarence to George, “Remember, No man is a failure who has friends.”

American author Elbert Hubbard is attributed with saying “A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.” https://www.goodreads.com/quotes/16949-a-friend-is-someone-who-knows-all-about-you-and

But no one knows more about you than your Creator. That’s what makes this quote from the Bible so remarkable.

“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.” (James 2:23, ESV)

James quotes two Old Testament passages, 2 Chronicles 20:7 and Isaiah 41:8. Both refer to Abraham as God’s Friend.

Considerations of what it means to be God’s Friend. We will examine that thought by looking at

God’s PERSON

God’s PROVISION

God’s PROMISE

GOD’S PERSON

God is Infinite. “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.” (Psalm 90:2, ESV)

God is Holy. “who alone has immortality, who dwells in unapproachable light, whom no one has ever seen or can see.” (1 Timothy 6:16, ESV)

We are Sinful. “You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4, ESV)

We are not Friends of God by nature.

“Woe to those who go to great depths to hide their plans from the Lord, who do their work in darkness and think, “Who sees us? Who will know?” You turn things upside down, as if the potter were thought to be like the clay! Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, “He did not make me”? Can the pot say of the potter, “He knows nothing”?” (Isaiah 29:15–16, NIV84)

If we think that we are automatically friends of God, think again.

You may think that you know all about Eagles quarterback Nick Foles but he doesn’t know you.

We cannot just march up to someone higher than we are and expect that they will be our friend.

During the days when Thomas Jefferson was President, a group of companions were traveling across the country on horse back. They came to a flooded river. The swollen river had washed the bridge away. Each rider was forced to ford the river on horseback, fighting for his life against the rapid currents.

VERY DANGEROUS with several riders getting knocked off of their horses and forced to swim for their lives to the other side.

A stranger standing on the river bank asked President Jefferson if he would carry him across the river. The president agreed without hesitation. The man climbed on, and shortly thereafter the two of them made it safely to the other side.

As the stranger slid off the back of the horse onto dry ground, one in the group asked him, "Tell me, why did you select the president to ask this favor of?"

The man was shocked, admitting he had no idea it was the president who had helped him. “He was the only one that looked like he wasn’t afraid to cross, so I asked him!”

(Source: Chuck Swindoll)

A man gets a ride from the President of the United States, but remember that even the President is still a man. God is infinitely greater than we are.

The situation is far worse than the fact that we are not Friends of God by Nature. Because of our sin, we are God’s enemies. “And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,” (Colossians 1:21–22, ESV)

GOD’S PROVISION

God Initiates Friendship with us through His Son.

“but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8, ESV)

God initiated friendship with us without anything that we could offer.

Theologically this is the doctrine of “Reconciliation”

GOD’S PROMISE

Reconciliation for all who receive. We Must Respond to God’s Grace.

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