Summary: sermon 5 in Galatians series
Being a Christian Friend
A Christian Friend will Seek to Ease the Restoring of Relationship
A Christian Friend will Remind Others Who They are in Christ
A Christian Friend will Speak the Truth
A Christian Friend will not Seek to Use You
A Christian Friend will See You as Family
What does it mean to be a friend?
Everybody wants friends, don’t they?
Actually, there are some people that really don’t want friends.
What they really want people who will tell them what they want to hear.
Others may want people that will only provide something for them.
But are these people really friends?
To me friends are people who are going to be there in good and bad times.
They will seek to make you better by being honest with you
Will challenge you when you are wrong.
Will support you when you are right, even if everyone else thinks you are wrong.
A True friend is there for all of that.
We are going to be looking more at what a Christian friend is today as we continue on in the book of Galatians.
Throughout the book of Galatians, Paul has been arguing doctrinally about the Galatians turning away from grace.
He has talked about
The Holy Spirit
Becoming sons of God
Now Paul begins a more personal argument. He speaks to them through and about his personal relationship with the Galatians.
He is a true friend to them.
We are reading from
Galatians 4:12-20 (p. 825)
I want us to look today at these verses and find out how we can be a True Christian friend to those around us like Paul was to the Galatians.
12 I plead with you, brothers, become like me, for I became like you. You have done me no wrong. 13 As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you. 14 Even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself. 15 What has happened to all your joy? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?
17 Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you [from us], so that you may be zealous for them. 18 It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good, and to be so always and not just when I am with you. 19 My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, 20 how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you!
The first thing we see is that a
A Christian Friend will Seek to Ease the Restoring of Relationship.
When relationships get strained, a true friend is going to strive to make it easy for that relationship to be restored.
Paul has shared with them in these previous chapters the doctrinal basis of their beliefs and
now he is encouraging them and reminding them about their personal relationship, their friendship.
Paul does not want to make it anymore difficult than it already is for the Galatians. He lets them know that they have not wronged him in anyway, and he reminds them of the kind of relationship they shared together.
They may have diverted from what He taught, but He wants them to come back to the truth of what He taught.
He is not trying to boost his own ego with “I told you so’s” or by cutting them down so he looks better.
Instead, Paul is letting them know that he continues to want that personal relationship with them and that they have not permanently damaged that relationship by being deceived by these false teachers.
They still could return to the truth and their relationship would be as it was before.
Do we ever let our pride get in the way of someone growing in the ways of God?
If someone has disagreed with us and moved away from the truth, do we strive to help them come back to the truth easily or do we make it difficult?
Do we want them to come and admit that they were wrong and we were right so our own ego can be built up?
Or do we reach out and make it easy for a person to return to the truth regardless if they build up our ego.